February 29, 1980, was a special day for Tom Herbers. It was Leap Day — his birthday — and his son Scott was born. And, he added, K-State beat Nebraska 60-59 in the Big Eight Tournament. (The Wildcats also beat KU the following night.)
“It was pretty awesome, first to have a son, then for him to be born on your birthday,” said Herbers, who mentioned that the birth happened naturally and was not induced. “Since it was leap year, that made it even more special. But to have K-State win, that was another big plus.”
Herbers, clearly an avid K-State fan, celebrated his 15th birthday (and 60 years of age) at a party over the weekend. Scott, age 32, came in from O’Fallon, Missouri, to celebrate his eighth birthday. They were joined by at least 40 friends and family members, including Tom’s two other children, Jared and Angie, their spouses, and Tom’s grandson, Gavin.
Herbers recently moved to Manhattan from Hutchinson, so the party also served as a sort of housewarming.
He said he and Scott always try to do something a little extra special on the 29th.
“If it’s not a leap year, we’ll do something on the 28th or the 1st,” Herbers said.
He said he likes having a special birthday.
“It’s unique,” he said. “What’s really neat is when you meet other people with a leap-year birthday.”
That happened to him just this weekend during a visit to Applebee’s. Staff members asked him when his birthday was, they told him that another customer, a young man who is a student at K-State, also had a leap-year birthday. He had also heard of an elderly lady with a Feb. 29 birthday on the radio.
“It’s pretty unusual,” Herbers said.
Unusual, but not unheard of. In fact, at press time, two Leap Day babies had been born at Mercy Regional Health Center today, with a third expected by the end of the day. And one more was on the way at Geary County Community Hospital.