5 questions with … 10/21/07
Bob Albrecht is a former collegiate and semi-professional baseball umpire. He also was a football and basketball referee and umpired Pac-8 games for nine years before Arizona and Arizona State joined the now Pac-10. Albrecht also was an umpire for the Humboldt Crabs in Arcata. He’s nestled in Nevada County for the past seven years. Zuri Berry, The Union’s sports writer, caught up with Albrecht this week.
Describe the start of your career and life with sports?
I started football in Illinois in 1952, in the fall – by accident. Bought a pair of shoes from a salesman to play in a pickup football game. He then asked me if I was going to ref the game. He sold me a (referee) cap, a shirt and a pair of socks.
He set me up with a school 10 miles away from us. They had what they called a freshman team in Gibson City. They had lights and all these other schools didn’t. For three years I got nine games every year. (Gibson) didn’t want to play away from home and everybody wanted to play where the lights were.
I did everything … I started off as an umpire.
What’s you fondest memory?
No question about it. Amateur-wise, it was working in the Pac-8 for nine years, 1964 to 1972. I worked every Cal-Stanford game. That’s 36 Cal-Stanford games.
But also I also got a national science grant for a three summer program at Humboldt State in environmental biology and I took my umpire hat along.
I worked in the Redwood Umpire league and for the Humboldt Crabs.
What keeps you busy nowadays?
It seems like I’m always busy. I work out three days a week. In the fall, I work out Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. And then I play golf two days a week.
What’s been the biggest surprise of the MLB postseason?
Colorado Rockies. Unbelievable. They pushed the envelope so far. All the odds are against them. They’ve won 21 of 22. They beat ’em in a one game playoff, then they sweep the Diamondbacks. It’s like the Red Sox in 2004. The White Sox (in 2005), my team, and then they sweep ’em. Did you know the Rockies, they have the best fielding average in the history of major league baseball (.989)? You don’t get unearned runs against the Rockies.
I realize you’re also a partial Cleveland Indians fan. What would it mean to you if the Indians won the World Series?
It would be unbelievable because the 1948 team was managed by Lou Bodreau. He was friend of mine. We went to the same high school.
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