Bob Lawrence - Baseball and Coaching
When Bobby Lawrence’s name is mentioned to almost any local fan from the 50’s and 60’s, it is automatically said that he was the longest home run hitter that ever played in Beaver Falls, and that is saying something. It has been testified by a young American Legion bat boy, Jack Clouds, that Bobby hit a home run over the right field fence at the Beaver Falls High School home field; A feat that was never accomplished again. Bob represents a lifetime of achievements in both sports and academics. As an athlete and native of Beaver Falls, he played baseball from Little League, High School and American Legion, where he was an outstanding player and team leader. Elected to the Hearst United States All Star Team in 1955 as a high school junior, the slugging first basemen spent the week in New York and played at Yankee Stadium. In 1957, he left Beaver Falls for Indiana University, turning down an offer to play professional baseball. Bob entered Indiana University, where he batted .472 his sophomore year and won the Big 10 batting championship and the Hoosiers’ MVP. He signed a professional contract in 1958 for a reported $50,000 with the Boston Red Sox organization. Bob’s professional career began in 1959 at Corning, New York, where he was named team MVP. Bob continued to play professional baseball until 1964 after reaching Class AAA Seattle. Bob decided to return to Indiana University in 1965. He was named the head baseball coach in 1974 and coached the Hoosiers until 1980. Bob also served as a faculty member in the School of Public Health at Indiana University.
The Larry Bruno Foundation is proud to honor Bob Lawrence’s lifelong achievements in athletics, coaching, teaching and learning by inducting him into the 2017 Circle of Achievement. His lifelong story and accomplishments will be digitized and enshrined at the Larry Bruno Foundation’s Hall of Achievement located at the Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls for the community to learn who he is and what he achieved.
Culture played a leading role in Bob’s life, as he virtually grew up on the baseball field in Patterson where his father Chet played and pitched baseball to him daily. He learned the discipline and hard work that it takes to achieve greatness from his parents and coaches throughout his early life.
Bob continued in his life’s work to give back the cultural lesson’s that he learned as a young athlete to his players and students that he coached and taught in his long-time career at Indiana University.