Bob Wagner
Mar. 27, 1932 - Oct. 17, 2001

Bob Wagner was a man who enjoyed the game of baseball whether he was watching or playing. He studied the game of baseball and was fascinated by the game within the game. As a player, Bob made an impact at every level in which he participated. He first was recognized at Van Nuys High School where he played 2nd base and pitched. After graduation, in 1949, he was invited by a major league affiliate for a try out but decided to serve his country and joined the US Army. Even with his tour of duty in the Army, Bob found a way to play baseball as he was on a team for enlisted men.

After his military duty, Bob played semi-pro baseball in southern California and began to develop a career as a land surveyor. In the early 1950's, baseball became secondary as Bob married and started a family. As his survey career grew, Bob volunteered for survey assignments to different locations throughout the United States including the US territory of Hawaii from 1957 until 1966 during which Hawaii became the 50th state. While in Hawaii, Bob began to play fastpitch softball as baseball was not a prevalent sport.

Bob Wagner
Above: Bob Wagner at age 7. Bat boy for a local team.
In late 1966, Bob was transferred back to the mainland, eventually to the Chicago area, where he continued to play fastpitch softball and became a die-hard Cubs fan. In 1970, Bob formed his own surveying company, Deni Associates, in Wheaton, IL with his brother and three others. In 1973, Deni Associates expanded their business by acquiring a small surveying and engineering firm in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In 1981, another branch of Deni Associates formed and was located in Ft. Myers, FL. While heavily involved with running these companies, playing baseball took a backseat but his love of the game and Cubs did not diminish.
Bob Wagner
Left: Bob Wagner pitching at the Red Sox Fantasy Camp.
By 1985, Deni Associates in Ft. Myers was Bob's main business responsibility which allowed for more free time and of course baseball came back to the forefront. In
January of '85 Bob attended a week long Cubs Fantasy Camp in AZ and in July a Cubs mini-camp at Wrigley Field both run by former Cub Randy Hundley. In the years to follow the baseball bug really bit Bob and baseball became a priority. In the late '80's and early 90's, Bob began playing in the Roy Hobbs World Series originally held in Orlando, FL. Inspired by this fresh new concept of adult baseball, Bob and other local Ft. Myers players formed a Roy Hobbs team and by the summer of 1992 Ft. Myers had it's own Roy Hobbs League. Eventually, with Bob's influence, the Roy Hobbs World Series was moved to Ft. Myers in November of 1993. As Bob became more involved with adult baseball, his connections in the game grew. One of those connections was "Dirty" Al Gallagher (SF Giants '70-'73). In May of '96 and '97, "Dirty" Al asked Bob to be the spring training pitching coach for the Bend Bandits of Oregon in the independent Western League.
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Southwest Florida Spring Fling
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