Roberts returns to camp after death of father

Roberts returns to camp after death of father

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts returned to camp Sunday with a heavy heart after missing two days following the death of his father, Waymon, but he was ready to get back to work and prepared to train his full focus again on the details of getting his team ready for the regular season.

After all, he knows being back in uniform and performing his duties as manager was exactly where his father would have wanted him to be.

"It's been a tough couple of days, but to get back to baseball and something I love, I know this is what he'd want," Roberts said in his regular media briefing Sunday morning. "My mom was good with it, so it's definitely good to get back here."

Roberts flew to Arizona on Sunday morning after spending the previous couple of days in Oceanside, Calif., the northern San Diego County city where he was raised. He plans to return there on Wednesday's off-day for the Dodgers and stay for a Thursday memorial service before returning to camp.

The Dodgers' second-year manager said he was touched by the outpouring of sympathy that came his way from every direction once word was out that his father had passed away. While Bob Geren watched over the club in his absence, Roberts was able to focus on his family, particularly his mother, Eiko.

"The players and coaches and the fan support, it was amazing just to know how much you're loved," Roberts said.

Waymon Roberts was retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after serving 30 years, retiring as a master gunnery sergeant. He met Eiko while stationed in Okinawa, and their son Dave was born in Japan. He also left behind a daughter, Melissa.

"I was telling some of the guys in [the Dodgers' clubhouse], we all have parents and we all poke holes in them and we do things differently as parents, but he did the best he could with us, he and my mom," Roberts said. "I think that he has a legacy with me and my sister and his grandchildren. He did the best he could and served our country for 30 years. I have some big shoes to fill."

John Schlegel is a national reporter for You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.