Bob Maguinez left a lasting impression on all aspects of baseball in the Tacoma area. Because of his long history of playing talent, coaching, umpiring and scouting for Major League clubs, the Metro Parks baseball field at Heidelberg Park was named in his honor.
Born in San Francisco, Maguinez was a Stadium High School graduate (class of 1948) who began playing baseball in the adult Tacoma City League at 16 and later was a starring performer on two Tacoma-area teams that won national amateur baseball championships in 1956 (Stanley’s Shoemen) and 1960 (Cheney Studs).
“Mac” was the center fielder and a hitting star for the Shoemen, the first West Coast team to win a national amateur championship in 1956. He was an all-tournament selection at the national championships in Battle Creek, Michigan. Maguinez was a .400 hitter for the Shoemen and once played all nine positions for one inning each in a Tacoma City league game. He also starred for the 1960 Cheney Studs, the second team from the west to win the American Amateur Baseball Congress crown.
Maguinez played baseball in Europe while in the military in 1951-52 and then was an all-conference selection at the College of Puget Sound in 1954. He also played for nationally competitive fastpitch softball teams from Tacoma.
When his playing days were through, Maguinez was an umpire for 18 years, a scout for the New York Yankees from 1972-78 and then the Minnesota Twins, and a coach.
He was an instrumental figure in the creation of Tacoma’s Sister City Baseball Exchange with Kitakyushu, Japan. The program made it possible for high school athletes to participate in cultural exchanges featuring exhibition tournaments in Japan and at Cheney Stadium in the late 1980s and 1990s.
In 1999, a year before he passed away at 71, Maguinez was honored by the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association for his contributions to the sport. He was inducted into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Tacoma-Pierce County Baseball-Softball Oldtimers Hall of Fame in 1989. Also of note is that his uncle was the legendary Jimmy Claxton who pitched for the Oakland Oaks of the PCL in 1916.
Maguinez worked for Tacoma Metro Parks for two decades as a recreational supervisor and community center leader. When the Heidelberg Park field was named for him in 2002, Shon Sylvia, Metro Parks Tacoma executive director said: “We are very proud of the legacy left by Bob. He set an example of how hard work and love for your community can positively affect the world.”