"This is obviously a huge day for me, speaking personally ... It's come full circle," Roberts, 43, said at a news conference. "We got a lot of work to do, but I couldn't be more excited."
Roberts' hiring was announced last week. He has spent the past five years as a San Diego Padres coach, but he has no previous major league managerial experience.
Andrew Friedman, Dodger president of baseball operations, called Roberts a "baseball man" and a "people person" who will help the team achieve its "ultimate goal -- bringing a world championship back to the city of Los Angeles."
"Consistently throughout (the search), we found ourselves really impressed by Dave: His positive energy, his ability to connect with people, and his leadership style," Friedman said.
As a player, Roberts was acquired by the Dodgers in December 2001, and he played for the team for 2 1/2 years. But he is perhaps best known for a stolen base while playing for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 American League
Championship Series. The steal sparked a historic comeback for the Red Sox against the New York Yankees and led to the franchise's first World Series championship in 86 years.
Roberts, who has a black father and Japanese mother, is the first minority to serve as the Dodgers' manager, and he will be one of only three minorities to manage in the major leagues.
Don Mattingly parted ways with the team at the end of this season. He has been hired as manager of the Miami Marlins.
City News Service contributed to this report.