Like the job he had as a longtime baseball umpire, Bob Albrecht plans to take a few moments Saturday and go over the ground rules of his life as he accepts his award as a member of the ninth annual Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame.
For starters, he will tell the audience at the Foley Cultural Center that he is not from Vallejo and that he is not from California.
His acceptance speech will begin like this:
“Do you mind if I take a minute or two and give you a little rundown on where I came from and what happened? Anytime you get bored, raise you hand and I’ll quit.
“I’m just a farm kid from Illinois.”
Albrecht, 82, will be honored for special achievement at the 2012 Hall of Fame ceremony, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction. A dinner and the induction ceremony follows at 6 p.m.
The Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame will induct seven individuals and others. Gary Coronado, Ed Sowash, Ricky Lee Campo, Harold Steinback, James LeDoux, Joel Hall and Hank McGraw are the individual inductees.
Coke Morrison (coach), Albrecht and the 1987 St. Vincent’s football team are the other inductees.
Albrecht, a Napa resident for 22 years, taught and coached at Hogan High School and was also the dean of boys at Vallejo High. He coached four Hogan cross country teams to North Bay League titles.
“I can honestly say that there wasn’t a day that I didn’t enjoy going to work in Vallejo,” he said Wednesday from his home in the Lake Wildwood development of Nevada County. “I loved that job at Hogan. I got in there from the beginning. We had a great faculty.”
Albrecht was Vintage High’s dean for 41⁄2 years and a former Crushers’ football trainer. He taught at Redwood Middle School and was St. Helena High’s interim principal for six months.
He retired in 1991 after a 39-year career in education.
“I’ve always had a job,” Albrecht said. “I enjoyed going to work at Hogan. We had a lot of esprit de corps.”
The Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame is honoring Albrecht — a University of Illinois graduate (physical education) who received his masters from Wisconsin (P.E.) — for his work as a baseball umpire and as a football and basketball official.
He has worked high school, community college, major college and minor league baseball. He has also been an official for high school and community college football and worked as a basketball referee.
“I paid my dues,” he said of his days in football. “I started out as a head linesman. I went on to be a field judge and then I umpired for a long time.”
Albrecht, a former Vallejo resident, was a referee in football. He is very proud of his work in baseball, as he umpired 28 consecutive UC Berkeley-Stanford Big Games during a seven-year period. He was also an umpire in the Class A Northwest League, a short-season league, in 1970 and 1971, serving as the umpire-in-chief the second year.
The first Division I college game he did was in 1964, with Cal facing Saint Mary’s College. His umpiring career began in 1961.
In the NWL, he umpired 80 games in 70 days.
He umpired games involving the Humboldt Crabs, an American Baseball Congress affiliate, in Eureka during the summer, as he attended Humboldt State from 1964-66 on a national science grant for advanced biology studies.
He retired from umpiring major college games in 1973. In 1994, he added softball and umpired until his retirement in 1999.
“I’m still kind of numb,” he said of the Hall of Fame honor. “The big thing is, I wasn’t born (in Vallejo) and I didn’t go to school there. All those guys are all born in Vallejo and all went to Vallejo schools.”
He was the supervisor for the North Bay Umpires Association.
Albrecht and his wife, Mary, have been married for 60 years. They left Napa in 2000. They have two daughters (Louise, Cathy) and four sons (Ted, Andy, John, Bobby). Ted Albrecht, who played football at UC Berkeley and the Chicago Bears (1977-1981), was enshrined in the Vallejo Sports HOF in 2004.
Albrecht, who is from Dolton, Ill., worked three state American Legion championships as the crew chief and was also crew chief for two Joe DiMaggio Baseball League state title games at the Veterans Home of California’s Cleve Borman Field in Yountville.
“I am excited,” he said. “I’m on the sixth revision of my speech. I’m going to rewrite it. I think I’m going to type it out on my computer and put it all in capital letters and just highlight it line by line. I’ve got some stories that I’m going to say.”
Tickets are $40 per person. RSVP by mailing a check to Greater Vallejo Recreation District, 395 Amador St., Vallejo, CA 94590, in person or by registering at www.gvrd.org
All proceeds benefit GVRD youth sports.