Robertson sees tornado devastation up close

All David Robertson knew about the tornado that tore through his home town of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was what he heard over the telephone from family members. He was in contact with his parents, brother and grandmother, who got through the storm safely and without major property damage.

Other people weren’t as fortunate, which Robertson saw first-hand when he and his wife, Erin, spent Thursday’s off day on a trip home before the Yankees opened a holiday weekend series Friday night at Seattle. Entire blocks with which David was familiar were scattered with debris, and many families were still forced to live in shelters while cleanup crews worked to clear areas.

“You could see the path it took,” Robertson told reporters at Safeco Field. “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. It’s really bad down there. You can’t really imagine it until you see it. I knew there were fatalities and stuff and it was terrible, but I wasn’t prepared for how far it went. Seeing my hometown destroyed, it was difficult. It was disturbing.”

The relief pitcher and his wife have established the David and Erin Robertson to raise funds to donate to relief efforts in Tuscaloosa. He will donate $100 for every strikeout he records during the season to the fund. The Robertsons are creating a web site that is under construction – – and are encouraging fans to donate what they can to help those in dire need in the city where the University of Alabama is located. There is an address on the site already where money may be pledged.

“I wish I could go down there and use my hands and help people to rebuild, but I’m not able to,” Robertson said. “So I’m going to do everything I can to raise money to get supplies and others things to the people down there.”

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