Photos by Keith Thode
At the request of some of our reader we are expanding this topic to breakdown with details the achievements of these three handball champions; Tyree Bastidas, Satish Jagnandan and Vince Munoz.
Perhaps we weren't clear about this topic and now we have the urgency to better inform our readers.
Yes, we're aware the USHA has more 1- & 3-wall champions listed as winners of at least three consecutive singles titles in all outdoor handball versions, but in our original post we pointed out players in the 21st century. And as such, there are three players who stand out as the only champions in the association who have won at least three consecutive outdoor USHA 1- or 3-wall men's open singles titles in the last 15 years.
Players who won at least three consecutive men's singles runs (1-or 3-wall versions) in the 21st Century (as of 12/2015):
Name State Handball Three year Player's
version run age
Tyree Bastidas NY 1-wall 2013-2015 24
Satish Jagnandan NY 1-wall 2004-2006 29
Vince Munoz CA 3-wall 2000-2002 32
Read more…………. Please read “For The Record” section at bottom of page.
Photos by Keith Thode (Top & Bottom photos) and Bill Fand
In the opening scenes of the first ‘Rocky’ (1976), Balboa is always holding a handball ball. For the aspiring boxer, a perfect archetype of the crude and penniless hero and destined to achieve the ‘American dream’, that is probably a simple exercise to train reflexes and a form of escapism from the problems of a difficult life. A game reminiscent of childhood, that contrasts with his bully appearance, highlighting a more sensitive side. I don’t know if the characters portrayed by Fabrizio Albertini have the same desire for social advancement or the same sensibility of Sylvester Stallone, but I see in them a certain kind of swagger, an attitude of defiance. Yet they didn’t seem very young and they appear to belong to different social classes, although giving the idea of a community, with its own rituals. It also takes little to play: an open space and a concrete wall to bounce the ball on. A game that can get pretty darn serious. You’re in a place where for 50 years the best players have been meeting, the ‘Kings of Coney Island’, to see who is the champion of this exciting challenge, demanding and at times brutal, very similar to boxing if it wasn’t for the ball. Maybe that’s why many of them behold the ‘eyes of the Tiger’…
Welcome to Coney Island.
Welcome to Mecca!
Top Photo: Mr. Dorneker returning a ball.
Middle Photo: Denny Fehr and Tyree.
Bottom Photo: Tyree wondering after his first match.
Tyree's last minute decision to attend the competition in Toledo, OH, was made a week before the 3-wall nationals and right after he came back from his two weeks stay at the worlds in Canada. Although he had preregistered to play he found himself debating whether to attend or miss the tournament for the first time in more than ten years as he didn't get to practice 3-wall at all. In the end he decided to try his luck and packed up to attend the tournament.
His first match was against Dorneker, a player he never played before. At the beginning of the game Mr. Dorneker pushed Tyree behind the long line with his powerful shots. Tyree responded with a decent return and a defensive game but found himself gasping for air at midway “This guy hits the ball pretty hard and is pushing me all the way back” said Tyree.
“Why couldn't I draw someone who hits the ball soft in my first round?” wondered Bastidas.
Towards the end of the first game, Keith Thode came around to take photos and to watch the game, and immediately noticed the obvious and asked: what's going on with Tyree?
We told Keith, he is actually watching Tyree play his first 3-wall game since last year. He didn't expect to win but he wanted to advance as deep as he could.
Later on during the second game we got a surprise visit from one of Tyree and Keith's friend, Denny Fehr.
Mr. Fehr had previously traveled to New York to compete in 2014 at the 1-wall nationals to play in the 60+ division and has played and won the 3-wall age-division in the past.
Denny Fehr also noticed something different in Tyree's game and asked: what happens with Tyree?
We had no choice but to also tell him the truth: You are watching Tyree play 3-wall for the first time since he played here in Maumee last year.
Luckily, Tyree got away with the match and advanced to the next round wondering if he could pull another surprise.
Myth – Currently, Paul Brady is the best handball player in the world.
Fact – Currently, Paul Brady is the best four-wall singles handball player in the world.