Undated photo above courtesy of Bill Fand – This rare and nostalgic photo taken in the late 40's should ring a bell for handball oldtimers. That's Morty Alexander (left), younger brother of Sy Alexander, and Vic Hershkowitz posing with tourney trophies in Garber Stadium. Vic (born in 1918) is only one year older than Morty. On the right is the late Jerry Drobes, a popular BBB Athletic Director and referee.
Here in Tyree Bastidas' camp we work hard in bringing to light the untold and incredible stories of some young handball players. We believe their stories were equal parts inspiring and breathtaking and need to be told. We believe it's extraordinary flattering to consider these great handball players' stories as some of the best in the history of 1-wall championships.
Unfortunately, all champions of the past never got the proper recognition during the thirty years former 1-wall Commissioner, Howie Eisenberg, chaired the 1-wall handball Hall of Fame Committee.
Howie Eisenberg was given plenty of time to pay tribute to the great 1-wall champions of the past, instead, he chose to induct into the hall mainly handball players of his generation and never bothered to look back. But after Eisenberg resigned in 2012, the USHA took the proper steps to honor and recognize these great champions. Kudos to the USHA!
Morty Alexander was born in Brooklyn (Manhattan Beach), on November 3, 1919 and attended Long Island University in Brooklyn. He won the AAU men's open doubles title with his brother Sy Alexander in 1936 when Morty was only 16, making him the youngest player to ever win a 1-wall national title. In 1940 M. Alexander won the AAU national singles title by defeating the great Vic Hershkowitz in the finals. He slammed that year by winning the doubles division. The following year he successfully defended his doubles title and in 1951 he won the doubles national title again, spreading his winnings through three different decades.
Morty Alexander and his brother Sy became the first brother team to win the AAU 1-wall national title in the men's open doubles division.
Mr. Morty Alexander died on April 29, 2008 in Boca Raton, Florida.
The European Union was represented by far the best 1-wall players the old continent has ever sent to the world handball competition that takes place every three years. The surprise of the tournament came from Spain where most of its players walked out with medals usually reserved for U.S. players.
United Kingdom sent a strong team led by Kathleen Briedenhann who specializes in big ball 1-wall. Former champions, Theresa Haley and Karen McConney also returned to compete at the highest level while Miranda Scheffer from Netherlands had a strong showing but eventually was overpowered by the opposition.
Ireland has always sent strong teams to the worlds and this year was not different where two of its players, Catriona Casey and Lorraine Havern reached the semi finals.
Canada and U.S. teams that usually advance in the draw without problems saw some of its players taken out by skillful European players in the various women's divisions offered in Calgary, Canada.
Japan and India's handball teams didn't send 1-wall players this year.
One of the most well-known love stories in the handball world hit the news in the internet over the summer when former champions: Albert Apuzzi and Dori Ten were spotted at the Coney Island handball courts.
It's been said that once some one takes the plunge in the handball community things start falling apart, but not for this couple. A 1993 and a 2015 photo then and now, show them still together on the handball courts.
Re-posted from The New York Times.
He Carried Her Off the Handball Court, but Didn’t Quite Sweep Her Off Her Feet.
By COREY KILGANNON
August 20, 2015
The story of Albert and Dori began with a challenge match, a spectacle that became part first date, part first aid.
Albert Apuzzi, one of the greatest one-wall players to ever pull on a handball glove, had been playing for years at the famed Seaside Courts in Coney Island where Dori Ten, a lithe, blond paddleball player, was also a regular.
One day in the summer of 1988, Mr. Apuzzi agreed to play Ms. Ten in front of everyone, his hands against her paddle.
“She thought I had no shot, but I knew she had no shot,” Mr. Apuzzi recalled. “I was traveling all over the country by this time, playing all the top players.”
Myth – The first 16-year-old to have won a national title was Vince Munoz. Munoz won the USHA national 3-wall men's open doubles title with his partner Richard Lopez in 1986.
Fact – Morty Alexander was the first 16-year-old to have won the AAU national 1-wall men's open doubles title with his brother Sy Alexander in 1936.