Detroit MSBL Veteran Bob Hoffman Walks His German Shepherd ‘Ruger’ to Stay In Baseball Shape

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Bob Hoffman is a 55-year old veteran of the Michigan MSBL living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  As Michigan braces for the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic we were able to catch up with Bob and ask him how he is coping, both on and off the field, and what he is doing to remain a part of our great game of baseball.  Bob’s insightful Q & A is posted below:

What age division do you play in?

When I first joined the Detroit MSBL in 1994, we had only one age division – 30+.  Because the league has grown and expanded rapidly over the years, I am currently fortunate enough to play in three different age divisions — 32+, 42+ and 52+.  I manage a team in the 32+ age division.

How long have you played in the Detroit MSBL?

I have played in the Detroit MSBL since 1994.  This season will be my 27th summer playing in the league.  I’ve enjoyed every minute and have forged close relationships with a number of super individuals.

What is your biggest takeaway from our current coronavirus outbreak?

My biggest takeaways from the current situation are:

  1. How interconnected and dependent upon each other we ALL are, no matter where we live across the globe, and no matter our age, gender, race, religion, socioeconomic standing, etc.  We are at a time in history where each person’s health is literally dependent upon everyone that we come into contact with, and also everyone that they have come into contact with as well.  And that worldwide interdependence is true not just from a health perspective, but also from an economic perspective.
  2. The importance of family and friends, and the power of simplicity in how we spend our time with each other.  I’ve been reminded how enjoyable it can be for the entire family to simply be present with each other, enjoying meals together, playing board games, doing puzzles, etc.

What are you doing to stay engaged with baseball?

It has been very difficult to stay actively engaged with baseball since mid-March.  The onslaught of the virus has shut down the multi-team indoor workouts that we’ve had running on weekends since the beginning of 2020, and the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive has made it very difficult to get together with teammates.  That said, I’ve been making it a point to reach out to teammates and other close friends from the league regularly to check-in with them, see how they are holding up, and to try to bring a bit of levity to the situation. 

It’s been very easy to feel disconnected and isolated, but my brothers in the league have been doing a great job of using technology and social media to stay connected.  It also has been fun to watch some of the classic games from years gone by that are being replayed on ESPN and other stations. 

Are you still able to workout regularly during this period?

My offseason workouts tend to be focused on our baseball practices at an indoor facility on the weekends, and playing competitive volleyball and wallyball two nights per week.  Unfortunately, since the virus hit our state hard in mid-March, all of those activities have been shut down and my “workouts” tend to be limited to daily bike rides with my daughter Emma and the occasional walk with our German Shepherd “Ruger”.

What special activities are you and/or your family able to participate in?

I’m assuming that you mean currently, during the COVID-19 crisis.  Given the current “shelter in place” order, most businesses are closed and most events are either postponed or canceled.  Because of that, our family has been rediscovering the joys of slowing down and doing things like having regular meals together, playing board games, doing puzzles, and discovering new movies and shows together.

Will you be participating in any national fall tournaments this year?

I belong to a group that has played in the past dozen or so MSBL Las Vegas Open tourneys every May and also in the past 7-8 World Series tourneys in Arizona in Oct/Nov.  Unfortunately, that team seems to have imploded this off-season.  That said, I’ll most likely find a way to play in the World Series again this fall.

Any personal comments?

This is a very scary time that we’re going through at the moment … from both a health perspective and an economic perspective.  I’d like to wish continued good health and safety to everyone and their families.  I hope that we return to a sense of normalcy soon, and that includes all of us being out on the field, competing and enjoying each other’s company and the game that we love.