|Category:||Contributor - Bengal Award|
Former minor league baseball player Charlie Bohling and his wife, Donna, are both successful realtors and Tiger fans. After graduating from Poly High School in 1962, Charlie Bohling spent time with the Yankees’ and Dodgers’ organizations, returning in the offseason to take classes at RCC. After retiring from baseball and short stints at IBM and Fleetwood, the couple turned to real estate and RCC Tiger Backers. The College will bestow the Bengal Award on the Bohlings in recognition of their long-time support of Tiger Athletics.
Charlie Bohling never played collegiate sports. He was too busy playing on the major league baseball circuit for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. But Bohling remembers RCC well. He and his wife, Donna, met at Poly High School, which back in the early 1960s was located on the same site as Riverside City College. He still recalls the Tiger sports stars of the day, including the court-running teams under Coach Jerry Tarkanian.
At Poly, he starred in basketball, football, and baseball. Practicing and playing on the same campus as RCC football players, and watching those big boys crush each other, led him into his pursuit of baseball. After his senior season, Bohling signed with the New York Yankees, scoring a one-time bonus of $50,000 and an $8,000 academic scholarship, and headed to the Florida State League.
Back then, a club had to decide to bring you up to the Big League club or cut you loose. When the Yankees didn’t bring Bohling up to the Bigs, the Dodgers drafted him. He played in the California League and Texas League. In the off-season, he would return to RCC to take classes (under the watchful eye of John Matulich) and rehab his elbow (under the glare of Al Fages).
In 1968, Bohling retired from baseball. He had always wanted to coach, but he started working for IBM as a sales rep before moving on to Fleetwood as a salesmanager in Arizona for four years. In 1978, Bohling got his real estate license and Donna followed in 1982. The duo has been successful in the real estate business andhas developed lasting relationships in the community.
Chuck Kane and Jim Kross drafted Bohling into the Tiger Backers. He fondly remembers Sports Days with Nick Tavaglione, Monte Carlo Night, and the annual Tiger Backers Golf Classic. Through the decades, he and Donna have remained staunch RCC Tiger supporters and fans.