A Well-deserved Honor For Robbs

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - April 28, 2010
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Don Robbs has always been one of my favorite baseball announcers.

Based on his longevity doing University of Hawaii Rainbow games - 34 years and counting - my guess he’s one of your favorites, too.

This past week I was proud to be in attendance when Robbs was presented with the Honolulu Quarterback Club’s new Les Keiter Award for excellence in sports broadcasting. Robbs was sincerely humbled by the honor and spent most of his acceptance speech talking about his admiration for Keiter, the late, great announcer who passed away this past year.

“He was one of my all-time favorites,” Robbs says in his comforting and melodious voice, “dating back to when we did Islanders baseball together. We did all of the home games live, and about half the road games by recreating them in the KGU studios.”

With so many memories in the last four decades, I wondered about some of Robbs’ other favorites - both on and off the field.

Favorite moment in UH baseball history: Winning regional final in Austin, Texas, in front of 10,000 Texas fans to earn a trip to the 1980 College World Series. “That was the biggest win in UH history,” Robbs says.

Favorite Rainbow baseball player: Mario Monaco. “Notice I didn’t hesitate at all,” he says.

Favorite Rainbow Warrior(s) other than baseball: Fabulous Five.

Favorite all-time baseball announcer: Mel Allen.

Favorite team: San Francisco Giants. “I grew up with two of their farm teams in Minnesota (when the Giants were in New York), the Minneapolis Millers and St. Cloud Rox,” he says.

Favorite all-time local newscaster: Bob Sevey. “A former competitor who became a great friend.”

Favorite local entertainer: Jimmy Borges.

Favorite movie of all time (Robbs is a big movie fan): Lawrence of Arabia.

Favorite actor or actress of all time: Spencer Tracy.

Favorite television series of all time: Seinfeld.

Favorite place to go for a walk (Robbs takes a daily morning walk): Magic Island.

Favorite place in Hawaiian islands: Hanalei.

Favorite place to hang out and talk sports: Crusader Lounge at Saint Louis Clubhouse.

Least favorite team: Not surprising for a Giants fan, the Los Angeles Dodgers!

Most irritating sports figure: Bud Selig.

Worst or saddest moment in UH sports history: “The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team ranked No. 1 in the nation up two sets to none in regional finals against Michigan State then losing three straight games, so they couldn’t go to Final Four. Stan Sheriff Center went deathly quiet - it was absolutely crushing,” he recalls. “Runner-up moment: the Sugar Bowl.”

Worst or saddest moment in UH baseball history: “Losing the national championship by losing two final games to Arizona at the College World Series. We came so close and we haven’t been back,” he says.

Favorite college baseball stadium to do play-by-play: Fresno State. “They have great fans, and they’re feisty. It used to be San Diego State when they were in the WAC.”

Least favorite place: “Provo, Utah,” he says, laughing.

Dream announcer job: The Giants!

Dream college job if he couldn’t do the Rainbows: “I can’t imagine being anywhere else. When I say I’m blessed, I really mean it!”

Favorite people: “My family.”

Best way to be remembered when he eventually retires (which hopefully won’t be for a long time): “For my work with nonprofits, especially Easter Seals. I’m lucky to have worked with a lot of great people doing things for good causes, and I’m especially lucky to have an avocation like broadcasting Rainbow baseball for so many years.”

Hawaii continues to be lucky to have the great voice of Don Robbs. Congratulations, Don, on a well-deserved honor!

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