The Olympic Club
Inducted as a Player in 1989
A story in The Olympian by Rick Christian 1983, condensed by Geoff Capell
In the gallery of the handball courts the member mumble. They say he's not so quick any more. They can't figure out how he does it with such frequency and consistency. Yet Charles M. "Charlie" Yates has just defeated another player half his age, using precision ball placement and sheer will and determination. Funny how Charlie always looks somewhat fresh after a tough match, while his opponent walks off the court with three shirts soiled heavily with perspiration in hand. Both players walk together up to the gallery area to relax and cool off before shower time. The other players kid the "youngster" on being beaten by Charlie. All in good fun.
Charlie Yates has been participating in handball since 1939. At twenty-one years of age he felt a need to supplement his fitness program. Having been an active water polo player for The Olympic Club from 1936 through 1948, he may have been looking for a few new challenges. Little did he realize then that he was embarking on a lifetime love affair with the perfect game.
His first few years of competition were much like those of other players. Winning matches infrequently, losing when he knew in his heart he should hot have. Yet with the determination that shines through so clearly even today, he persisted. Then came his first championship, winning the Olympic Club Singles Tournament in the First class division. This was to kick off years of tournaments and titles.
Charlie is currently ranked #1 in the USHA in the Diamond Division (70+). In the National Masters Handball Championships held in June 1983 Charlie defeated fellow Californian Earl Heinrich 21-8, 21-20 in a thriller to capture the national title.