Nebraska Authors

"Hobe" Hays

AKA: Hobart Vance

You may need to use Hobart when looking him up as an illustrator.

Born 1926-02-20 Bethany (Lincoln), NE (USA)

Died 2010-02-10
Lincoln, NE (USA)

Lincoln, NE (USA)

After serving in the Navy in WWII, Hobe Hays played baseball at the University of Nebraska 1947-1950. He went on to play semi-pro baseball for eight years during the golden age of American baseball. His memoir, Take Two and Hit to Right: Golden Days on the Semi-Pro Diamond, 1999, is a valuable portrait of sports and local history in a now lost America. In his time off from baseball and at the end of his sports career, Hays attended the Chicago Art Institute and established himself as an artist. He taught art at the University of Wichita and Kansas State College (5 years), served as art director for KUON TV (now NET), and worked as a graphic artist, theatrical art designer and teacher, and freelance artist in the New York City area. He did the line drawing illustrations for Hymns Unbidden: Donne, Herbert, Black, Emily Dickenson and the Hymnographers, 1966, published by the New York Public Library. He wrote or illustrated several quality children's books. Hays was the nephew of Nebraska writer Dorothy Thomas.

One of the Heritage Room copies of Take Two and Hit to Right, has a signed dedication to Roger Welsch, as well as marginal and end notes by Welsch.


Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
New York City
Long Island, New York
Manhattan, KS
Wichita, KS
Chicago, IL
Farragut, ID
San Francisco, CA
San Diego, CA
Bremerton, WA

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Visual Work


Children's Books; Adult Autobiographical; Baseball; Theatrical Set Design; Book Illustration; Television Art Director


Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1950, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Master of Fine Arts, 1956, Wichita University


Semi-pro Baseball
College Art Professor
Art Director, KUON TV
Production Designer and Graphic Artist
Emeritus Professor of SUNY at Long Island in Production Design and Graphic Arts

Places Worked

Baseball Teams
University of Wichita
Kansas State University
N.C.C. Theater, Long Island


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 16 September 1999
One-year Scholarship, Chicago Art Institute, 1950-51
Two-year Assistantship, University of Wichita, 1954-56


The author's wife, Bonna Tebo Hays, was a Lincoln actress and theatrical director who worked on Broadway after the couple moved to the New York City area.


The Adventure. 1965. (author and illustrator)
Living Together 1982. (illustrator)
The Game of Baseball. 1965. (illustrator)
Jane Adams. (illustrator)
Sam Houston. (illustrator)
Hymns Unbidden: Donne, Herbert, Black, Emily Dickenson and the Hymnographers. 1966. (illustrator)
Take Two and Hit to Right. 1999.

His September 1999 Ames Reading Series presentation can be seen here:

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"Hobe" Hays

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)