John Bruschi, Hall of Famer!!

The words that will follow, is meant to be MY Opinion!! My somewhat, educated Opinion!

On the subject of the Paddleball Hall of Fame, I am very ecstatic that the Paddleball Family Alliance has taken on the enormous task of resurrecting the PHOF, after more then a 40 year draught! With that being said, one should always start from the beginning. And when one talks about paddleball, one should mention one name, and one name only, Howard Hammer!!

He has the distinction of being known as “Mr. Paddleball “!! And rightfully so!

However, if you asked Howie, he would modestly say, he would never have accomplished most of his championship titles without his longtime partner, John Bruschi!!

John was the setup man. He was the player on the team that kept things going, that made the gets, that quietly played his role, together with Howie, to win all their titles!!

On a personal thought, and again, my opinion, I thought John Bruschi should have joined Howie in the HOF.

The founding players are getting up in age, and we need to recognize, and honor them, for their contributions, before it’s too late!! I was asked my opinion on the subject of whom should be enshrined, and although it was appreciated, it fell by the wayside, and was overlooked!!

John Bruschi deserves to be enshrined more then anybody else who played paddleball back in those early days!!

I hope that in the near future, Mr. Bruschi will in fact, be honored with enshrinement in the Paddleball Hall of Fame!!


  1. I sure hope he’s there to accept it, if you know what I mean?
    Cause frankly, despite my objections, you guys didn’t honor him when you had the opportunity!


  2. You weren’t at the Howie Event. We called up John and he got a rousing applause and brought a tear to everyone’s eyes. He was well respected by everyone there.He was well honored Andy. Take a chill pill.


    1. Mitchell, acknowledging John Bruschi and paying tribute to him in the Hall of Fame are two different gestures! One is for the moment, and one is for a lifetime!! Do you know the difference? Chill pill? How about shutting me up by honoring him with a much needed enshrinement in the Paddleball Hall of Fame?!!! The man is 83!! God help you, if he’s not with us, before you decide on his deserving honor!!! Think about that, Mitchell!!


      1. Numnuts,
        That moment in time will last the rest of his lifetime. One more thing, NEVER USE G-DS NAME WHEN YOU COMMUNICATE WITH ME. I AM DONE.


  3. Considering what “The Fly Man” Andy said, it’s truthful. Back in the late 70’s , I recalled playing against John Bruschi do7bles and he made brilliant shots. Couldn’t get nothing by him considering I.was upcoming Singles Champion who.took the BP Singles Championship in the 80’s where Mike Melendez loss in the Semi- finals. He was a gentleman in the court. In fact, my recent conversation with Howie Hammer proved undoubtedly what Andy said. “Mr. Paddleball” himself expressed to me these words “I looked like a star.playing.out there (playing Paddleball ) but John made me.a star. I give him all the credit.” This was while Howie was at Zerega Indoors before his inauguration into the Hall of Fame Paddleball. It was very modest for him to say these stunning words to me about the real star of the show. Please, forgive if anyone is offended by this but I.will referred them to “Mr. Paddleball” himself is you have any dubiety still lingering in your head. Andy ” The Fly Man” your words and sentiments must have echoed into The Hall of Fame Paddleball, because I heard John Bruschi is next to be inaugurated into.The Hall of Fame.


  4. Well 2017 is here.. And there are NOT a lot of players left from the 70’s.. Maybe someone should start the idea of inducting in order of voting as HOF’er . Mike provides a good forum for players to leave comments. I know that a conversation has been ongoing about this issue.. I know that Andy and Melendez have been asked about who should be and should not be.. These players from that era and time frame should be given recognition for the sport WE all love, One Wall Paddleball.. What does the plaque cost ? Another issue to consider “Where to put a plaque so that people can see it.. As well as the one given to the player. Perhaps Central Park, Florida, Garfield St., Perhaps Zerega’s . Hammer, Bruschi are the pioneers of One Wall Paddleball. There were so many great players.. Post your thoughts maybe by July 2017 WE can get something going.. I bet I know what the issue is !


    1. I have maintained since the very beginning back in 1976, when a group of dedicated individuals formed the Paddleball Players Association (PPA), that we need to preserve the history of our game, and enshrine those players and individuals that helped in establishing our game. We put in Howard Hammer as our first recipient of the Paddleball Hall of Fame. And we intended to enshrine John Bruschi, Chris LeCakes, and Howie Eisenberg in the years that followed.
      Unfortunately, the organization disbanded, and no one took the responsibility until the PFA did so this year.So before any other individuals be enshrined, these worthy players need to be. Thereafter, I suggest you pick TWO each year to be honored.
      Thank you……The FLY

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We (PFA Board) will make this happen sooner than later. Thank you for your valued input Andy, and you did a fantastic job at the AF tourney!!It could not have happened without you!


      2. Next year’s AF tournament will happen with new faces behind the scene, and it will be successful as well. Interested Mitch G., Mike M., Mike W.?
        Contact AF, or Liz


  5. I had the humbling experience of playing in John’s game late in his career as well as the Hammer when he showed up. I was in my forties. John Bruschi was a master at his craft. I learned so much with him for he had a name for everything. Language such as “the overhand extension maneuver” the “chop shot” “the open and closed wrist position” and the “lob”which he was a master. John taught me how to play. He tamed my wall banging and I Learned to keep the ball on the court. John was a true competitor who did not like to lose. And when he did John would come at you the next game with a vengeance. I enjoyed those years. It elevated my game. It all began with my asking him to teach me how to play. So while saying yes John had me help him teach a class in Astoria on weds from 4-5 and then I had to play in a group from 5-8. After that we would go to a Polish restaurant in lower Manhattan and joke around with him while eating bobtka. I played in this group for a year he graduated me to the Saturday group. I then played with master players; John Reitano, Mendy Kormen. Ronnie Chek, Mark Alter, Howie Hamlet Marv Rosenberg, and others, Bruchi was an icon and a master player who belongs in the hall of fame. He was dedicated to his craft. No doubt. I read Howie’s Book many years before playing with them. It was a privalege to have been on the court with them.
    Frank Calo Ph.D.,CCC-SLP


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