Robert K. Chaulk is a warm and generous man who helps people achieve their dreams, as senior vice president and credit administration manager for the Southern California area of the California Bank & Trust.
But he was a stingy and calculating sonofagun on the pitching mound for the Arizona Wildcat baseball team from 1975-78.
Chaulk was the hero of the school's first-ever national championship as a sophomore in 1976.? At the College World Series in Omaha, Nebr., he won three games and lost none.? He beat Oklahoma once and twice defeated Eastern Michigan, a college baseball powerhouse at the time.
A slender lefthander, he pitched three games (20 2/3 innings), including two complete game victories and one in relief.? Chaulk defeated Oklahoma 10-2, pitched in relief and got the win over Eastern michigan with 2 2/3 innings, then won the championship game against Eastern Michigan, beating Bob Welch, 7-1.
Chaulk and his wife of? 13 years, Renae, live in Brea, Calif.
"Playing baseball for the U of A was truly one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences of my life," Chaulk said.? "To play baseball with the likes of Steve Powers, Ron Hassey, Terry Francona, Brad Mills, Dave Stegman, Pete Van Horn, Les Pearsey and Don Zimmerman, among many others, was a privilege that I will never forget."
In that phenomenal sophomore season of 1976, Chaulk overcame early-season back problems to record a 2.99 earned run average and an overall 12-2 record.? He was a 6-footer but weighed only 150 pounds.
Chaulk's main strengths were excellent control and tremendous intelligence.
He was also the quintessential team player.? To this day, the modest Chaulk, although proud of his achievements as a Wildcat, downplays his efforts at the? 1976 College World Series.? "While that last game was the one that sealed the national championship," he said, "the most pivotal game of the series was the game before that -- when Steve Powers pitched one of the gutsiest games I have ever seen.
"Steve beat Arizona Statae, 5-1, and eliminated the Sun Devils from the College World Series."
"As you may recall," Chaulk added, "ASU beat us all six times in (Western Athletic) conference games and beat us 7-6 in 10 innings in the first game of the College World Series.? That forced us to come back through the losers' bracket.
"Steve's win over ASU was the reason I got to pitch in the final game."
Chaulk attends as many Wildcat sporting events as his schedule allows when they are in Southern California.? "But I haven't had much opportunity to come back to Tucson," he said.
"I will always have fond memories of that city, however," Chaulk said.? "The people of Tucson, the students at U of A and the sports media always treated me very well, for which I will always be grateful."
When Chaulk was a senior in 1978, there was a freshman outfielder on the squad named Terry Francona.? He would lead the Wildcats to the 1980 national championship -- when he was named the outstanding college player in the country -- and go on to a 10-year major league career.
Francona is now the manager of the Boston Red Sox, battling the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.? Terry guided the Sox to the 2004 World Series championship, the team's first in 86 years.
"Go Boston!? Best of luck Terry and Brad," said a very happy Chaulk.? Brad is Brad Mills, a star third-baseman for the Wildcats in 1978-79, who is the Red Sox bench coach.