Lyndon State College Project EXCEL director Bob McCabe was inducted into the Bristol, Conn. Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 20. The Bristol Sports Hall of Fame held its 2014 induction ceremony at the DoubleTree Hotel, as eight new enshrinees joined the ranks of Bristol's finest sports names. An overflow crowd of about 500 people listened as the inductees all offered thanks to many people as they gave their speeches, highlighting family, friends and influential coaches that helped them achieve success not only in sports, but throughout their lifetimes.
For all the inductees, a presentation of photos and videos from throughout their lives flashed on screens around the room as they were introduced. A basketball and baseball player for Bristol Eastern in the late 1960s and NCAA Division II All-American baseball player, McCabe's slide show offered pictures not only of his sports activities, but also of his time in the Peace Corps and teaching on a Native American reservation. Noting that numerous family members were present, McCabe said, "I think that athletics have definitely shaped my life ... and life has been good."
In high school, McCabe played basketball and baseball for Bristol Eastern. He was the captain of baseball team and leading hitter of this team and every other baseball team he played on in Bristol! At the Forestville, Conn. Boys Club he was recognized as the "Boy of the Year in 1968." During his junior and senior years in high school and his freshmen year in college, he played American Legion Baseball in Bristol. Although they didn't win the State Champion during his years, they were considered one of the best baseball teams in Connecticut.
McCabe attended Rollins College where he played all four years at Center Field. He started every game for his four years at Rollins and only missed four innings his entire college career. In his senior year he was selected for All Southeast Region Division Two Baseball Team, the Orlando Sentinel Division Two Baseball All South Team and Honorable Mention All American Division Two Baseball Team.
One of his most memorable games was when Rollins Baseball Team played a game against Raiford Prison, a maximum security prison in Florida. Obviously the Raiford Team didn't play away games. There were strict instructions from his coach not to "mess with these guys." The Rollins Team gracefully lost the game. Weeks later there was a riot in the prison and many of the weapons for the riot were hidden by the prisoners in the infield dirt.
After college, McCabe went to the Micronesia island of Yap, an as a Peace Corps volunteer. In addition to teaching high school he was the assistant coach of the Micronesian National Basketball Team in the South Pacific Games in 1975. He was also Yap's representative to the National Sports Federation.
After the Peace Corps he returned to Rollins College as the assistant coach of the Rollins Baseball Team while completing his master's degree in Counseling. Bob returned to his volunteer roots and went to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and worked as a teacher in Red Cloud Indian School. He coached the winless junior high school basketball team. It was at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that he met his future wife, Joyce Dobbertin who was also teaching at Red Cloud. At the Pine Ridge reservation, he participated in many Indian basketball tournaments, usually as the only white player on the team.
McCabe and his new bride moved to Florida, teaching elementary school in Belle Glade, Fla. In addition to teaching, Bob also ran the recreation program for mentally challenged adults. They relocated to Center Harbor, N.H. where Bob taught middle school math and was the coach for junior high school baseball team.
Dobbertin went on to attend Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minnesota. During their time in Minnesota, McCabe worked at University of Minnesota as an academic advisor working predominantly with the student athletes helping to ensure their graduation from college.
After Minnesota, McCabe and Dr. Dobbertin wanted to return to the East. Looking for a home for their family, they pulled out a map, looked for the area with the most mountains and lakes and the least roads. They narrowed the search to Lyndonville. McCabe was hired at Lyndon State College in 1987 working as director of Upward Bound and presently as director of Student Support Services. Dr. Dobbertin opened a chiropractic office before returning to UVM Medical School. She is presently a physician at Corner Medical and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.
McCabe and Dr. Dobbertin have two children. Their oldest son, Matthew McCabe lives and works in Manchester, N.H. at Velcro. Their youngest son, Daniel McCabe is an attorney in St Johnsbury at Axelrod and Adler Law Firm. Daniel and his wife Vanessa Vincent live nearby with their two children, Silas and Eva.
McCabe and Dr. Dobbertin also reside in St. Johnsbury with their new puppy, Luke. They have been active community members for almost 30 years.
In 2006, he was presented with The Vermont Governor's Award for lifetime achievements in community service. Recipients of this award must have dedicated a significant amount of time to their community and improvement in the quality of life in their towns.
McCabe adds to the quality of his own life by being an avid fisherman and gardener. In an already full schedule, McCabe also maintains Dr. Doberton's fully landscaped lawn and pool area. A serious collector, McCabe has established an area of his estate fondly known as "The Lane" where he displays his growing collection of artifacts (referred to by his wife as "Bob's Junk"). He conducts weekly tours of his collection for the many friends he hosts at gatherings. For tour information, call McCabe directly.