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NSA Hall of Fame: Bob Hildenbrand (2005)

CATEGORY: Meritorious


Bob Hildenbrand began his career in baseball/softball in 1957 when he played with the New York Giants as a 2nd Baseman.  After his baseball career, Bob continued to play Fast Pitch Softball in Louisville, Kentucky until 1969.  In 1974 Bob coached and managed the Kentucky Bourbons, a professional slow-pitch team, out of the APSPL league with Whitey Ford as the Commissioner of the league.  In 1975, Bob joined Dudley Sports and was VP of Softball Sales.

In 1983, Bob was contacted by Hugh Cantrell about a possible ball sponsorship for NSA.  A friendship ensued from that first phone call and Bob has been instrumental in many NSA projects ever since.  Bob was the first to put a NSA logo on a softball.  Bob came up with the idea and helped NSA push its black stitch softball to the forefront.  Now the black stitch softball is synonymous with NSA and is NSA’s identity in the softball world.  Bob was a silent but driving force in NSA’s ball standards that we have adopted over the years.  When NSA would consider a change, NSA would contact Bob for his thoughts.  Bob would always answer honestly and his answers were always with the game in mind, not personal gain.   It was that honesty, along with his genuine love for the game that has made Bob Hildenbrand one of the most respected men in the world of softball.  Bob retired from Dudley in 1997 after years of faithful service to the players and the game of softball.  But retirement didn’t sit well with Bob so in 1999 Bob was hired by Decker Baseball Company to promote their softball division.  Bob continues today as the VP of Softball Sales. 

Bob Hildenbrand is more than a friend to the NSA, he’s family.  He is and has been a business partner and one that is held with high regard and genuine respect.  Bob is married to Doris June and they have 6 children. 

In November 2005, Bob Hildenbrand was the 8th Meritorious Category inductee into the NSA Hall of Fame.