David Robertson returned to the Yankees this morning after a one-day visit to his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was devastated by a recent tornado, and was clearly affected by what he saw.
"It's really bad down there,'' said the Yankees reliever. "You can't really imagine it until you see it. I mean, I knew there were fatalities and stuff and it was terrible, but I wasn't prepared for how far it went.
I didn’t think it was going to be that bad. I knew there were fatalities and stuff anfd it was terrible but I didn’t know it kept going that far. Entire neighborhoods just levelled. I saw damage in Mississippi from Katrina and that was sad, too, but that wasn't where I grew up so I didn’t know what to expect. But seeing my hometown destroyed, it’s difficult. It’s disturbing.''
Robertson's parents, brother and grandmother still live in Tuscaloosa but were spared the wrath of the storm, which cut a swath through the city but miraculously left little damage on either side of its destructive path. "You could see the path it took,'' he said. "One side of a street would be reduced to rubble and the other side was not even touched. Luckily, all my family and friends live on the same side of town and were very fortunate when it hit. None of them got hurt or killed and that's the main thing.''
Robertson and his wife, Erin, have started a foundation and a website, highsocksforhope.com, to help raise money for the relief effort.
"I wish I could go down there and use my hands and help people to rebuild, but I’m not able to,'' he said. "So I’m going to do everything I can to raise money to get supplies and others things to the people down there.''