LOS ANGELES — When Waymon Roberts moved his family around Marine bases, from Okinawa to California, Hawaii and North Carolina, he knew it was not easy, especially for his children. So he regularly repeated a mantra that can be useful for military families.
“We have no choice about where we’re going, but we have a choice about what we do when we get there,” Roberts said. “Like where you’re at; miss it when you’re gone.”
Such pragmatism helped shape his son, Dave, in many ways.
It allowed him to make fast friends wherever he went and cultivated a sense of determination, which helped him go from a college walk-on to U.C.L.A.’s career leader in stolen bases. He then had a solid big league career — with a stolen base that has an important place in Boston Red Sox lore — despite not…