Bob Barrows umpires baseball at the age of 79

LEWISTON, ID - As the summer season dwindles away, softball and baseball players are packing up their cleats and bats for the year.

But as KLEW News learns, the end of the season doesn't stop one man from loving baseball all year long.

At a ripe 79-years of age, you'd think Umpire Bob Barrows would be comfortable sitting on the bench.

"Good pitch," said Barrows.

He's been umpiring for 51 straight years. Longer than most of these softball players have been alive. Yet he's not a step behind anyone on this field evening. And doesn't plan to be for quite sometime.

"My body'll tell me when it's time to go," said Barrows. "Not my age."

Quick on his feet, Barrows is present on the field with the players. But it's the history of the game that keeps him playing each year. He umpired a game with a man who'd go on to becoming the first African American umpire in the majors.

"So I show up there and here's Emmett Ashford and he told me he's getting excited because he's going to the Major Leagues that year," said Barrows.

Locally he called games for Washington State University and LCSC. Working with talented coaches like Bobo Brayton and Ed Cheff at the college level.

"Two of the best coaches in the business I mean they knew how to motivate players," said Barrows. "They knew how to teach them the fundamentals."

As the years have gone on he's moved to games with a bigger ball and shorter baselines. But his gusto never falters. And neither will his love for the game.

A fun fact that Barrows shared with me....he started umpiring to get the inside scoop as a sportswriter. He said you can see his columns in the Lewiston Tribune from time to time.