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In memoriam: Ronnie Roberts

Ronnie RobertsRonnie Roberts, the long-time and beloved general manager of the Lynchburg Hillcats (High A; Carolina League), passed away yesterday while in hospice care. He was 70.

He had battled cancer for over a decade after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.

Roberts spent 28 years with the Hillcats, starting with the team as head groundskeeper at the age of 41 after beginning his career in the financial services field. He was then promoted to assistant general manager and then general manager. He retired at the end of the 2018 season. From the News-Advance:

“[I’ll remember] his passion for the city and the game,” Hillcats president Chris Jones said. “He was the definition of a baseball guy, baseball man. He lived and breathed the game. Loved everything about game days. Loved the fans. … [I] know he had an impact on so many people.”

“Ronnie gave everything he had to the fans and front office staff alike. He truly was the backbone of the entire Hillcats operation,” said Kestrel Kerl, a former director of fan engagement with the Hillcats.

No matter how slowly the hours seemed to tick by, former Hillcats employees Kyle West and Joshua Duffy said, Roberts always brought the energy.

“I think it made him inspirational,” West said.

Photo courtesy Lynchburg Hillcats.