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Sunday, November 5, 2023

Joe Roebuck showed promise in independent ball; Played seven pro seasons

Joe Roebuck 1990 Erie Sailors card

Reno Silver Sox player Dan Johnson talked of the quality of his independent team in August 1991, and how some of his teammates, including Joe Roebuck, really should have been elsewhere, according to The Reno Gazette-Journal.

"We have players on this team that don't belong here, like Timber (Mead) and Joe Roebuck," Johnson told The Gazette-Journal. "They belong playing for some organization in Double-A right now."

For Roebuck, he was then in his fourth season as a pro. He did return to affiliated ball for a season, but, in a career that spanned seven seasons, he topped out at high-A.

Roebuck's career began in 1988, taken by the Brewers in the 23rd round of the draft out of Bryan High School in Ohio.

Roebuck started with the Brewers at rookie Helena. He got into 60 games and hit .258. He picked up two hits in a July game. He then returned to Helena for 1989 and got into another 60 games and hit .213.

Going into 1990, though, he'd hoped for more. Fellow minor leaguer, Bryan-native and author Steve Fireovid recounted a chance conversation with Roebuck's father Dave Roebuck, early that June in his book "The 26th Man." After hearing positives, Joe hadn't been assigned to a team and was almost fed up with the game, Fireovid recounted.

"He doesn't trust anyone anymore," Dave Roebuck told Fireovid. "They tell him how good he's doing, yet they won't do anything with him. All he wants is a chance to fail. If they'd send him to A ball and he didn't work out, he could live with that. At least he'd know. He feels like he can still play, but he's getting tired of trying to prove it in Arizona."

Roebuck did play that year, but with independent short-season Erie. He saw 61 games and hit .310. For 1991, he arrived at independent Reno. He got into 112 games there and hit .267.

Roebuck returned to affiliated ball for 1992, at high-A Port Charlotte with the Rangers. He saw 108 games and hit hit .198.

He moved to independent Duluth-Superior for 1993, hitting .258 in 42 games. He then saw five final games in 1994 at independent Brainerd to end his career.

Roebuck soon returned home to Ohio and, in 2008, he became head baseball coach at his old high school in Bryan.

Joe Roebuck 1990 Erie Sailors card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,255
Made the Majors:1,385-32.6%
Never Made Majors:2,870-67.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:562
10+ Seasons in the Minors:347

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