University at Buffalo Athlete, Baseball Scout, Sports Official
For many student-athletes, involvement in a chosen sport occupies only a few years, after which, real life and family responsibilities beckon. Bob Miske proved the exception to the rule, an athlete who excelled in college and parlayed that experience into a lifetime’s work, not in one sport but in two.
Bob made a lasting mark at UB, as captain of the Bulls’ baseball team and as a standout guard for the basketball squad. He was the latter’s most valuable player in 1960 and 1961, and also received recognition as an Eastern College Athletic Conference Athlete-Scholar in 1961 and was All-East in basketball the same year. The UB Dom Grassi Athlete of the Year in 1961, Bob was elected to the school’s Hall of Fame in 1984.
In 1964, Miske set out on two career paths – one as a baseball scout and another as a basketball referee. The national pastime took him to Los Angeles, where he served as a scout in the Dodger organization for nearly 30 years. In an organization that prides itself on consistency and professionalism, Miske toiled behind the scenes in helping produce the players that kept the Dodgers near the top for years. Bob’s memories of his Dodger days are fond, as they include not only two World Series rings (1981 and 1988) and three National League Championship rings (1974, 1977, and 1978), but the comfort and security (and often perks) of working for a class organization. His next employer, the New York Yankees, while offering a contrast in style, provided the opportunity for an additional World Series ring in 1998. Bob’s advance scouting of the New York Mets proved invaluable to the Yanks five-game triumph in 2000. The culmination of Miske’s scouting career was his induction into the Mid-Atlantic Scouts Hall of Fame at Camden Yards, and the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame.
Basketball provided similar thrills and honors. An outstanding collegiate basketball referee for 35 years, Bob also served on the Board of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials as President, Vice-President, and Executive Secretary. He is a member of the Western New York Basketball Officials Hall of Fame, and the National IAABO Hall of Fame in Springfield. Bob is still active as an evaluator of basketball officials for the Mid-America Conference; as New York State Basketball Official of the Year for 1989, he brings high qualifications to the post.
Bob’s career has necessitated frequent travel, so tonight’s ceremony should be gratifying as he settles down at home in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.