Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fdu's Droste Had a Blast in the Infield

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fdu's Droste Had a Blast in the Infield

Article excerpt

The long-range missile rested gently in Bob Droste's hands.

The camera captured him perched atop a stack of boxed detonators, sitting cross-legged above the assembly-line floor. The Fairleigh Dickinson baseball player stared away from the frame, his boyish face blank, unconcerned.

Droste needed a summer job while the Vietnam War raged, and found one installing detonators in missiles.

They were headed for Southeast Asia, while the Rutherford native was headed for a record-breaking All-America senior season in 1975.

But first, the story of the missile-making, slick-fielding first baseman would find its way into several newspapers and magazines.

It would be the first time Droste made unorthodox news in the sports world, but it would not be the last.

"The idea was that Bob Droste is so sure-handed, he can play with a bomb or a grenade in his glove," said Jay Horwitz, the former FDU sports information director. He sold the story to reporters before becoming the Mets media relations director in 1980. "I got in trouble with the school president. It was during the Vietnam War."

Nearly 40 years later, Droste made news again last month.

The independent financial consultant won a horse. Well, 1 percent of a horse.

But not just any horse. The Clifton resident owns a piece of Captaintreacherous, the 2012 Pacer of the Year and first 2-year-old in 25 years to win the award.

Droste, 60, had entered a Kentucky Derby Day raffle at the Meadowlands Racetrack. And despite 10,000-to-1 odds, he submitted the winning ticket.

"I have 1 percent of him for the rest of his racing career," he said. "I didn't think I had much of a chance. I was elated.

"But I can't retire on that, either."

Droste's athletic story began in Rutherford, where he earned All- Bergen honors in his final two high school seasons and made first- team All-State as a senior.

He then started all four years at FDU, but early in his career, he was known more for his glove than his bat. …

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