(Associated Press) - The Dodgers hired Dave Roberts on Monday, making
him the first minority manager in franchise history.

They plan to introduce him at a news conference on Dec. 1.

The 43-year-old former major leaguer served as bench coach for San
Diego the last two seasons. Before that, Roberts was a special
assistant for the Padres' front office in 2010 and their first base
coach from 2011-13. He served as manager for one game this season
after Bud Black was fired.

Roberts' father is black and his mother is Japanese. Roberts was
born in Okinawa, Japan, where his father served in the U.S.
Marines. He becomes the third minority manager in the majors,
joining the Washington Nationals' Dusty Baker and the Atlanta
Braves' Fredi Gonzalez.

In a statement, Roberts said his hiring is ''the opportunity of a

He called the franchise ''groundbreaking'' for having such players
as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills,
Fernando Valenzuela and Hideo Nomo.

Roberts was the starting center fielder for the Dodgers from
2002-04, hitting .262 in 302 games while stealing 118 bases,
succeeding on 82 percent of his steal attempts. He becomes the
fourth Dodgers manager to also play for the franchise, joining Tom
Lasorda, Bill Russell and Glenn Hoffman. Roberts is the 10th
manager since the team moved to Los Angeles and the 28th in
franchise history.

''When I put on this uniform as a player, I understood the special
responsibility to honor those that played before me as well as the
amazing bond between the Dodgers and their fans,'' Roberts said.
''I feel that I have now come full circle in my career and there is
plenty of unfinished business left in LA.''

He succeeds Don Mattingly, who mutually parted ways with the team
last month after five years and a week later signed a deal to
manage the Miami Marlins. He led the Dodgers to three consecutive
NL West titles.

Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said the front
office was impressed with Roberts throughout the hiring process.

''His energy is infectious and he has the rare ability to make a
genuine connection with every person he comes across,'' Friedman
said. ''He has developed strong leadership qualities and
accumulated a breadth of baseball experience over his career as
both a player and coach. He is a `baseball man' and `people person'
in the truest sense of those words. We feel fully confident that he
will effectively lead our team in pursuit of its ultimate goal -
bringing a world championship back to the city of Los Angeles.''

The Dodgers haven't appeared in the World Series since winning the
title in 1988.

As a player, Roberts is perhaps best known for his stolen base in
the 2004 AL playoffs that sparked the Red Sox to an elusive World
Series championship.

In the AL Championship Series, Boston was three outs from being
swept by the New York Yankees. Roberts pinch-ran after Kevin Millar
drew a leadoff walk from Mariano Rivera. Roberts stole second and
scored on Bill Mueller's single.

Boston won 6-4 in 12 innings and then became the first team in
major league history to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a postseason
series. Roberts did not play as the Red Sox swept St. Louis for
their first championship since 1918, but will always be beloved in
Boston because of that one play.

In 2011, Roberts survived a bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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