Yucaipa News Mirror

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Fastpitch connections lead to three good careers

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

otto.bob.9webThrough two chance meetings threaded to fastpitch softball, Bob Otto has enjoyed three careers in insurance, newspaper and freelance reporting, and photography.

YUCAIPA, CA – While out covering ball games I sometimes run into former insurance clients who ask, “How did you ever get into newspaper work?”

The better question would be, “how did someone like you ever get into the insurance business?”

It all started when I walked into the field house at Minnesota State University (then Mankato State) in 1973. In the far corner I spotted a left-hander windmilling a softball.

In the dead of winter – December – with the season five months away.

So I stopped to watch. I could tell he was pretty good. “Whap! The ball exploded into the catcher’s glove.

“Who do you pitch for?” I asked.

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Teams we know so little about

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – There once was a pretty good ball club called the Bombers that carried the Yucaipa name. The team played at the ISC level and did well. But the thing that puzzled me is this.

Why didn’t the Bombers play any home games? And why didn’t they turn in any news to the local newspaper, the Yucaipa News Mirror? Which I’m sure would have published the Bombers’ schedule, along with game and tournament results.

The end result?

Few knew about the Bombers. Few heard about the Bombers. And yet, the Bombers (which alternately listed its home base as either Yucaipa or Palm Springs) were successful – finishing second in the ISC World Tournament in 2007, sixth in 2008, and ninth in 2006.

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Road trippin’ with Harvey

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

YUCAIPA – The question went something like this: “Harvey, it’s Bob. I’ve got the day off and I’m heading to Huntington Beach for the Yucaipa playoff game. Wanna go along?”

I knew his answer before he uttered a word. And away we went 78 miles through stop and go traffic, and lots of nonstop talk – some important, some B.S., and some mixed with lots of good laughs.

About three-quarters the way there a spike of low blood sugar had me feeling a little light headed, so I handed the keys to Harvey and said “take us the rest of the way.”

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