Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00
Three decades after his stellar campaign for the 1978 Fordham Rams Metropolitan Conference Championship baseball squad, ace relief pitcher Bobby Cole was head of the 2012 class of inductees into the Fordham University Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 25. Cole is a native of Floral Park and now resides in Garden City.
A product of Chaminade High School (Mineola), Cole was one of seven former athletic standouts inducted into the Fordham pantheon, joining such Rams sports icons as Vince Lombardi, Frankie Frisch, Wellington Mara and Vin Scully.
Cole was enshrined into the Fordham Hall of Fame at 11 a.m. ceremonies at McGinley Center by University President Fr. Joseph McShane and Executive Athletic Director Frank McLaughlin along with fellow baseball alum Bob Cooney (’29), rower Dan Wolleben (’04), softball’s Katie Davis (’06), swimmers Maik Wiedenbach (’01) and Erika Newell (’05) and runners Deric Zaphire (’03) and Maureen Zivic (’06).
While Cole ranks fifth on the Fordham career saves list (13) and currently sits in sixth on the all-time ERA list (2.63), he stands out most in the program’s history for his role in Fordham’s historic 1978 campaign. That year, Cole compiled a 5-0 record and recorded seven saves with a 2.11 ERA, helping the Rams capture the ’78 Met title while contributing to an amazing 40 percent of the squad’s victories during a 30-15 campaign.
“Growing up on Long Island, baseball was truly America’s pastime,” said Cole, now senior vice president, media, for News America Marketing. “No matter what level, you played wiffle ball, stickball, everyone played Little League. That’s just what you did. You just got up in the morning, grabbed your mitt, and went out and played ball.”
Bob and his wife Mary have four children: daughters Ashley and Emily, sons Billy and Scott, his wife Katy and their children, the Cole grandkids, Griffin and Kaitlyn.
Baseball in Cole’s Bloodline: Fordham Hall of Fame inductee Bob Cole’s grandfather, Brooklyn-born Ray Dukes, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Bob still has the signed Ebbets Field contract as one of his prized possessions, in the china cabinet, with his wife’s Waterford crystal. His dad, Bob Cole, Sr., a Fordham product, gave him a signed baseball autographed by virtually all of the 1936 World Champion New York Yankees, signatures he accumulated over the course of the season standing outside of the Yankee Stadium clubhouse entrance, including DiMaggio, Gehrig and Dickey. It also sits with his wife’s china and crystal.