In his nearly 20 years of service to the USSSA, Bob Parvin umpired all over the country in NITs and World Tournaments and in every Illinois State Tournament. He averaged some 250 games a season and one year logged 523 games. On one occasion, Parvin umpired a dozen games in a row.
Recognized by umpires, players, managers and complex owners alike as the best umpire in the state, he was a commanding presence on the field. That last five years of his career, Parvin served as Illinois USSSA Umpire-in-Chief, supervising countless umpire clinics. Most of today’s top USSSA umpires were developed under his tutelage.
“You have to love the game and like people, in my opinion,” Parvin said. “I was around friends, people with the same interests as me, and around a sport I grew up with and loved.”
Parvin is quick to acknowledge two people in particular as helpful in his career.
“Ken Franzen was most instrumental in my career,” he said. “If my son could grow up to be like Ken, I’d be pleased.”
Parvin went on to thank Ken Paulson as well.
“He [Ken Paulson] knows the rules as well as anyone I’ve ever met,” he said.
In 1995, Parvin underwent multiple bypass surgery and retired from umpiring. He now owns and runs BJs, a Rockford sports bar, and stays connected to softball as a multi-team sponsor.