10 Country: Wayne’s Laundry Day - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Wayne’s Laundry Day

October 14, 2003

Albany-- Not many people like laundry day, but what if you had 56 football players to keep in clean uniforms that must look like new for every game? Then, you’d sign Walter Anderson to your team.

Talk about a laundry nightmare with all that ground in-dirt, along with grass stains, and no telling what else gets ground into a football player’s uniform during a game. When the going gets tough, the Albany State University Rams call on Walter Anderson to do the dirty work.

“Fifty-six players’ uniforms,” says Walter Anderson, staff assistant at Albany State University. He is responsible for at least 336 pieces of clothing each week-- jerseys, shorts, T-shirts, pants and socks, a whole team’s laundry.

It takes about 15 hours spread over three days to wash and dry all those clothes, a job with a persistent occupational hazard. “Smell,” says Walter as he loads a special washing machine with dirty jerseys that have sat overnight.

 He uses a pre-wash to handle those really nose-turning smells and hard stains, followed by bleach, detergent and fabric softener pumped for five gallon white pails.

Walter Anderson believes clean uniforms influence how the players play. “If a player looks good, they play good,” says Walter. He keeps up with the latest in sports uniform cleaning. “Each year there is a new detergent or fabric softener or something to help wash uniforms,” says Walter.

He has a secret for keeping the jerseys looking so bright. He air-dries them, saying a drier causes them to shrink, lose color and cause the numbers to peel. Walter hangs each jersey on a metal hanger in an equipment room lined with wooden shelves for shoes, and long pipes suspended from the ceiling to hold the jerseys.

One jersey brings back memories. “In 1988, offensive line, center,” says Walter with a smile. He wore number 62 for the Albany State’s Golden Rams. That's a number that remains special, a number that hasn’t been worn in three seasons.

“The person who gets that number must be an excellent player,” says Walter looking at a number 62 jersey. Since he handles the jerseys, he can influence who gets his old number.

Walter Anderson keeps his team nice looking, remembering the good old days. “Being with the team and the coaching staff,” says Walter, while keeping in touch with a memory.

Walter Anderson has help. Four students work with him keep the team looking good during the football season.

posted at 11:40AM by dave.miller@walb.com