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Bob Little

The Olympic Club
Inducted as a Player in 1988

By Bernie Samet

In 1966 Ace Magazine's introduction for Bob Little (for the Pacific Coast classic) bore these words. "This tenacious bulldog bears watching at all times."  His friends know that this description of Bob is right on the money, on or off the handball court.  A Merchant Marine during the war years, 1943-45, Bob joined the San Francisco Fire Department in 1948.  It was shortly thereafter, in 1949 that fellow firefighter, Bob Coyle introduced Bob to the game.  Coyle's teaching methods were crude, he made Little buy the beer if he lost.  After those first days at the Central YMCA Bob moved on to the South End Rowing Club where he became club champion in 1960 (with a victory over Rudy Stadlberger) and then to The Olympic Club where he won the club singles championship in 1964.  Among his victories were a City doubles championship with the legendary Bob Brady and a victory in the Masters over Stan Clawson in the State Championships in Fresno in the early 1970's.

In 1974 in the course of his duties as a fireman, Bob suffered an injury that left him paralyzed.  His fierce competitive spirit has been missed on the courts ever since.