Photo by Ken Davidoff - Steve Sandler celebrates (hoisted in the air by his handball followers) in 1966.
We've received a couple of e-mails regarding a previous post “Gain with no pain” where some of our our readers complained the article unfairly implied that Steve Sandler used the drug “cortisone” to get ahead of the competition.
Although the article is open to interpretation it was never our intention to convey the message in question. Our article did use the same exact language Mr. Dan Flickstein used in his original article “Before tournaments he would, almost like an addict, drug his arm with cortisone” Wrote Mr. Flickstein in 1977.
Here in Tyree's camp we do take seriously Mr. Flickstein's statements as he's considered one of the best Handball Historians in the association, a real observant of the game and a loyal follower of Steve Sandler.
Was the timing of his use of cortisone during the nationals and his Doctors' appointments pure coincidence?
We don't know. The only thing that we do know is that he did reign supreme during the time in question; 1966-1971. Was Sandler's practice of injecting cortisone to numb his hand right before the 1-wall nationals fair to the competition?
As we had previously posted “While there is certainly an advantage of playing pain-free unlike the rest of the competitors, Sandler didn't break any rules as the use and overuse of many drugs and other performance-enhancing drugs during the ‘60s was rampant and unregulated”
The cortisone shots did give Sandler comfort and the security of knowing he could hit the ball without pain.
Please be reminded that in spite of Sandler's use of cortisone, many people think he was a great player worthy to be inducted into the USHA Hall of fame, which he did. And he could easily go into the Jewish hall of fame in the near future.
Whether S. Sandler used the drug to get ahead of the competition or to overcome the pain in his arm is something we will never know. The only thing we do know is that he did in fact inject the drug in his arm right before the 1-wall nationals.
Martin Mulkerrins, a young rising star from Ireland has been slowly climbing to the top at the USHA 4-wall nationals since 2013 when he reached the men's singles finals only to lose to perennial winner Paul Brady.
Mr. Mulkerrins also competed at the worlds in 2015 and had won the USHA national collegiates on several occasions.
This year he reached the semifinals and hoped to face Paul Brady once again at the championship match, but was stopped short by fellow countryman Killian Carroll in another great showdown of young Irish players.
Congratulations to Mr. Mulkerrins for finishing as one of the top players.
Photo by Bill Fand - Joe Durso stealing the show as cameras roll for the young competitors.
For the first time in more than 40 years, handball star Joe Durso was absent from the Coney Island handball courts during the 1-wall nationals. Joe has been a fixed fixture either as a player or a fan, but this year Joe was nowhere to be seen “He moved to Florida” yielded a handball fan.
“He officially retired and went south to Florida”
We do have to admit that something was odd at the handball courts which prompted us to inquire about it. Joe Durso's iconic presence was missed during the nationals “He'll be back in a couple of years. He belongs in NY” said another fan.
Myth – USHA juniors players across the states have captured national jr (1-, 3 & 4-wall titles) in the same year.
Fact – Only USHA junior handball players from New York have been able to to capture all three handball versions in the same year.