ALPENA — When he was honored by the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame as a booster of the year in 2015, Jim Hubert talked about how much it meant to him to work with young athletes.
“I was surprised to get the call from Gary (Mischley) saying I’d made it, but I’m honored. I just hope I’ve made the same kind of impact on the athletes’ lives that they made on mine,” Hubert said.
After a standout athletic career and decades spent as a volunteer and a coach, Hubert’s impact on the community will be honored on Saturday when he’s inducted into the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame.
He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Terry Thomas and Tom Lavoie, Bruce VanderWall, Bob Kelley, Eric Puls, and Shannon Woloszyk during the 37th annual banquet on May 7 at the APlex.
The banquet has been canceled each of the last two years due to COVID-19 concerns.
Hubert’s is a name that many folks remember in Alpena and with good reason. A 1957 graduate of Alpena Catholic Central, he was an important player for the teams he was on. During his senior basketball season, Hubert played on a team that included future Alpena Sports Hall of Famers Joe Keller and Neil Mischley as well as standouts like Tom Schultz and Bill DesChamps. That team went 12-8 and won a district championship.
But it was on the baseball diamond where Hubert really made a name for himself. Nicknamed Yogi because his play mirrored legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, Hubert kept base runners honest with a rifle arm that could easily gun down the best ball players. The Thunderbolts’ during the spring of 1957 included Fritz Hubert, Mischley, and many other talented athletes.
Through the years, Hubert has also made his mark as a volunteer, stepping up and getting the job done when there’s a job to do.
Hubert transitioned into coaching later on and has always been there for kids, teaching them the importance of making friends, how to play the game correctly and the right way to win and lose. He has coached basketball, softball and baseball with his greatest asset being coaching kids to play the game the right way.
For more than 50 years, Hubert has been a leader and has always been there to assist his own teams, the opponents and any youngster who was looking to learn. Many people talk about making things better, but Jim Hubert did more than talk, never hesitating to help make Alpena a better place.