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Tom Walsh

South End Rowing Club
Inducted as Contributor in 1983

 

From a story in Scoop on the History of Handball.
By Geoff Capell November 1989

According to Mike de la Pena long time handball coach at The Olympic Club, the Bay Counties Handball League was the showcase of Northern California Handball in the early 1950's.  It was the only real open handball competition at that time.  The league was originated by Tom Walsh and Martin Judnick.  Bay Counties was "Big Time."  Everyone was so excited to play that there were not enough spaces for all interested players.  Tryouts were held to see who would make the teams.  There were no postponements, makeup's or forfeits; it was, "The hell with the world, let's play handball."  The league ran continuously except for a few brief years in the early 50's and 80's.

 

Also in the early 1950's, the Northern California Singles Handball Tournament was born.  It was the first tournament of its kind.  It was originated by Tom Walsh and Martin Judnick.  It's format was much like the hardball handball championships held in Ireland.   The tournament  was played over several weekends at many different locations in and around the City.   The semi-finals and finals were always play over one weekend at the South End Rowing Club.  If you made the final cut, you were one good handball player indeed.

Tom was one of the foremost architects of our modern day Northern California Handball and a man way ahead of his time.