Softball Player Profile: Bob Reed

Bob Reed

Larry Wolfe

Wisconsin native Bob Reed says that baseball and softball have been “the theme of his life.” Bob started playing organized ball as a seven-year-old and has never stopped. That’s about 60 years! And he’s not close to being done yet! Bob graduated from Greendale High where he played third base for the Panthers. He then went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before transferring to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) where he played for the Raiders baseball team. As a young man, he also played in county baseball leagues before transitioning to softball.

Some kids nowadays take a “gap year” between high school and college or between college and the real world. Well, Bob took a “gap day”! He graduated from MSOE with a degree in industrial management on a Saturday and began work at Lakeside Bridge & Steel Co. on the following Monday! Two years later, he joined Delco Electronics for what would be a 29-plus-year career. Delco was an electronics design and manufacturing subsidiary of General Motors. Over the years, Bob held progressive positions in manufacturing management, at times being responsible for as many as 160 employees. During his tenure, Bob worked on many interesting projects, including the Apollo Program and the Titan Missiles Program. He also spent eight years in Labor Relations, dealing with contract negotiations with the UAW. Bob’s game plan was to work 30 years, allowing him full retirement pay and benefits at age 55. But after 29.5 years of service, Delco filed for bankruptcy. What a bummer! So, Bob spent another 5+ years working for GE Healthcare, then Vesta Healthcare.

After retiring at age 61, Bob and his wife Nora stayed full time in Wisconsin for a couple of years before becoming Sun Lakes snowbirds. They still go back to their Muskego, Wisc., home every summer. Nora and Bob have been married since 1986 and have a son in Madison, Wisc., and two daughters in Nashville. They’re also the proud grandparents of two young grandbabies.

Bob considers our Sun Lakes League his “spring training” for his Wisconsin Summer League. Remarkably, he plays on a team with seven guys who’ve been his teammates since little league. Those teammates are also the core of Bob and Nora’s Wisconsin social group, as they get together for various activities, such as playing cribbage, going on camping trips and golf outings, and attending each other’s birthday parties and family weddings. The group is pretty much “extended family.”

Bob started playing Sun Lakes softball in 2021. He’s a Top Ten hitter and an adept defensive player with good speed, usually manning left-center field in our Sun Division.

Nora and Bob both play golf and pickleball, and Bob works out at the Cottonwood Fitness Center frequently. They also socialize with three other Wisconsinite couples who live in Sun Lakes, two of whom were neighbors “back home.”

They plan to continue their “two-way lifestyle” for a while, enjoying the best of both worlds!