The A List Series presents conversations with Authors, Artists, Athletes, Adventurers, Academics and Anarchists. Guests have included KQED's Michael Krasny, musician Huey Lewis, Oscar-winning special effects genius, Dennis Muren, and NPR's The Kitchen Sisters.
Shooty Babitt and Bip Roberts
In an A List Conversation with Bruce Macgowan
Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Baseball Analysts
Wednesday, December 19 7:30pm
$15 General Admission
It’s time for the winter ‘Hot Stove League’ with TV Baseball analysts and former Major League ballplayers ‘Shooty’ Babitt and ‘Bip’ Roberts joining Bruce Macgowan at the Throckmorton Theatre to talk baseball.
Bip Roberts and Shooty Babitt have more in common than just being former Big League baseball players. Both men also grew up in the east bay, and both now work as popular TV analysts on the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ TV broadcasts on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. They also both wore the Green and Gold colors of the team they both grew up following, the Oakland A’s.
Babitt, who also works fulltime as a scout with the New York Mets, had a short but exciting time in the Major Leagues, playing as a rookie infielder during the magical A’s 1981 baseball season when fiery Billy Martin, yet another east bay native was the manager. Under Martin’s direction and with the new ownership of the Haas family running the organization, the A’s jumped out to a 13-0 record that season, and eventually won the American League’s West Division crown before falling to the eventual AL Champion NY Yanks in the American League Championships.
Babit only played in 54 games in 1981, but started the campaign with a seven game hitting streak and ended up hitting a respectable .256 in 156 at bats.
A self-described ‘baseball lifer,’ Babitt has worked not only with the Mets, but the Arizona Diamondbacks as well, and was also a co-host on Marty Lurie’s popular Oakland A’s pre game show on the A’s radio network from 2003-2010. Shooty’s son Zach was taken in the 10th round of the draft earlier this year by the Dodgers.
Like Babitt, Bip Roberts also grew up playing baseball in his hometown of Berkeley, and then spent 13 years in the majors as a versatile second baseman and outfielder playing for the Padres, Reds, Royals, Indians, Tigers and finally the hometown A’s.
Roberts was blessed with great speed and as a rookie stole 14 bases with the Padres. His breakthrough year came in 1989 when he batted .301 with 21 steals while scoring 81 runs.
In the winter of 1991, Roberts was shipped to the Reds for former ‘nasty boy’ reliever Randy Myers, and he quickly became a bit hit in Cincinnati, representing the Reds at the All-Star game that summer in San Diego where he had two hits and knocked in two runs. The strike season of 1994 hurt not only baseball, but didn’t help out Roberts either, as he was having his best season with a 24 game hitting streak and batting .320 with 20 steals before the game shut down over a labor dispute in early August.
In addition to working with Comcast as an analyst on the Giants’ TV broadcasts, Roberts also has worked as a baseball coach with the Academy of Arts, and more recently was the Head Coach for the Skyline High School baseball team in Oakland