Column: Reinhart and Roiger duo continue NUBA work after 40 years
Back in late 1979, Bob Reinhart was elected to the New Ulm Baseball Association Board of Directors.
Two years earlier, Jess Roiger was elected to the same NUBA Board of Directors.
Now, 40 years later, both Reinhart and Roiger are sill on the NUBA.
“I got on the board in late 1979, so my first year was 1980,” Reinhart said. “And in my first year, I did whatever needed to be done. Bud Richter was doing the announcing back then along with Don Lowinski. Then Bud decided he wanted to go down to the ticket booth. Don was looking for someone to take over for Bud so I started helping him with that, so I was basically upstairs after my first year on the board.”
Roiger began his stint on the board in 1977 after talking with John “Hans” Richter.
“He knew that I always came down to watch baseball and one day he asked me if I wanted to be on the board,” Roiger recalled. “I asked him what I would have to do and he smiled and said nothing much — just work the concession stand a couple of days.”
Roiger said that that progressed into working the scoreboard in 1981.
Previous to 1981, the scoreboard was also ran by the announcer.
“We got the new scoreboard at Johnson and someone asked me if I wanted to run that,” Roiger said. “I was not really sure I wanted to run it. I did not know what had to be done. But once I got trained in on it, I got to the point to where I was relaxed enough that I really wanted to do it. I knew that I could pay attention to the game.”
Reinhart said that when he moved his baseball residence upstairs to do annoucing, he enjoyed it.
“You are on top of the game — you know what is going on.”
When Roiger moved up to the press box to run the scoreboard and sit next to Reinhart, it worked out.
“Jess never takes anything too seriously,” Reinhart said. “We joke around — he can take a punch and he will give one back.”
Roiger added that although he and Reinhart didn’t know each other too well to start, they became good friends.
“We did not know each other that well,” Roiger said when he first met Reinhart. “But it just kind of meshed together. He did what he did and I did what I did and we became close friends.”
Almost 40 years later, Roiger and Reinhart are still teamed up for most Brewers and legion games at both Johnson and Mueller Parks.
“I did not think that I would be doing the scoreboard for over 40 years,” Roiger said. “When I started, it was a few games here and there.”
But like baseball players, the time will come when both Reinhart and Roiger have to step aside, and both know it will be hard.
“When I do that it will be cold turkey — I am done and will never return to the press box,” Reinhart said.
Roiger also thinks that when the time comes when he gets off of the scoreboard, it will be tough.
“It will be tough, but at the same time I will have realized that I did what I could for amateur baseball and I will be a happy guy.”
They say that in baseball, records are made to be broken. But the numbers that Roiger and Reinhart have set may never be broken.
82 years combined on the NUBA.
Roiger is just completing his 42nd year on the NUBA — the longest of anyone and perhaps the longest running term in Minnesota for a baseball board member.
If using Roiger’s 42 years and using an average of 50 games a year ( perhaps low) that he has run the scoreboard, that comes to 2,100 games.
And that number keeps climbing as both Reinhart and Roiger keep going strong.
BIG NIGHT AT MUELLER PARK: If you were at Mueller Park Wednesday night for the Brewers-Stark game, you saw the biggest — and hungriest — crowd ever at Mueller.
According to LeRoy Flor, the Concession Chairman for the NUBA, over 400 cheesbugers alone were sold, with lines at the concession stand 10-15 feet long all night.
And thanks go out to Dane’s Dutchman Band, who provided music and the New Ulm Narren.
Fans in attendance and Fox 9 were very impressed.
Big thank you to all of the NUBA Board members who worked hard along with Rick Traulich, Clubby Hoffmann and his wife, Shelly, Flor and his wife, Linda, and Paul Berg. It was an impressive job that got nothing but positive comments all night.