SEATTLE -- There was a favorite lunch spot in Tuscaloosa where Dave Robertson would sometimes glance at a photo of himself from his college days at Alabama, watching over those plates of pork, brisket or beef.
As Robertson visited his tornado-ravaged hometown on Thursday, he was horrified to see that landmark and so many others like it reduced to wreckage, leaving the Yankees hurler wondering when -- or if -- things will return to normal.
"You see the pictures and everything, but when you get down there and see how wide it is, and how much was destroyed -- it just kept going," Robertson said. "It's like 6.2 miles through Tuscaloosa of just straight devastation. There's nothing but piles of rubble left."
Robertson and his wife, Erin, have created a foundation with the intent of helping those affected by the tornadoes. The website, highsocksforhope.com, is already online.
"I had to see it," said Robertson, who flew to Seattle early on Friday morning. "I had to know what money we can raise can go to good use and really help out."
While Robertson's family lives about five miles from the heart of the devastation, he said that the produce store where he purchased last year's Christmas tree is now just a concrete slab, and a recently built elementary school has been reduced to cinder blocks.
"You just see entire neighborhoods that have been wiped out, where there's just pieces of the buildings standing," Robertson said. "Seeing my hometown destroyed is just difficult. It's disturbing."
Robertson has pledged to donate $100 for every strikeout he records this season to the recovery effort.
On Thursday, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association joined together to pledge an immediate donation of $200,000 toward relief efforts for tornado victims affected by recent storms in the Midwest and Southeast.
"I wish I could go down there and use my hands to help people rebuild, but I'm not able to," Robertson said. "I'm going to do everything I can on the other end so I can raise money and get supplies to the people down there."