Rob Owens: MSBL World Series Iron Man

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Rob Owens was cited in 2017 for his having attended every MSBL World Series since it’s inception, all 30 of them, as he continues playing for his Hollywood Stars team.  He was one of only eleven players to share that honor.  We called Rob to verify that the streak was still intact through 2019 and found that he was going strong with no plans on stopping anytime soon and looking forward to 2020.

“I continue to be happy to be able to play,” shared Rob.  “The body gets older and things happen but I want to keep the streak alive.  When I started playing baseball again, I was 36 and thinking how old the people were when they reached my age.  (68 now)

We had a league meeting via video this last Wednesday and we talked about the league starting and some of the changes. (hoping to begin mid-July in Los Angeles) My attitude is that OK, it is going to be a different game but it’s better than not playing at all.” 

We asked Rob if he was still associated with the Stars or if he has changed his stripes the past couple of years. 

“I have been associated with the Hollywood Stars since 1988.  We have kept a lot of the guys together over those years.  We have to bring in some players for the grind of the tournament but they are loyal.  I play all summer seasons with the Stars.”

Were there any close calls the last couple of years that almost affected the streak?  

“Last year it was a hiccup because after game three I got a phone call in the seventh inning from my daughter telling me there was a wildfire near the house.  I finished the game and then called home to find my wife had to evacuate so I headed home right away.  The house ended up OK after helicopters and planes dropped the fire retardant.  Eight to ten fire trucks stayed nearby to make sure of no flare ups.  That was a close call, on and off the field.”

The Stars are now a fixture in the 65-over division of the World Series.  Rob is a pitcher and shortstop in Arizona but sprinkles in some second base during the summer.  “Our summer league is a 40-over league so I leave the long throws from the hole to the younger guys.  Second base is just fine for me.”

With the virus affecting all of our lives right now, what is Rob doing to stay baseball-ready? “We haven’t been able to throw the ball around or have any workouts as a team but some of us are discussing at least playing some catch, maybe in someone’s back yard.  I do a lot of walking and swimming, though swimming is so lonely and can get boring, but t is one thing that really keeps you in shape.  I’ll be ready to go when the bell rings!”

Below is Rob’s original 30-year story published in 2017

Thirty-year player Rob Owens…2017

Rob Owens is a true star.  An MSBL Hollywood Star, that is.  The 65-year old Owens came to the first World Series as a member of the 35-over Hollywood Stars and decided to stick around for a while.  “We just kept moving up as we got older; the 50’s, 55’s and now the 60’s.  I’m sure we’ll be joining the 65’s in a couple of years.”

They finally struck gold in 2007, a year Rob remembers well.  “We were always the lovable losers but in 2007 everything came together.  We finally made it to the top of the heap!”

Rob was 36 in 1988 and his good friend and Stars manager, Ken Jaffe, talked him into coming to Arizona for the ‘new baseball tournament.’  “Ken Jaffe deserves all of the credit for my playing with the Stars for so long,” said Owens.  “Not only for bringing us all along on this journey but it is through his efforts because he puts it all together.  Ken collects money, compiles waivers, etc. and Rob is also the field manager now and then.  Five years ago, he started managing along with Dale St. John, who has only missed one year of the 30.”  

Rob plays his league ball in the Los Angeles MSBL but doesn’t wander too far astray playing in other tournaments during the year.  “I play in the league and then go to the World Series.  That’s plenty for me.”  Rob, a shortstop, second baseman and pitcher, has also had his brush with greatness while in Arizona. 

Streak still intact…“Fifteen years ago we were playing against a team out of Houston,” said Rob.  “I was the starting pitcher and the other pitcher was JR Richard.  Someone took a picture of us together in the bullpen and then we beat them!  That was quite a memory.”

“I want to thank Steve Sigler because MSBL has honestly and integrity and has truly been a big part of my life.  Without MSBL I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to keep going.  In my 30’s I had no idea.  Thanks, Steve, for having the vision.”