South End Rowing Club
Inducted as Contributor in 2009
Mike Alvarez, like many, came from 'back-east'; Brooklyn, New York. Mike 'got-the-bug' when he began playing handball at the Golden Gate Park courts in 1978 but gravitated to the South End Rowing Club in 1979. It was Hud Winslow who convinced Mike that playing ball at the SERC was a much "warmer" experience than playing on a winters day at the Park. Mike has been a leader and role model at the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco for nearly 30 years. He became SERC Handball Commissioner in 1986 and subsequently worked behind the scenes in coaching numerous commissioners to keep the South End handball program thriving. Mike has also been on the SERC Board for over 20 years. The South End has been around since 1873 and it's because of people like Mike Alvarez. Mike ran the South End's very successful Memorial Day Doubles tournament for a number of years. He also started the extremely popular Cinco de Mayo tournament in 1985. He has been running the South End's New Year's Day handball event for about 20 years and started the St. Patrick's Day tournament in 1999. Mike promoted handball diversity before such a thing was even considered. He ran Father- Son tournaments, Mixed Doubles tournaments, the Laguna Honda (combined age bracket tournaments) and many others. What have been Mike?s fondest memories since running tourneys out of the SERC? Mike says all were significant. In particular were last year?s Cinco in memoriam to Norma Flores. It was very special since the Fresno group has been a strong contingent in the past 10 years. Second most memorable thing coming in second in Cinco de Mayo years ago, losing only to Howie Wyrsch in the finals. Mike is clearly a fixture behind the past and present success of the SERC handball program. He keeps the tournament players happy, is always smiling and makes Northern California handball tournaments exactly what they should be.