Figg, Robert W. "Little Bob"
Robert W. "Little Bob" Figg
by Hank Morris
Originally published in the 2009 Founders' Day booklet
Robert W. “Little Bob” Figg (1872-1926).
Crossed baseball bats adorn the top of his headstone with a baseball farther down. The lettering reads: "Figg, Robert W. 1872-1926. Our friend, your friend, everybody’s friend, ‘Little Bob Figg.’ This memorial subscribed to by his many friends and baseball fans."
Figg earned his nickname “Little Bob, or Little Bobby” because of his size. He was 6 feet tall and at the time of his death weighed more than 250 pounds. He once gave a pie eating exhibition at a Field Day for the amateur baseball leagues of Chicago at Logan Square Park.
Figg worked in the County Clerk’s office and in the County Treasurer’s office and once ran unsuccessfully for County Commissioner. Though not a professional baseball player, Little Bob was a colorful figure in the history of Chicago amateur baseball and local politics. He fostered boys’ baseball clubs and often umpired amateur and semi-pro games. In 1922, he was elected “Supreme Commissioner” of four of the leading amateur baseball leagues in the city. In 1925, a “Little Bob” Figg Field Day was held at Cermak Park. His death was as dramatic as his life: he fell 5-1/2 stories down a stairwell shaft in City Hall, apparently after fainting.