One of the best players of the 1-wall game was reported missing from the handball radar by the end of world war II when the AAU 1-wall nationals resumed in 1945.
It's been 70 years since the AAU 1-wall nationals resumed the men's open competition without defending national champion, Joseph Garber. He had won the 1-wall national title in 1942 by defeating the best players of that year: Vic Hershkowitz in the semis and Morty Alexander in the finals.
The 1-wall nationals were canceled in 1943 and 1944 as the U.S. had entered the war. Mr. J. Garber's plane was shot down over Rumania and never made it back to the U.S. to be reunited with his family or to defend his title.
To honor Mr. Garber for his heroic military service and as a great 1-wall champion, a handball stadium was built and named after him “The Joseph Garber Stadium” at the former Brighton Beach Baths in Brooklyn.
Top photo - P. Brady (red shirt) watches first game handball action.
Bottom photo -P. Brady is absent from second game handball action.
Paul Brady has played so many finals in the men's open division in the last ten years that he already knows his opponent's game by heart. But the day prior to the men's open singles championship match and after he won his semi final match, he decided to stay and watch the other semifinal where he would play the winner.
The other semifinal match was being played by Killian Carroll and Diarmaid Nash, two players Mr. Brady has beaten before in Europe and on American soil. So, why would Paul Brady want to watch this match for?
By now everyone knows Paul Brady's routine once he finishes his games. He usually picks up his gear and disappears into the crowd until his next match the following day. But on this day, he stayed to watch the first game and left before the second game started.
Did he need to re-assure himself he could still beat any of the aforementioned players? or did he actually needed to see with his own eyes he could still beat them without losing too much sleep before the finals? – You be the Judge!
Photo by Keith Thode
Myth – Current handball players have more opportunities to win a national open title.
Fact – Players from the '60s and '70s had more opportunities to win a national title as they competed in more than one handball national championships: AAU and USHA.
Photo by Keith Thode - Vince Munoz poses after winning the 3-wall nationals.
Some people may no be aware that Vince Munoz from Commerce, California became the youngest USHA 3-wall doubles national champion at the age of 16. A great feat that no one has been able to replicate in the association. It's an amazing run that doesn't get too much coverage over the internet.
But aside from his best performance at the open level he also managed to win the 17-and-under boys' singles division at the USHA national four-wall juniors championships held in Atlanta in 1986.
Vince Munoz had won the men's open singles and doubles (3- & 4-wall) titles - completing the full cycle in 3- and 4-wall.
Mr. Munoz also reached the semifinals of the men's open (singles and doubles) of the USHA 1-wall nationals in the '90s. His great handball journey makes him one of the best players in the association and one of the most ambidextrous players to be considered among all-time greats.