MSBL Veteran and 29-year World Series competitor Bob Sherwin was recently the subject of an article in his local paper, The Acorn, Agoura Hills, California
Bob Sherwin grew up playing baseball.
He got married, became a partner at a law firm (no one can resist a Bob Loblaw “Arrested Development” joke here), raised children and had grandchildren.
By the way, he’s still playing baseball.
Cal Ripken Jr., who played 2,632 consecutive major league games, is not.
Sherwin, 72, is a player and manager for the LA Athletics and Westlake Bandits adult baseball teams. The Westlake man’s squads have captured 28 world series championships in various age brackets since joining the Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL) circuit in 1991.
“I love the game. I’ve loved it since I was a kid,” Sherwin said.
Sixty-five thousand adults are registered in the MSBL. Sherwin happens to be one of the most successful figures in the league—he was inducted into the league’s hall of fame in 2019. He earned a spot in the league’s world series hall 15 years earlier.
A boyhood hobby has become a lifetime passion for Sherwin.
“If somebody had ever told me 40 years ago that I’d be playing hardball at the age 72, I’d say you have a screw loose,” he said.
Sherwin was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He lived in Van Nuys before moving to Woodland Hills in 1958, where he attended Taft High.
He played two years of baseball at San Fernando Valley State College, now Cal State Northridge.
Sherwin and his wife, Jeanne, raised two children together: Rob, a law professor at Texas Tech, who played baseball at Oak Park and Agoura high schools; and Tara, a former alumni director at American University with a master’s degree in college administration who grew up playing Westlake Agoura Girls Softball. Tara, who recently opened her own dance studio, lives in North Potomac, Md.
Bob Sherwin, who coached several of his children’s youth teams, is a former president of Agoura Pony Baseball. He spent five years on the league’s board.
Sherwin still feels like a kid on the diamond, even if his body doesn’t always cooperate.
“I still dive for ground balls when I probably shouldn’t,” he said.
He seriously banged up his right shoulder in 2013 diving into first base during a championship game. He’s had two surgeries on his right shoulder, and he needed to repair his hamstring in 2016.
Sherwin has played adult baseball with approximately 1,000 people, he estimated.
Paul McPherson, 70, of Redondo Beach patrols the hot corner for the Athletics and the Bandits. He’s played with Sherwin for 15 years. Sherwin, he said, is the driving force behind the teams.
“Even though you’re talking about old guys, there’s still these incredible egos. Everybody truly believes they’re the best. Bob will carry 30 guys on a team but nine guys play. To manage that, we all recognize how difficult that is,” McPherson said. “Without him, it just doesn’t’ happen.
“This sounds hokey, but the quality of our lives has been significantly enhanced by his presence and diligence. Who would do this? Who would want to deal with 30 guys? Nobody’s happy all the time. He organizes it. He keeps it together.”
Mike Thatcher roams center field for the Athletics. He’s known Sherwin for almost a quarter century. The 67-year-old Huntington Beach man started playing against Sherwin in a father son division. Thatcher joined the Athletics about 18 years ago.
“It’s been very rewarding,” he said. “We’re playing a kids’ game. Every time we’re together and talk amongst each other, we always say how fortunate we are to be on a baseball field at our age.”
Thatcher said Sherwin is competitive and gracious.
“There’s no one who wants to win more than he does,” Thatcher said. “He is the most unselfish person I know. He would do anything for anybody on this team. . . . He’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever been around.”
Sherwin, a managing partner at Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP, reached the semifinals with a separate team in Minnesota in October; he also played with his crew in Arizona. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has ground baseball to a halt in Southern California.
Sherwin, who exercises every day, isn’t ready to hang up the spikes yet. He’d like to play until he’s 75, maybe longer.
“I still get excited about it,” he said. “When I play in a world series and step on the field in a championship game, I still get butterflies.”