Bob Peterson

Bob Peterson grew up in Calumet Park and attended Eisenhower High School where he played baseball, and football. He also played football at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He played softball for the Hot Dogs at parks on Chicago’s Southwest side and in Oak Park. He began his umpiring career in 1983 when he attended the USSSA Umpires Clinic run by Les Duncan. He spent his first years officiating the Women’s A League at Peaks Park in Worth. He then moved to umpiring the Men’s Class A Leagues at Bedford Park and at Blue Island. In 1987 he moved to Clyde Park where he gained experience and was offered the opportunity to umpire the ASA Nationals at Mt. Prospect. From 1987 to 2000, he umpired the ASA Nationals nine times and officiated at the finals nine times – five times in Mt. Prospect, once at Blue Island, once at Indianapolis, and twice at Joliet. Besides the ASA Nationals, Peterson also umpired in the Classic “Pro” League, at several Grant Park Classic tournaments, and in various metro and state tournaments. He finished his career at Blue Island in the Men’s A Division. Bob credits Joe Hoffman and fellow Hall of Famers Tom O’Neill, Bud Luchetti, Terry Reilly, and Rusty Carlson for their support and expertise. Besides 16-inch softball, Bob was also involved in creating a fast pitch softball organization through Oak Lawn Baseball. As its past president, he organized ICE Fast Pitch Softball for girls aged 12- 14 in the Oak Lawn and Hometown areas. It started out fielding three teams and now fields seven teams. During this time, Bob also started umpiring high school games for the IHSA and for colleges, a practice he continues today. Bud Luchetti was especially important to Peterson, growth beyond softball. He had the opportunity to coach youth football with Luchetti for the Calumet Park Rams, one of the best football organization in the South suburbs. These teams traveled out of state for 20 years at Thanksgiving to tournaments in Kentucky, Hawaii, Kansas, and California. Bob and his wife of 33 years, Joanne, live in Oak Lawn, Illinois. They have two children, Daniel and Debra.