(Much of info that follows was extracted from a Seattle PI interview dated 2005.)
Though later an accomplished University of Washington basketball and baseball player, Jorgensen’s place in local sporting folklore remains tied to a schoolboy encounter 71 years ago, when Jorgensen’s Roosevelt High School team played at Queen Anne in a game matching a pair of first-place contenders.
It was a very rare seven innings of baseball – Bob was the winning pitcher in a double no-hitter.
At Howe Field, also known as West Queen Anne Playfield, Jorgensen bested Queen Anne left-hander Jack Ferluga 1-0. The then-Roughriders senior, Jorgensen, scored the winning run in the fifth inning, reaching base when the Grizzlies’ shortstop booted his grounder, then stealing second and scoring when the opposing first baseman dropped a two-out pop-up just inside the foul line in gusty conditions.
From a Seattle PI interview Jorgensen, the retired dentist, said: “It seemed so routine. Nobody in the stands probably knew I was pitching a no-hitter. I probably didn’t know it, either. Nobody said anything during the game.”
Jorgensen was an all-city basketball player and second-team, all-conference pitcher as well as a running back for the Roosevelt Roughriders.
Bob went on to considerable sporting glory at the UW, though in curious fashion. As a freshman basketball guard permitted to play during wartime, Jorgensen enjoyed his greatest individual success in his initial college season. He led the Huskies in scoring (11.3 points per game), was voted the team’s most inspirational player and was named All-Pacific Coast Conference before being called off to war for seven months.
After his war-time service he returned to letter each of the next three seasons in both basketball and baseball. As a junior guard, he had his next-most productive season, averaging 10 points and receiving all-coast honorable mention. He played in the ’48 NCAA Tournament. He won his share of baseball games as a pitcher. He teamed with future big-league catcher Sammy White in both basketball and baseball.
Cliff Otis ’74 wrote:
Bob was a life loyal Fiji .. and great husband and father. At recent Pig dinners he was 3 times the oldest living Fiji attending and greeting the Pig.
A Roosevelt grad.. he came into the UW during the War – WWII. He loved the Fiji house. It was a found memory. He knew many of the guys on the Sigma Tau Library wall of Honor for WWII. They were all heroes!
Bob was a 4 year letterman at UW in basketball. First freshmen to ever earn the big W.
After graduation he went UW dental school and then setup practice on the Eastside. This proved to be a big success for his as it was by MSFT.
He was very good golfer, and served as President of Overlake Golf and Country Club. Bob loved the Pig dinner and he loyally attended the Fiji luncheons whenever the speaker was the Husky Football or Basketball coach.
Irish Coles ’52 wrote:
It’s with great, great sadness that I read from you, about Bob Jorgensen’s passing. Bob won more big W’s than any Fiji in the history of Sigma Tau. A grand total of 7, between Basketball and Baseball.
When he was a senior @ Roosevelt high school, football coach Lou Hull, didn’t have a Q.B.
Bob never played football before, but he took up the challenge and Roosevelt won the city championship.
How super it was that he was given such huge honors at last years Pig Dinner.
Carry on !