Handball

The NYAC handball team has the unique distinction of being the number one handball team in the world, based on the success of its athletes in both national and world competition, over the last century. Robert Ripley, of “Believe It Or Not” fame, was the NYAC’s first nationally-ranked handball player, finishing third in the 1924 four-wall nationals. Angelo Trulio slammed in the 1932 national four-wall, taking the singles and the doubles with Maynard Laswell. Trulio won the national four-wall singles again in 1946, after a 14-year drought. Frank Coyle and Ed Linz dominated the national four-wall scene in the 1940’s winning the title four times in six years. Coyle added the national singles title in 1944. Tom Ginty won the national four-wall singles title in 1953. Joe Ingrassia and John Abate won the national four-wall double crown in 1953, 1954 and 1955.

Moving ahead to the modern era, 19 year old Ruby Obert shocked the handball world by defeating his heavily-favored brother, Oscar to win the 1954 national one-wall singles title.  Oscar took over as singles champ in 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964 and 1965, and went on to be the
greatest player in the history of the game, eventually winning 42 national open championships. Carl Obert took the 1960 and 1962 national one-wall singles crowns, as well as the1965 and 1967 national 3-wall singles titles. The brothers also dominated in doubles during this period winning 92 national titles, in all.  
 
Pat Kirby won the 1965 national four-wall singles title and, later that year, 18 year-old Wally Ulbrich and 22 year-old Ken Holmes won the national one-wall open doubles crown. John Sabo, Jr. and Ken Ginty won the 1979 national three-wall doubles over Wisotsky and Ulbrich in an all NYAC final. Steve Lott won the 1975 national four-wall doubles with Marty Decatur. Ken Ginty won the 1987 national four-wall open singles title, as well as the 1987 3-wall doubles title with Eric Klarman. John Bike won the 1992 national four-wall singles title and is a many-time national four-wall doubles champion. Eric Klarman slammed in the 1994 national three-wall tournament taking both the singles and the doubles. Joe Kaplan won the 1999 national one-wall singles crown, as well as the 2000 and 2006 national one-wall doubles. Tracy Davis is the current women’s doubles champion in one wall and three-wall. Paul Brady is currently the 2006 World Four-Wall Singles Champion, as well as the current US National Four-Wall Singles Champion.
 
In total, nine NYAC handball players have been inducted into the United States Handball Hall of Fame, including Rosemary Bellini.

       
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