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2003 Bailey Park Classic

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Results - Bailey Park Classic - July 19-20th, 2003 - Bailey Park, Bronx, NY

Top Pro-Players do battle, singles and doubles....points were spotted to non-open players.

Satish Jagnandan captures his 3rd Bailey Park Classic singles Championship, and for the 3rd year in a row he defeated Kendell Lewis in the Finals. Jagnandan defeated Lewis 25-13. (cash prizes 1st place $500, 2nd place $250)

In the Doubles it was PeeWee Castro and Emilio Sierra defeating Joe Durso and Cesar Sala in the Finals (25-18) (cash prizes 1st $350, 2nd $200) PeeWee Castro is on a roll. Since slamming at the USHA  Nationals last year....he has won the last 3 small ball doubles tournaments with 3 different partners. HandballCity.com has received breaking news that PeeWee will be playing with Joe Durso in the 2003 Nationals. Durso needs one more title win to break the titles record.....and PeeWee is just the person to help him win. PeeWee will be looking to Slam again this year.

The Bailey Park Handball Association provided great hospitality, with free food and drinks for all players. They also had received some sponsorship from RED BULL, free Red Bull energy drinks to all players and spectators. News 12 (the Bronx) interviewed and recorded some of the action, which was aired on News 12 later in the day. A Latin recording artist was also present, she played  the flute while Pete Garcia read a speech in tribute to Marty O'Maly a Bailey Park Player for 40 years who passed away at the courts this spring. Tournament coordinator Pete Garcia.

 

Satish Jagnandan going for an ace

Satish Jagnandan wins the men's singles for the 3rd year in a row.

Castro, Sierra, Garcia, Durso, and Sala

pictured left to right: PeeWee Castro, Emilio Sierra, Pete Garcia, Joe Durso, and Cesar Sala

Women's round robin singles first place $75 and second place $25 (no entry fee was charged)
1. Tracey Davis 3-0
2. Dori Ten 2-1
3. Sydell Smith 1-2
4. Barbara Canton-Jackson 0-3

 

 

FOR MARTY O’MALLEY

by Pedro Garcia

              Marty O’Malley was determined to die at Bailey Park, the same place that had given him sustenance for years and years.   When he woke that fateful morning (and he was glad he did wake up) he carried his unwilling body to the handball courts, at a slow gait, assisting himself by holding on to his Toyota, and drove the three blocks from his apartment, where he lived alone.  

            He had been hospitalized on and off weeks before, his old heart fighting him daily, too tired to return for another day of life despite Marty’s protestations to the contrary.   The battle waged between his desire and his body was leaning favorably to the body, and like an aging pugilist, past his prime and fading to oblivion, he wanted one more fight, one more opportunity to return to the proverbial ring.   Harry from Bailey, another aging prizefighter mounting a Sisyphean battle, told me last week that no matter how old you get, no matter what you’ve accomplished out of life – kids, jobs, family, the joys, sadness, and elation of relationships – no matter how much life has given or taken from you, that you always want one more day, one more opportunity to rise, to open your eyes, to let your spirit absorb the greatness and wonder of consciousness.

            On that inevitable morning, Marty’s body was flailing away at him.   He struggled to his car, probably taking with him new gloves and handballs recently delivered from the USHA that he stored in his trunk to provide to the other handball players who needed them, a thoughtful and voluntary gesture he generously gave to Bailey Park for as long as I can remember.  He may have watched a handball video the night before, the tape still in the VCR.   Or maybe he had a conversation with friends from the old country, talking about the new Irish players, like Paul Brady, whom he would bring to the park and would set up games for against the city’s best players.   When Satish won the Bailey Park Classic two years ago, Marty awarded him a Bailey Park T-shirt he had designed and made for the many handball tournaments he himself had organized for many years.

            The morning that he left us, Marty parked his car across the street from Bailey, and he carried, with some difficulty, a folding chair that he placed under the large oak tree next to the A court.   We were glad to see him there, as we had missed his presence, his watchful vigilance on the handball players, his genial banter with the other old-timers who themselves brought folding chairs under the large oak tree.

            Marty’s skin was drained of color, his frailty exposed by the bright and radiant sun on that perfect handball morning, the skies azure and cloudless, summer bursting in resplendent beauty.   Marty sat and shook hands with everyone, answering questions about his health, assuring friends of his vitality, while his body was calling for an end.

            Later that day, he moved his chair onto the middle handball court, a familiar position taken by the old-timers when the B court was empty and they wanted to be energized by the magnificent sun, the orb that sustains life and has done so for 5 billion years.   Marty allowed the sun to radiate on him, feeling the pulsing energy on his face and on his arms, and in the middle of Bailey Park, among his comrades and the place that nourished his life for years and years, in a magical sacrifice, he died. 

