San Mateo Elks
Inducted as a Player in 2008
It is a happy day indeed when one has the pleasure of honoring a true gentleman who has distinguished himself both on and off the handball court. This year we are inducting Dennis Moser into the Northern California Handball Hall of Fame. Dennis stands tall among his handball peers; not only for his many championships but he stands tall at 6’6’. You can’t miss Dennis.
Dennis first saw handball played at the YMCA in La Crosse, Wisconsin. As a teenager he was intrigued by the angles of the game, the seeming mathematical nature of it. So it should be no surprise to anyone that Dennis received a BS in Electrical Engineering (1964) and an MBA (1966) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He played very little handball in Wisconsin but with his arrival in San Francisco (his first job at IBM) he started to blossom as a handball player.
Somehow Dennis found the South End Rowing Club. He recalls the first time he saw Mike Kelly play noting what a smooth ambidextrous player he was. He also recalls “hearing” Howie Wyrsch playing in another court. Dennis remembers the first time he played Rudy Stadelberger and being dismissed rather handily getting 2 and 1. But Dennis did not easily give-up. He persevered and improved. His first tournament win was in the B division at a SERC tournament.
By 1977 Dennis was playing in the A class and traveling to tournaments. He started playing at the Bay Club where he dominated the challenge court. But by his own admission, he was not setting the world on fire at tournaments. He did graduate to the Open division.
In 1983 he was traveling less and playing exclusively in local tournaments. By then he had a wife, Chris, and a daughter, Alex. Then in 1995, the three Mosers moved to the Peninsula and Dennis found new handball life at the Elks Club in San Mateo. At that time the Elks Club was a vibrant handball community with players at all skill levels.
With a stronger left and confidence that his game had returned, Dennis began playing in tournaments again. Then in 2002, with Travis Poindexter as his partner, they entered the Nationals 60s bracket thinking they might go a round or two. Dennis and Travis went on to win the tournament – to everyone’s surprise as Dennis tells the story. This was the first of several national championships Dennis has earned.
Dennis continues to play regularly at the San Mateo Elks Club often handily beating players 10 years his junior. His court coverage with his long reach makes him nearly impossible to pass. He still has an awesome right hand. If Dennis “sets-up” and raises that right hand high to shoot the ball: the point is over.
Dennis noted that the treasures he takes from the game are the camaraderie and memories that come with playing over 30 years. He also likes to point out that sportsmanship and learning to deal with limitations were part of the game’s challenges that motivated him. His National accomplishments (and he isn’t quite done) are listed below:
2002 – Masters Doubles – 60s – (with Travis Poindexter) – First
2002 – National Championship - Singles – 60s – Second
2003 - Masters Singles – 60s – First
2003 – World Handball Championship – Singles – 60s – Second
2004 – National Championship – Singles – 60s – First
2007 – National Championship – Singles – 65s – First
2008 – National Championship – Singles – 65s – Second
Dennis is a true sportsman who well deserves the recognition of being inducted into the Northern California Handball Hall of Fame. Congratulations!