Al Banuet

Al Banuet

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 1954 

Whenever there is talk of the all-time best, Al Banuet is mentioned. He won three consecutive titles, in 1929 (at the age of 19), 1930 and 1931. He also won the doubles in 1929 and 1930. 

Because Banuet was such a great athlete, a boxing promoter talked him into a short-lived boxing career, which forever banned him from AAU-sponsored handball. 

Banuet stories are legendary. Trulio said: "I’ve seen him run up a back wall to retrieve a shot. He could do things that are regarded as impossible." 

W.O. McGeehan, sports editor of the New York Times said: "He is the greatest champion in his chosen sport I have seen. Greater than Babe Ruth in baseball, greater than Bobby Jones in golf, greater than Jack Dempsey in boxing." 

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Vic Hershkowitz

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 1957

Hershkowitz is considered by most historians as the greatest all-around player in handball history. No other player has ever so thoroughly dominated one-, three-, and four-wall handball competition. It was appropriate that Vic should win the first USHA Masters singles in 1966. In addition to his 23 national Open singles and doubles championships, Hershkowitz holds 12 national Masters titles.

Vic worked in New York City as a fireman, and incidentally won several National Firefighters tournaments.

USHA National Handball Championships   *AAU Titles

1942 One-Wall Doubles Champion*
1947 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1948 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1948 One-Wall Doubles Champion*
1949 Four-Wall Singles Champion*
1950 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1950 Three-Wall Singles Champion*
1951 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1952 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1952 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1952 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1953 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1953 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1954 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1954 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1955 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1956 One-Wall Doubles Champion*
1956 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1956 Three-Wall Doubles Champion
1957 One-Wall Singles Champion*
1957 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1958 Three-Wall Singles Champion
1961 Four-Wall Doubles Champion

 

 

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Joe Platak

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 1954

The record book shows that Platak, representing Chicago’s Lake Shore Club, won seven national four-wall singles championships in a row, added two more after Navy service in World War II, and took two doubles titles. Not until Naty Alvarado did any other player win as many four-wall titles in national Open singles play.

Never in his nine singles victories was he pushed to three games and only once did an opponent score more points in the second game than in the first.

In 1937, when Joe was at his peak, he went on an exhibition tour. He played 136 games in 21 days in 17 clubs in 13 cities and nine states, covering some 3,000 miles on the trip. He didn’t lose a game in singles or doubles!


National Handball Championships

1935 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1936 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1937 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1937 Four-Wall Doubles Champion
1938 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1939 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1940 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1941 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1943 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1944 Four-Wall Doubles Champion
1945 Four-Wall Singles Champion

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Joe Danilczyk

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 2008

Joe Danilczyk's main arsenal was a hopping two-way hook serve.  He could also mix in deadly kills, a round-house opposite left punch along with crafty placement.  He won his first National title when he and his brother Charlie won the Three-Wall National Doubles title in 1961.  The next year they reached a semifinal in the 1962 Four-Wall Nationals (Houston).  Joe had tremendous success in age division events, having won many masters championships beyond the age of 40 to become a National Grand Master.

As a New York firefighter, Joe won several firefighter tournaments while partnered with Vic Hershkowitz.

Joe's brother and doubles partner Charlie shared the following at his Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: 

"Joe Danilczyk had perhaps the biggest two-way hook serves of anybody. They enabled him always to receive soft returns, which he killed or drove with great power.

With his left hand he could punch kills or hit drives into his opponents' chests. And playing front-court position, he always seemed to hit shots in font of himself or his partner.

Joe was one-wall doubles champion in 1964, 1966 and 1967. He was runner-up on four occasions and a semifinalist nine other times. 

Although Joe was not known for his singles play, his great serve and aggressive shots made him a tough challenge for all the great singles players of his day.  None of them could take him lightly."


National Titles:

1961 - Three-Wall Doubles (with Charlie Danilczyk)
1964 - One-Wall Doubles (with David Norvid)
1966 - One-Wall Doubles (with Artie Reyer)
1967 - One-Wall Doubles (with Artie Reyer)







 

 

 

 

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Sam Atcheson

Sam Atcheson

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 1955

Sam Atcheson won the four-wall National Open singles title in 1933 and 1934. In 1945, at the age of 43, he added the Open doubles title with partner Walter Detweiler.

The slender, wiry and speedy perfectionist was a stellar national Y champion. He won 14 national titles over a period covering 1930-45. In YMCA competition he was virtually unbeatable. He took the singles six times from 1931 through 1937, missing only in 1934 when George Nelson of Baltimore was the victor.

On Nov. 4, 1989, Atcheson was honored as the first inductee into the National YMCA Handball Hall of Fame.


National Handball Championships

1933 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1934 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1945 Four-Wall Doubles Champion

 

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George Quam

George Quam

Induction: 1959

George was told to forget about handball, because it was strictly a two-handed game. Quam determinedly learned the game and went on to win an exhibition over Baltimore’s George Nelson in 1928, the year after Nelson won the national singles. Herbert Hoover invited Quam to the White House and chatted with him for half an hour.

"I’ve had more fun playing handball than any other activity...handball has been the vehicle by which I won my way out of darkness and despair...I don’t believe that having one hand has been a handicap...everyone is given more natural ability, equipment and talent than we will ever use. Success is not going to be determined by what you have to work with, but how you use what you have."

 

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Maynard Laswell

USHA Hall of Fame Induction: 1955

The first multiple winner of the national handball title was Maynard Laswell of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The champion had one of the greatest underhand back-wall drives in handball history. That, combined with a fine overhand game, a side-arm fly kill, great conditioning and competitive instinct, enabled him to win three consecutive national singles titles. Laswell teamed with fellow club member Max Gold to win the doubles title the year before his first singles win.

A fine all-around athlete, Laswell competed at the national AAU level in basketball.


National Handball Championships

1923 Four-Wall Doubles Champion
1924 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1925 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1926 Four-Wall Singles Champion
1932 Four-Wall Doubles Champion

 

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Angelo Trulio

Angelo Trulio

Induction: 1959

1932 Four-Wall Singles Champion

1932 Four-Wall Doubles Champion

1946 Four-Wall Singles Champion

Angelo Trulio gave as much of himself to handball as anyone associated with the game...as a player, contributor and lifelong enthusiast. He developed a pattern of play best suited to his physical attributes -- stamina and control. In 1932, he burst upon the national scene, as champion in both singles and doubles. He amazed the handball world when he won the singles 14 years later at the age of 39.

Trulio was absolute master of the big court, a man who thrived on rally, rally, and more rally. He was a cover boy for strength magazines in his glory days, a dedicated weight lifter and physical fitness model. Trulio also served as columnist for Ace Magazine.

 

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