SPRINGBORO, Ohio – Donating blood and umpiring youth baseball have something in common for Springboro donor Richard Hobe. He always feels good about making the right call. His latest call was a milestone, as Richard notched his 100th lifetime blood donation on April 25 with a routine visit to the Covenant Presbyterian Church blood drive.
Richard never misses a Covenant Presbyterian blood drive, and made six donations there last year. But he did get a little nervous about donation number 100.
“It wasn’t until my last appointment that I looked and realized it would be the next time I come in,” he said. “’Hey don’t forget!’ I said. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a chance. It takes me five minutes to get here. I always feel good when I’m done.”
With his 100th donation underway, Richard could relax and recall his first donation. “It was probably in the 70’s when I started working for JCPenny,” he said. “They encouraged us to donate. I was a Boy Scout and always tried to be involved in community affairs and helping people.”
Richard and his wife Teresa have been married 34 years and have three children. They’re youngest daughter is a police officer in Baltimore. They came to the Miami Valley so he could manage a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store.
He worked in other businesses before retiring eight years ago, but his true love is sports. “I grew up in northeastern Ohio and have always been an Indians, Browns and Cavaliers fan,” he said.
His favorite sport is baseball. “I’ve been playing ball since I was seven or eight,” he said. He continues to play senior softball and he started umpiring three years ago.
He umpires high school games down to select teams of nine-year olds. “I can only get so far down,” the 71-year-old said about crouching behind the young catchers. He also has to have a tough skin when dealing with the coaches.
“The best umpires in the world are 90 feet away, and they think everything I call is wrong.”
But the best call Richard ever makes is when he shows up to donate.
“I’ve never needed blood but others do, and that’s why I do it,” he said. “It’s nice to get a phone call telling you your blood was used at such and such a place to help save a life. That’s why I do it.”