The Olympic Club
Inducted as a Player in 1983
Open letter from Bob Kendler, President and founder of the USHA, 1972, condensed by Geoff Capell
The first time I thought of writing you was the day you won the National Championships in Houston in 1953. Your match with Ken Schneider was the greatest I ever witnessed. Ken looked like a sure winner when he beat you the first game 21-3. Boy, how you dug in for the second game! Before it was over you matched his sensational shots with even more sensational retrieves. Your deceptive left began rolling them out and before long you were on the offensive getting stronger by the minute. With the luck of the Irish, you pulled out the second game and then showed what a fierce, hard-nosed player you were in the third game. From that day on you were regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. You proved it in the years that followed by beating many of the all-time greats in tournament competition.
The history of handball is full of your victories over the best....Joe Platak, Walter Plekan, Gus Lewis, Jim Jacobs and Vic Hershkowitz. Funny thing about you,--you asked no quarter and gave none. You had only one thought in mind and that was victory.
In your years as the champion from San Francisco you built the image of the area to its highest level. With the Banuets, Marbles, Kellys, Clements, de la Penas, McGuires, Keays, Judnichs, and others, your teams brought a shudder in every national tournament. Knock down, and drag-out handball was the order of the day in the Bay area and woe to the visiting handballers that challenged the bare-handed fist ball specialists of the West. Mayhem in the court was invented by your gang and nowhere else was you brand of ball played.
Where ever you are Bob--I know your are thinking of us. Wherever we are, Bob--we will be thinking of you. It's guys like you that started us in this Players' Fraternity,--and if they don't know already your family is part of our Fraternity. If they ever want for anything, we'll provide it,--with love.