There are a lot of players outside New York who have made headlines by winning the 3-wall open singles title in the past three decades, but in spite of all these winnings, New York has remained the leading state across the nation with the most winnings.
The Big Apple has always been the home of the nation’s best 3-wall players, winning the most open single titles. It has been in a dormant stage for more than 30 years, with the exception of 1993. But on September 2, Tyree rose to the occasion to take the 3-wall title to mark the beginning of a new era for New York. He added another title to the largest collection of 3-wall titles the State of New York holds.
Since 1950, New Yorkers have always dominated the 3-wall handball circuit and have always been the players to beat from east to west.
Currently, New York State is leading the nation with the most national open singles titles (29), followed closely by California (19). It’s has been leading the nation for more than half a century.
Three-Wall Tales: Here are the 3-wall champions in the country dating back to 1950, when Vic Herskowitz took the title to take the lead for New York.
Tyree Bastidas was happy to continue making New York State, the home of the best 3-wall players in America.
New York State:
Players Year Titles.
V. Hershkowitz (1950-1958) 9
O. Obert (1962) 1
M. Decatur (1963-64, 1966, 1968-69) 5
C. Obert (1965, 1967) 2
L. Russo (1971-1972, 1975-77, 1979-80) 7
P. Haber (1973) 1
F. Lewis (1974, 1978) 2
E. Klarman (1993) 1
T. Bastidas (2013) 1
Total championship titles: 29
J. Jacobs (1959-1961) 3
S. August (1970) 1
V. Munoz (1990, 1996-2003, 2005) 10
D. Chapman (1994-1995, 2010) 3
E. Peixoto (2006, 2009) 2
Total championship titles: 19
N. Alvarado (1981-1984) 4
V. Roberts (1985-1987) 3
J. Kendler (1988) 1
J. Bike Jr. (1989, 1991-1992) 3
S. Lenning (2004, 2007-08, 2011-12) 5
Photos by Keith Thode
Tyree Bastidas flew west to challenge the best teams of the 4-wall game in the tournament that offers the most money in the U.S.
Tyree never expected to play against Munoz’s team, but he was happy to know his trip was worthy of a match against the great Vince Munoz.
Tyree Bastidas still remembers when he met Munoz for the first time in 2005 as he watched him play and win his last open singles title (the 10th).
“Vince was amazing, playing and shooting from all over the court” Tyree recalls.
“After Vince’s final game was over, I asked him to come and watch me play in the final of the 3-wall juniors 15- and under singles”
Indeed, after Munoz’s game, Tyree’s final game was called out to be played on the other side of the main courts, and as we were recording and taking pictures during Tyree’s match, we saw Vince Munoz come around the courts and watch Tyree win his first 3-wall national junior title.
We don’t know how Tyree convinced Vince Munoz to come and watch his game, but whatever he had told Munoz it seemed to have worked as he came and watch Tyree' match, and posed with him for a picture. Vince Munoz poses with Tyree Bastidas in 2005
Fast-forward eight years and we have Team Bastidas/Nahorniack playing two tough games against team Munoz/Chavez and even though team Bastidas/Nahorniack prevailed, it wasn’t easy earning that pass to the next round.
We asked Tyree: how is Vince Munoz’s game now that he is in his 40’s?
“He still got a good game, he stills plays hard, and he still keeps shooting from any angle on the court, but he misses more. I guess we all have to go through this as we get older” said Tyree.
We all know Mr. Munoz is not in his prime any more, but at his age, he still commands a lot of respect and fear during his games, according to Tyree.
Congratulations to both teams.
The Daily News, one of the best newspapers in NY was on site to cover the most important USHA national handball tournament from Sept 24-29.
The news article gives us an insight of this great tournament that since 1959 has only been captured by New York players in spite the fact that players outside New York have tried in vain to capture the title.
Enjoy the reading:
By Sasha Goldstein / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Handball ‘mecca’ in Coney Island hosts national championship tournament
The annual tournament brings the best of the best to the courts by the boardwalk. Several local players are among the top rated in the world. Hi-level handball is hitting the courts at Coney Island. Top players from around the country, including dozens from the five boroughs, are bleeding and sweating it out during the annual one-wall national championship at Asser Levy Park
“Coney Island has been the mecca of the handball universe forever,” said Jared Vale, of Long Island, a 30-year veteran of the game.
The courts by the boardwalk were first put up during The Great Depression, said Vern Roberts, the executive director of the US Handball Association, cementing it as the center of the modern handball universe. “Handball is the oldest game known to mankind,” said Roberts, who traveled from Arizona for the one-wall championship this week. “It’s pretty simple. The Mayans, Incas, they all played it — but they played it with rocks.” The simple game runs deep in the veins of New York City, which is home to thousands of handball courts and players and hosts several tournaments. Two of the best in the business now — brothers Tyree and Jurell Bastidas — hail from Midwood and are among the top seeds in this year’s tournament.
The best USHA outdoor tournament that’s played with the most walls (3) came to an end on September 2, after five days of intense competition at all levels.
As in the past, the tournament drew the best players from the U.S., who were also treated along with fans and their families to the best hospitality a tournament could offer.
Milestone: Tyree Bastidas became the youngest New York player to capture the 3-wall national title.
Tyree Bastidas became the youngest New York player in the Association to have captured the 3- and 4-wall national titles in the same year.
Megan Mehilos won her 8th singles title, tying Rosemary Bellini’s record.
Useless facts: It’s the only USHA national championship that offers a (2,000.00) money-prize 1-wall open event.
Photo above Shelley sits on bench (far left) to watch handball players.
Photos by Bill Fand.
Shelley: A long-time handball fan and a regular at Coney Island.
I’ve been coming here at the Coney Island courts since I was 14-years-old. My father always brought me here (Coney Island) to watch the best handball players, including Joe Durso.
I grew up watching Joe winning almost everything and I remember watching Joe when he was about 22-23 years-old, same as Tyree.
My father made a lot of money betting on Joe’s games. Joe was a terrific player and the best back then. But after watching Tyree playing for the past several years, I’ve changed my mind.
I believe Tyree has more skills and more game than Joe. Just Tyree’s left hand makes the difference.
I wish my father was alive to watch Tyree play.