Q&A: Ryan Roberts
WRITER Stephanie Collazo
PHOTOGRAPHER Tyler Clinton
Following a career season last year Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Ryan Roberts has quickly become a fan favorite in the Major League Baseball scene. His excessive tattoos, which are not common in MLB, have earned him the nickname Tatman. In his honor this season the team gave away tattoo sleeves to the first 20,000 fans attending one of their games and last season Roberts won a fan vote that resulted in his being made into a bobblehead, tattoos and all. Roberts was recently named the spokesman for the up and coming brand Iron Fist and took some time out to fill us in on his new business venture.
Inked: Why do you think that baseball players don’t seem to get as many tattoos as other sports players?
Roberts: I think that they do, but it just doesn’t go as noticed as other sports. I mean I was just given the name Tatman and a lot of dudes will think that I have the most tattoos in the big leagues, but I know a few different people that have a lot of tattoos too, they are just not colorful, mine are color and I’m pretty fair skinned so they stand out a little bit more. I think that there are a lot of people in the major leagues with tattoos but people just don’t see it.
Inked: How do you feel about being called Tatman, do you like the nickname?
Roberts: Oh of course, it’s better than being called some things I’ve been called [laughs]. I never expected my tattoos to play a role like they have, you know most people look at people who are tattooed and they think different thoughts, other than Tatman. I think that it ended up being really cool, and really special for me.
Inked: Have you had your tattoos hold you back career wise?
Roberts: Um, you mean like have they ever held me back in a job?
Inked: Yeah, recently a lot of people have been getting removals, because they can’t get jobs.
Roberts: You know, no. I have never run into any kind of problems where anybody has said anything to me about covering up or anything.
Inked: You are going to be the spokesperson for Iron Fist's new athletic line. How did you get involved with that?
Roberts: They basically just hit me up, asked if I liked their stuff and then asked if I would like to be involved with them. Obviously I like their clothes and I take the opportunity to do whatever I can because I can remember not having the opportunity to be involved in anything like that, so now that I’ve got the opportunity, I’m trying to do as much as I can.