Bob Wilber grew up aspiring to follow in his father’s baseball footsteps, and while he was able to secure a full college scholarship and later spend parts of six years in professional ball, as a player, coach, and scout, his mother’s writing, communications, and public relations skills were what eventually defined his career. After a successful and adventurous sports-marketing trek through the sports-apparel business, agency work, and professional indoor soccer, he saw his first drag race as he closed in on his 40th birthday. Little did he know that he’d go on to spend 20 consecutive years as a team manager and PR representative for Del Worsham and then Tim Wilkerson, two of the most popular Funny Car drivers on the NHRA tour. At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Bob ended his drag racing run in order to take on an important personal assignment. Over the course of 2016 he wrote his autobiography, entitled “Bats, Balls, & Burnouts” and submitted it to the publisher in early February. It was released in late May, 2017 and is available on Amazon.com and other major online book retailers, in both printed and digital formats.

Time To Transition
Nov 11, 2015   //   by bwilber

It would not be inappropriate for there to be a yellow sign on this blog, with the wording “Under Construction” upon it. I’ve been writing “Bob On Baseball” here for more than four and a half years, while simultaneously also writing a completely different blog over at NHRA.com, and in 2016 I’ll be stepping away from drag racing in order to write a book. That’s a lot of writing, and something had to give, so here’s the plan:

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Q & A with Jay Dufty
Jun 23, 2013   //   by rhireynolds

TPGF: Jay – could you tell us a bit about where you grew up/went to school and got started in the golf business? I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. My father was an avid golfer, and like many people in North Dakota, we were forced to play as much golf as possible in our short window of summer.  Fargo has produced a lot of talented players and I was fortunate to grow up with friends that went on to play college golf.  I began working at Moorhead Country Club in high school under PGA Professional Larry Murphy.  Larry was a great mentor and peaked my interest about making golf my career.  I attended New Mexico State University and enrolled in their Professional Golf Management Program.  It’s been a fun journey traveling the country and meeting great people.  I have now worked for the PGA Tour and the TPC Network for 15 years. TPGF: As the Head Golf Professional at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm how do you spend a typical day? No day is typical.  The neat part of this job is variety of what my days brings.  The consistent part of my day is managing staff and executing our strategic plan for the next day/week/month.  I have become more involved in my PGA Section and with The First Tee of Montgomery County so my time management has become heightened so I don’t miss a beat with my members and staff. TPGF: What is the most rewarding part of your job? The relationships I have developed with staff, members, and people within the golf industry.  My passion is developing staff and it is great to watch people that have been a part of your team become successful. TPGF: You are a Board Member of The First Tee – tell […]

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In Memory of Stan…
Jan 23, 2013   //   by bwilber

Rest in peace, Stan Musial. Simple words, and ones we get the unfortunate chance to use more and more often as we too age, but even in their simple beauty the words cannot express the feelings.

Part of St. Louis died on January 19, 2013. Part of the game of baseball left us as well. It’s easy to use hyperbole to overstate the memory and the place in history of nearly anyone who has recently passed, but it’s my heartfelt feeling that such overblown statements about Stan “The Man” do not exist. At his retirement, after 22 years with the Cardinals, baseball commissioner Ford Frick described No. 6 as “Baseball’s perfect warrior. Baseball’s perfect knight.” Say that about anyone else and people will roll their eyes.

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Jim Rantz: Remembering Big Del Wilber
Feb 3, 2012   //   by bwilber

Jim Rantz is a “baseball lifer” who knows a thing or two about talent, personalities, and wisdom. A former minor league pitcher, who joined the Minnesota Twins organization when they were still the original Washington Senators, Jim moved into the front office in 1966 and he has never left the organization he loves. He is now the Twins’ Senior Director of Minor Leagues, and has been since 1986. In 2007, Jim was inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.

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Reconnecting With Ken Holtzman
Jan 25, 2012   //   by bwilber

Ken Holtzman pitched in the big leagues for 14 years, winning 174 games on the strength of a sterling career ERA of 3.49, while striking out 1,601 batters while hurling for the Cubs, A’s, Yankees and Orioles. Born and raised in St. Louis, Ken and my oldest brother Del Jr. were on the same path throughout their developmental years, as they matriculated through the local amateur baseball scene.

Recently, thanks to TPGF, Del Jr. and Ken were able to make contact again, catching up on many of the memories they will forever cherish and never forget.

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