Larry “Moose” Stubing died last Friday at 79. I saw the item in the El Paso Times. I knew Moose fairly well at one time but hadn’t spoken with him in years. He was a longtime Western Athletic Conference basketball official, but I best knew him when he managed the Salt Lake Gulls.
In 1980 and 1981 his teams went 77-65 and 63-71 as the Triple-A affiliate of the California Angels. He was a true personality, open, friendly and colorful. Back then, managers and coaches of all sports dared to be themselves. Nowadays, most try to share as little personality as possible.
My memories of Stubing aren’t extensive, but they are vivid. As the Gulls beat writer I spoke with him every night after games. I would trek down from the press box at the top of Derks Field and enter the locker room, slipping past the players to a tiny office where Stubing sat in his swivel chair, waiting to answer questions.
Stubing was by then from El Paso and wasn’t about to permanently move to Salt Lake, even though he lived there as a youth. He slept in that clubhouse office on a rollaway during those summers, I was told.
I regularly ran into him officiating college basketball games in later years. He always had that likable gap-toothed smile and was an important part of the WAC and its colorful history, a good official, decisive and fair. Stubing was a captivating figure, big and bodacious, totally worthy of his nickname, an asset to the sports he played and officiated. Sports fans in Utah owe him a debt of gratitude.
Happy trails, Moose.