By Andrea Camarena
At 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, the driver of a 2007 Yamaha Warrior traveling eastbound on Avenue 312, east of Drive 197, went off the shoulder of the road and landed in a canal ejecting the driver who suffered fatal injuries according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The driver of the motorcycle was identified as Jeriome Robertson of Exeter according to Exeter’s Steve Garver who was contacted by a member of Robertson’s family. Garver coached Robertson for three years on the Exeter Union High School baseball team.
The CHP reports that Robertson was traveling at a speed of 70 miles per hour and for unknown reasons was unable to negotiate a right hand turn and drove off the road into the canal. He was pronounced dead at the scene and it was determined he was a solo rider in the single-vehicle accident. He was 33.
Robertson was a standout left-handed pitcher from Exeter who was drafted into Major League Baseball straight out of high school by the Houston Astros in 1995. After rising through the Houston Minor League ranks, Robertson debuted with the Astros on September 2, 2002. In his first season he was a top-10 candidate for the Rookie of the Year award. Eventually, Robertson would appear in 51 major league games and go 16-12 as a starter with a 5.71 ERA according to www.houston.astros.mlb.com. From 2002-2004 Robertson would play for Houston, the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. Robertson played 12 seasons in the minor leagues accumulating a 81-80 record with a 4.15 ERA.
After being released from Cincinnati, Robertson continued his professional baseball career playing in the Japanese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, for the NY Bears in the Atlantic League and for the Mexican Baseball League in Agua Caliente.
Robertson was a Lindcove resident who grew up in the Exeter Public School system. Through high school and his professional career, he earned a slew of accolades, played in several all-star games and was named the Pitcher of the Year in one of his minor league seasons. In Exeter, he held the school record for strike outs and doubles.
‘When I coached [Robertson], he was a young man full of energy,’ Garver said. ‘He was fun to be around. Those few years were a good time. We had a good group of young men and two talented left-handed pitchers: Robertson and Pettyjohn. It was fun to go to the ballpark every day. The team would work hard and he was part of great group of good kids. He was a good player.’
In 1995, with Robertson and Pettyjohn on the mound, Exeter won a Valley Title.
Robertson had two sons and lived in Exeter. Arrangements for Robertson’s services were unknown at press time.