This isnt exactly breaking news, but let it be noted that not all sportscasters, sports anchors, sports editors or sportswriters qualified as talented athletes themselves back in their younger days. Truth be told, some did and some didnt. Bob Labbe was one of those who did. The son of Robert and Margaret Labbe, Bob and his brother Terry moved to Huntsville in 1956 when his father, who worked for the U.S. Army and NASA, took a job at Redstone Arsenal. An all-star youth baseball player when he was growing up in Huntsville in the 1960s, Labbe once struck out 19 of 21 overmatched batters in a single game. He later competed in football, baseball, wrestling, golf and track & field at Stone Middle School and at Butler High School in the late 60s and early 70s. A scratch golfer, he once held the course records at both the Jetport Course and the Huntsville Municipal Course, and was a frequent contender and winner in many amateur tournaments at most of the local and area courses. He remained active in later years as an all-star player in slow-pitch softball for several of the elite teams in the Huntsville area, and also became a certified Alabama High School Athletic Association official in both football and basketball. But Labbe is best remembered as a member of the Huntsville media over the past four decades and for his numerous reporting awards in TV, radio and newspapers. Although offered an opportunity to join the Alabama A&M football team as a punter, he chose to start working in broadcasting soon after his graduation from high school. I had a new wife and child and I needed a job, he said. (Nearly 20 years later, he earned a degree at Athens State University). Labbes career includes stints at WAHR-FM, WAAY-AM, WVOV AM, The Huntsville Times, the City of Madison, SportsMed, several Army and NASA contracts at Redstone, and the Madison Weekly News. As the TV sports anchor at WAAY, Channel 31, from 1979-91, he was voted No. 1 sports personality in the local market several times. His TV mentor at Channel 31 was Rick Davis. Rick was the one who hired me and gave me lots of instructions that I continue to use to this day, Labbe said. He taught me the little things that made me a better reporter. Frequently on his TV show, Labbe featured everyday athletes by hosting the Sports Challenge, where he challenged local athletics in the sport of their choice. He also once boxed Muhammad Ali in a skit for his show. Ali knocked him out and then called Bob The Great White Dope. Labbes most memorable TV story was Bear Bryants final game when Alabama beat Illinois in the 1982 Liberty Bowl. I was fortunate to ask Coach Bryant his last question in the post-game interview, Labbe said. I asked him if he was glad all this is over and the press will quit hounding him, and he said, Sure as hell am. All the networks used it. Just six weeks later, Bryant was dead. He has been on all sides of the world of athletics player, coach, official and media reporter, said Labbes daughter, Jennifer Ellinger. His love of sports in the city and county has never wavered. His support is wide-ranging, unbiased and caring. Labbe, who recently turned 60, can still be seen on TV as the spokesman for a local tire company, and hes still on the radio, too. Since 1990, he has hosted a weekly four-hour live radio show on WLRH called Reelin In the Years, which airs on Fridays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The show features vintage music from 1950-90 and comes entirely from Labbes personal collection of more than 20,000 45-rpm records.