Tyree Bastidas, the youngest player to ever win the men’s open singles national title at the Coney Island handball courts, extended his stay as King of 1-wall to 153 weeks.
Never before in the history of the game, a player as young as Bastidas, has held on to the top position for such a long time.
It’s not easy to rule and hold on to the reigns of 1-wall “The Perfect Game” for this long. We can ask other national champions the same question and probably we’d get the same answer.
Every handball players will have another opportunity to knock Tyree off the throne on July 14 at the Mayor’s Cup.
The Mayor’s Cup has been the most popular 1-wall handball tournament in New York in the last two decades where most of the best handball players vie for the prestigious title.
Tyree Bastidas just came back from the 4-wall nationals after winning a national title in Des Moines. This past weekend he made the necessary changes to adjust to the 1-wall game and capture the money and the honors.
With temperatures above 95 degrees the best one wall handball players of the tournament reached the top spots drenched in sweat and exhausted from playing in the largest draw in recent years.
Tournament Director Bill O’Donnell made sure the tournament offered more than $1,000.00 in prize money and made sure the tournament ran smooth and on time.
Because most of the top 1-wall players entered to compete, Mr. O’Donnell used the USHA Rankings to make sure everybody gets a fair seeding.
The highlight of the tournament was Teddy Mleczkowski, who has just turned 18 last month, and reached the finals by vesting some of the best players of the game.
Congratulations to Tyree and Teddy (finalist) for reaching the finals of the men’s open in the largest draw in Coney Island in recent memory.
Teddy Mleczkowski has just finished winning the PSAL handball competition last June and has been in the finals of the PSAL high school handball tournaments for the past three years. But this past weekend he found himself in the finals of the 1-wall men’s open. “I was a little bit nervous at the beginning” Teddy said.
“I never played at this level of competition before, but now I feel more comfortable knowing that I can compete in the men’s open.
Teddy Mleczkowski will no longer win high schools honors. From now on, he will be competing for the same honors Tyree Bastidas compete for.
Somehow “the players’ championship” event turned out to be the tournament where the best past and current high school champions got to play and meet each other all the way to the championship game.
Victor LoPierre had to face Teddy Mleczkowski and in the end, Teddy had to face Tyree.
Coincidentally, these players ruled PSAL competition during the last 10 years.
Victor LoPierre – 2003 PSAL champion: He played for Forest Hills high school in Queens and was the undisputed best high school handball player at that time. He retired from high school competition in 2003 to play in the men’s open. Recently, Mr. LoPierre has been away from the game due to family commitments and has been trying to comeback to the game that has given him so many wins.
Tyree Bastidas – 2008 PSAL champion: He played for Midwood high school in Brooklyn and was the dominant player at that time.
He retired from high school competition in 2008 to play in the men’s open. He has been playing ever since then.
Teddy Mleczkowski - 2013 PSAL champion: He played for Bayside high school in Queens and has been the dominant player for the past couple of years.
He recently retired from high school competition last month (June) to play in the men’s open. He just reached the finals to compete against Tyree Bastidas, another PSAL product.
Congratulations to these young players who continue to play the game they love the most, 1-wall.
Why do we have so many small balls in New York? One handball player asked.
The reason why we have different balls popping up all over New York is because the 1-wall handball community is not happy with the 21 ball offered by the USHA. And many companies want to capitalize on New Yorker’s misery by offering them a better ball for a better price.
During the Albany Open in 2012 and while watching a 4-wall game we heard a woman say “My husband really enjoys playing with the 21 ball. It seems the USHA finally got right this time”
Indeed, this woman was right. This wasn’t the first time we heard positive comments on the 21 ball in a 4-wall game.
It would seem the 21 ball was made with 4-wall players in mind, but it wasn’t. It just doesn’t seem to perform the same outdoors, according to some New York players.
Are New Yorkers ready to declare independence by supplying their own balls? We hope not. We are still confident the USHA can address this issue before it gets out of control.