San Jose Central YMCA
Inducted as Player in 2013
By Jim Tamagni
TWO DUNNES ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Rich and Mike Dunne Jr. are perhaps one of the best brother teams to play the game in recent history. Prodigy of Mike and
Joan Dunne, they come from a family with a long handball tradition. Norm, the baby brother in more ways than one, is in the record books with one USHA Open Doubles title. Mike Dunne Sr. has been a successful player regionally and nationally for as long as I can remember, with most of his success as a doubles player; and wherever there was a Dunne on the court there was Joan rooting them on. Mrs. Dunne probably knew more about handball opponents and strategy than any woman I had ever met. Sr. has so many national titles that he has lost count. Of course that is not the case with Rich and Junior. Junior has 2 national titles with Rich and 8 with Doug Glatt, for a total of 20. Rich, on the other hand, has his 12 titles with his brother, 7 YMCA national titles and a World title with Rich Vasquez. Not a bad sum for a couple of USHA Grand Masters. In fact, they became Grand Masters faster than anyone in history. When you can win the USHA Nationals, the National Masters invite and the USHA 3-wall all in the same year it only takes 3.3 years to be a grand master. Obviously their skill was not limited to 4-wall as they were dominate every time they went to Toledo. The 1-wall world was lucky that there were few 1-wall courts in Northern California because they would have dominated that just as in 4- and 3-wall.
Don't kid yourself if you think they walked over a bunch of inferior players. When you have multiple wins over players with
names like Chapman, Bike, Munoz, Morones, Alvarado Jr, Roberts, Parades, Christian, Robles, Ginty, Silveyria and Lopez,
just to name a few, you know how to play doubles. With Rich's above his ear two handed flat roll-outs, and Junior's lightning speed and power hook serve, no pro team was safe from this amateur doubles team. They didn't play for money, they played to win and they won a lot. Of course they didn't play in nationals only. They played and won almost every tournament locally, which was bad news for the rest of us.
One good example of this was their win in Santa Rosa when they went head to head with the USHA Open Doubles champions from the current and previous year. Can you imagine sending John Bike and Naty Alvarado, Jr. and then David Chapman and Tati Silveyria to the showers to win the whole thing? With that being career defining for most of us, they don't even consider that their best win. As up-and-comers they won the state championship by beating Vince Munoz and Richard Lopez in the semis and taking apart Dave and Randy Morones in the finals. I guess it is safe to say if you saw their name on the draw sheet you did not want to be in their bracket. They also finished 2nd in the USHA Nationals in Chicago beating Bike in the process before losing a close one in the finals to Danny Bell and Charlie Kalil.
Playing a little ball in high school they blossomed after college to the team they are today. As late 40- and 50-something years old they are still a threat in any open tournament they enter. Of course, having their own normally large Dunne families has slowed down their handball onslaught quite a bit. If not for the kids they would probably own another 15-20 nationals titles. It is good to know as they are inducted into the NorCal Hall of Fame that there is still a chance for the rest of us, until their kids are grown. Welcome Rich! Welcome Junior! It was worth every win, every loss, every beer, every margarita and all those stories getting here.