November 9, 2017 - California League (CalL) - Visalia Rawhide
Original Visalia Cubs Player Leaves Local Legacy
VISALIA, CA - The Visalia Rawhide send condolences to the family and friends of Robert "Bob" Talbot, who passed away last week at the age of 90. Talbot was a Visalia native and a member of the original Visalia Cubs team that played the first season of professional baseball in Visalia in 1946. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 11:00 AM at Hadley-Marcom Funeral Chapel.
Talbot played for the Visalia Cubs for two years, in 1946 and '47, and had a seven-year minor league career before earning a call-up to the Major Leagues with the Chicago Cubs. He was a member of the inaugural California League Hall of Fame Class in 2016, joining all-time greats Ken Griffey Jr., Pedro Martinez, Reggie Jackson, and George Brett as well as another member of the Visalia Oaks, Vada Pinson. His story as a Visalia sports hero is almost unparalleled.
Talbot left high school at the age of 15 to enlist in the Merchant Marines where he manned a supply ship in multiple World War II conflict zones. Upon returning home, he married his then girlfriend and, having never played organized baseball in his life, began participating in local recreation softball games. At one such game, he caught the eye of local scout Pete Beiden, who convinced Talbot to try out for the newly minted Visalia Cubs. When Talbot earned his call to Chicago on September 26, 1953, he started in his first game with another recent call-up: future Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
He played for Chicago for two years before injuries derailed his career. After his time in Chicago, he and his wife Mada moved back to Visalia. As a local boy who went from the Visalia recreational softball circuit all the way to Major League Baseball, he simultaneously became a local sports trailblazer and one of the first alumni of the Visalia franchise to ascend to the Major League level.
Talbot was involved with the Rawhide even through the conclusion of the 2017 season, where his son would attend the games and report back routinely while Talbot was in Hospice care.
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Rawhide Mourn the Passing of Bob Talbot