DETROIT -

Rob Parker loves sports.

It started early. He loved baseball as a kid and wore a baseball cap everyday. In high school, he also refused to work on Sundays at the shoe store he worked at during football season. That?s how important the NFL was to him.

Like many kids, Parker dreamed of being a professional baseball player. When it was clear it wasn?t going to happen ? that darn curveball -- Parker decided to focus in on the two things he loved the best: sports and writing.

READ:Latest Rob Parker: Confidential

He also loved the 70s TV show, ``The Odd Couple.?? Parker wanted to be Oscar Madison, minus the sloppy part. What a great job, Parker thought, getting paid to watch ballgames and eat free food.

Enter 2009.

Parker, a sports columnist for ClickOnDetroit.com, has worked at WDIV Local 4 since 1993.

He is a regular on Sports Final Edition on Sunday night. His segment, Clubhouse Confidential, is one of the most popular sports TV segments in Motown. It often gives fans insight and tips on things that are going to happen before they do.

Parker also has a national platform. He is a regular on ESPN First Take. Often you can see him doing debate battle against Skip Bayless on the 1st and 10 portion of the show. Parker, who was born in New York, graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in journalism and Columbia University with a Masters in journalism. He also was accepted and started his Ph.D at New York University.

Parker has worked at a lot of newspapers, including the New Haven Register, The Greenwich Time, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, Daily News in New York and Cincinnati Enquirer.

The last 16 years Parker has been an award-winning sports columnist. He was the first black sports columnist at the Detroit Free Press in 1993. He was also the first black sports columnist at Newsday in New York. Parker also worked nine years at The Detroit News before taking a buyout at the end of December 2008.

Parker has a Baseball Hall of Fame vote. He will, unlike a lot of BBWAA members, will continue to vote for players who used steroids. ``I take the vote very seriously,?? Parker said. ``It?s special to me.??

Parker ? who was the first-ever on-air host hired at WDFN in Detroit --and Mark Wilson also hosted a popular sports-talk radio show, ``Parker and The Man?? for a decade. Parker also had a show on ESPN radio in New York. He also is a fill-in host on ESPN?s national radio network.

For seven years, Parker also co-host a hip-hop, sports TV show called ``Sports Rap?? with former Lions? safety Ron Rice.

Parker also is a businessman in Detroit. He owns two barbershops ? Sporty Cutz on 7 Mile Road and Sporty Cutz 2 on Greenfield Road. He is in the final stages of opening a hot dog carry-out spot called All-Star Dawgs. The hot dogs are named after famous Detroit athletes.

Rob also loves to travel and has been all over the world. His favorite spot was Egypt.

Parker, 45, is divorced and owns an apartment in Downtown Detroit.

You can drop Rob a note at molecentral@clickondetroit.com