By Mary O’KEEFE
Family and friends are mourning the passing of Rob “Moon” Herman. To the Crescenta Valley community he was the force behind the Tim Herman Foundation baseball tournament.
Turning a tragedy into a celebration of life, the Herman family turned their son Tim’s love of baseball into a tournament that emphasized the pure fun of America’s past time.
Tim died when he was 9 of a heart condition.
“We started with 19 teams and at one point had 100 teams involved,” said Rob’s son Josh.
The Hermans’ roots ran deep in Crescenta Valley.
“Dad worked as an electrician at Glendale [Unified School District] for [over] 10 years and Mom [Karen] worked as an attendance clerk at Rosemont Middle School for 10 years,” Josh said.
Fellow GUSD worker Richard Carol helped with the tournament and was a life long friend to Rob.
“Rob was a character … The whole thing that Rob and the family tried to do with the tournament was not to make it a mourning period for Tim’s death but a celebration of his life,” Carol said.
Teams from all over, including El Segundo, joined in the tournament.
“The first year we were really surprised at the teams that wanted to participate,” Carol said. “Rob’s philosophy was that it was for the kids, not the parents. He wanted the kids just to have fun.”
Carol remembered that one little boy didn’t have a team but wanted to play baseball so Rob arranged for him to join a team.
“It was all for the love of the game,” he said.
He said that at times he saw that the tournament was hard on Rob and his family but they were so welcoming to others.
“It was kind of like a big Fourth of July picnic,” he said.
The tournament ended in 2005. Rob had accepted a job at Lockheed and he and his family moved to Palmdale.
“We missed La Crescenta,” Karen Herman said.
Rob had a lot of friends in Crescenta Valley.
“He loved being part of the community,” Josh said. “We just want to thank those in the community that were part of the tournament and to let them know how much Dad missed being part of the community.”
Rob was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2006. He died on July 15.
“Rob had a heart of gold. He was a strong human being, very passionate and a good friend,” Carol said.
He is survived by his wife Karen, son Josh, daughter Lindsey and the “love of his life” grandson Seth.
A memorial will be held on Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. at Horizon Community Church at 1850 East Avenue R, (at the corner of 20th Street East and Avenue R) in Palmdale.