2015 HOF – Robert Day

Robert Day grew up in Northern New Mexico, born in Los Alamos and graduated from Los Alamos High School.  Rob chased fly balls and blocked the plate from early spring to late summer playing Topper & Legion baseball. In 1972 he played left half and defensive back on the undefeated 1972 Hilltoppers before losing to state champion Las Cruces Mayfield. He attended Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico and serendipitously started at guard for the Mexican Collegiate Basketball Champion JV team. It was in Mexico that Day first encountered rugby be- ing played at UDLA.

Rob returned to Albuquerque and played with his Santa Fe friend Dave Wheelock and the UNM rugby club before being enchanted by an eclectic group of young men involved with the Aardvark rugby group.

What a diverse group of young men & girlfriends, all good, at times, great athletes. Baseball players, swimmers, wrestlers, football players with an intensity and social inclination that enraptured Day and others that fell into their sphere of influence.

Early Aardvark experiences included playing in the inaugural Steamboat Springs Cow Pie classic, ending Heart of America rugby’s 48 dual match victory streak in Norman, OK, and challenging Argentine RFC Cardinal Newman to the closest match in their 1977 / 7-0 USA tour then enchant them socially with classic Aardvark guile, charm & merriment. It was such prestige and honor to play on an Aardvark seven’s team that mesmerized the Western National seven’s tournament, then tour Toronto, Canada, play- ing in the North American championship.

In Day’s travels he started at wing for the NW rugby select side vs. Puget Sound at Portland’s Delta Park. Abroad in ’78-79, working the Italian kitchen by day, he played for C.U.S. Perugia RFC and then C.U.S Torino in Piedmonte where after playing in the Olympic Motovelodromo stadium against Leicester Forest RFC of England, Day introduced quarter racing to the continent fueled by ten liter kegs of Barbera wine.

Off pitch, Day engaged in Aardvark social & cultural pursuits, creating menus and cooking chicken for 500 on the front lawn of Tingley coliseum at H.D.C.’s, cutting old cow steaks on Bobby Bell’s jewelry saw for infamous R. Chavez catered events or taking over Mary’s kitchen and creating an event for Herring family, friends and adopted children. Aardvark culinary sophistication set precedence with the Day-Gorham driven 1977 Aardvark Ball held at Albuquerque Country Club, creating the standard for all future Aardvark gatherings. Day currently resides in Santa Fe where he’s coached youth rugby & remains chief hotdog cooker/fundraiser for the NMYR state high school tournament.

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