Bruce Von Hoff
Interview Date: August 26, 2012
Bruce Von Hoff is not a legend in baseball yore. He was not a dominant pitcher and he never won any acclaim at any professional level. Despite all of that, Bruce Von Hoff was a very grateful man.
This interview is special because it is likely the last interview he ever gave. He passed away on September 11, 2012. This interview happened on August 26, 2012. If it comes across as biased, understand that there is no attempt to give an unbiased interview this time. It was an honor to discuss baseball with him.
Von Hoff did not spend much time in major league baseball, but his memories of Houston were fond. "We opened the Astrodome in Spring Training that year. Somewhere this is a video of me tossing pitches in it. It was an amazing experience." His numbers were not impressive. He would only pitch over 13 games and never managed a win. Despite his short major league career, he did spend a fairly long time in the minor leagues.
His memories of the minor leagues were much more vivid. "I remember Bossier City (birthplace of the founder of AstrosAtoZ.com) because it was near Shreveport. I played for Shreveport in the Texas League and I really enjoyed Louisiana. It was a fun place to be." He would spend time playing for minor league teams for the Astros, the Giants, and the Cardinals. His stint with the Shreveport Captains placed him in the Giants' minor league system, though records of his complete minor league records were unable to be located.
While he loved baseball, he found other ways to be of value to his community. He was very active in his church and started a program called Terrific Tuesday. "For years I have had a picture of Jesus laughing hanging on my wall. It reminds me that he always spread joy wherever he went. I always hoped to just spread some joy in the world. So with Terrific Tuesday, we would take kids from the church and make good days into great days. I was usually in charge of the boys and we would do all kinds of fun things. Those boys loved to zip line. It is a great thing to watch." He was also involved in the Baseball Assistance Team, an organization that helps ailing former professional baseball players.
He closed the interview with a sense of gratitude. "I don't get contacted very much anymore. This has made me feel very special and for that, I would like to thank you. It takes all kinds to make a world. Too bad there are not more like you."
Bruce, it was an honor talking to you. It is our hope that this is a worthy representation of a man that was not known long but still managed to create a feeling that the world is worth enjoying.