LIVERMORE -- When Livermore High faced off on the basketball court against crosstown rival Granada High on Tuesday, there was someone noticeably absent from the scorer's table.
Peder Andersen, 90, has tracked statistics for Livermore High for 60 years.
But after a horrific accident in December, his family fears those days of volunteering may be gone.
The Livermore man is now recovering at All Saints Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in San Leandro, his head stabilized in a halo brace.
Peder's wife Margaret said her husband is slowly, but surely, getting better.
"It's going to be a long haul," she said. "He sure misses the kids ... He's been talking about doing what he used to do, but I don't think he realizes how bad it is. I think those days are over."
Steve Goodman, co-president of the Livermore-Granada booster club, said it's a "very odd" feeling to not have Andersen there.
"You always knew no matter what was happening, Pete would be there in the gym," he said. "There's something comforting about that. He is the tradition. When you went there, he was always there, and you knew you were in Livermore now."
Missing several teeth, a breathing tube in his throat, and recovering from severe bruises and fractures, Andersen doesn't remember the accident that put him in the hospital. On Dec. 5, Andersen was crossing Palm Avenue when a 70-year-old bicyclist barreled into him. They collided; Andersen hit the pavement
Rushed to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, he spent weeks in intensive care.
Doctors put him in the halo to protect against paralysis, and wired his jaw shut. He was moved to rehab Jan. 11, and the wiring was recently removed.
"I feel alright," Andersen says, struggling to speak. "I just feel bad about this deal, and I can't put full weight on my legs. I'm working with a team to train in walking, but it hasn't worked well."
Born in Denmark in 1922, Andersen moved to the United States at age 5. As a student at Amador High in Pleasanton, he played basketball. With a passion for amateur sports, he began keeping records. In1952 he found his second calling at a game against Ceres High.
"I had nothing to do, so I went over to see the game," Andersen said. "Coach (Lee) Williford invited me to keep score. That was how it started."
Finding time between farming and construction work, Andersen would eventually tally more than 3,500 basketball games -- 3,513 to be exact. Sitting courtside for all of Livermore's games, he'd spend up to five hours logging stats by hand and typing them on his trusty Royal typewriter.
"It was a nice place to go on a Friday night," Andersen said with a shrug.
The historian for the East Bay Athletic League -- a name he coined in the 1960s -- he compiled stats for other teams from newspapers or reports from coaches. In storage now, his record boxes are stacked 10 feet high with basketball, baseball, and football records organized by year. With his photographic memory, Andersen can recall specific games, players, and the years they played.
"Some of the things he knows, he's the only one who knows it," said Goodman. " ... That sense of history is gone."
Livermore's assistant varsity coach, Steve Orth, met Andersen in the 1980s, when Orth was the head coach. Andersen rode with the team to games, teaching Orth Livermore sports history along the way.
"He's a numbers guy," Orth said. "He remembers everything."
Andersen is such an East Bay fixture that since the accident, Orth said, even players and parents of opposing teams wonder where he has been.
In Andersen's absence, Livermore High's head basketball coach and athletic director, James Petersdorf, has scrambled for fill-ins.
"I'd rather have Pete there because he's been doing it for so long, and he loves it," said Petersdorf, adding that the school will name a basketball tournament after him next year.
It won't be his first honor; when Livermore-Granada Boosters named the first inductees to the Livermore Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, there was never a doubt Andersen would be included.
"Peder's company is pretty high company, and he can stand on his own with any of them," Goodman said. "The commitment and personal sacrifice he's made, no one's ever come close."
Andersen's halo will be removed Feb. 14, and he'll have to learn to walk again. Not one to relax, he's eager to get back to work.
"I have 90-and-a-half years of living on my side," Andersen said. "That's not bad."
Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184 or follow him at twitter.com/jet_bang