            Afterwards, his collection of handball gloves and balls were sold and the profits were given to assist handball.   A pot of flowers was laid under the large oak tree, and for many weeks the flowers lasted, wilting only slightly, and everyone commented on its longevity, as if Marty’s spirit reinvigorated the flowers in some cosmic metaphysical reincarnation.

            I shook Marty’s hands that morning, but there were things I never told him, and now that he’s not here, I must say these words, and I believe that the other players would like to say them as well, and it is in the form of a letter, and it goes like this:

 

            Dear Marty,

            It takes a certain kind of person to be a handball player.  You have to be resilient to arguments, curses, physical altercations, mental abuse, social isolation, family fights, all because you share a passion for handball, a microcosm of life itself.   You have to engage in social camaraderie with others daily, for years and years, and this camaraderie becomes the daily ritual of not only life, but of love.  Oh, we act like tough men, alpha individuals believing we are in control of life, but we are really boys, children playing a game, one that lasts forever.

            By coming here and giving yourself that day, Marty, I didn’t comprehend what you were telling me.   But now I know.

            What you were saying was that you loved us, probably more than anything else in this universe, and that love infected you to such a point that you were going to die in the place where your love was greatest. 

            What is wrong with us men?   What is it that causes a man to withhold his emotions in some masculine bravura when what he really wants to share is the joy that this stupid game can bring?  Why is it that now I write these words to stop my heart from failing? 

            I want to thank you Marty, for everything you’ve ever done for us, for treating the game with dignity and respect, for coming here day after day, for promoting handball at Bailey Park, and for giving your life so that Bailey may continue.

            We told you many things that last day that your physical presence on Earth was here, but what we should have told you was that we loved you, Marty, and we miss you, and it hurts not to have you here.

            So on this special day, in a small gesture of gratefulness and appreciation, in honor of a great and caring man, Bailey Park has changed its tournament name to the Marty O’Malley classic.

            Peace be with you Marty.   We love you.        by Pedro Garcia

Singles Drawsheet   View & Print   Doubles Drawsheet

Durso/Sala vs. Apuzzi/Polanco Jagnandan/Lopez vs. Rousseau/Rodriguez
Emilio Sierra in action The fans enjoying the action.

PeeWee Castro & Brenda Pares

 

THE BAILEY PARK CLASSIC – MARTY O’MALLEY MEMORIAL

                                            Singles – July 19, 2003   by Pete Garcia

              The Gods were attentive to Bailey Park’s wishes, for on the weekend of the annual Bailey Park Classic they provided the audience with spectacular days of tremendous one-wall handball in perfect sunny and cloudless weather.   

            Satish Jagnandan, last year’s Mayor’s Cup winner and two time Bailey Park repeat champion, made it three in a row by dominating the field of reigning and former one wall champions and the absolute cream of one-wallers.      He first bested Paul Angel, an up and coming player who could not do much to derail Satish, even with points spotted to him.   He then routed Albert Apuzzi, former national champion and still a top and dangerous player,   25-3.   His next opponent, Eddie Maisonett, three time national champion and top player, used his dangerous serve to oust a determined Peter Garcia, 25-20, and then needed every bit of his serve to earn 18 points against the hot serving Satish, who would not be denied.    In the finals, he faced Kendell Lewis, the four-wall and three-wall star, who is a powerful hitter with bulldog speed, attacking shots with intimidating force that leaves opponents second-guessing themselves.

            Kendell had beaten the iceman, Robert Sostre, in the semi-finals, 25-18, and no one thought that Robert would lose a game in the tournament as a result of the manner in which he ousted Cesar Sala in the quarterfinals, 25-15.  Cesar, who had already won the HES tournament this year and the 2003 Mayor’s Cup, had been playing all summer, and he looked ready to take his third title of the year, slim and sporting a menacing retro afro haircut and neanderthalic facial hair, confident of his play.   But Robert, who really is one of the true remarkable athletes I know (a man who only plays little ball handball for tournaments and never to practice and a top player in any other one wall related sport {and, I believe, the current national platform tennis champion}), used his steady demeanor and unrelenting controlled shot retrieving to keep Cesar off balance and defeat him with uncanny precision.   However, when Kendell played Robert, he overwhelmed him with his gets and power, forcing Robert to run after irretrievable shots, and taking the game out of Robert, who could do nothing to slow up Kendell’s shot making and power.

But for all of Kendell’s speed and power, he could not overcome the steady, ace-serving Satish.    Even though Kendell displayed the best service returns of Satish’s serve, the returns were not strong, and often put Satish in line to kill the return or put Kendell in a more vulnerable defensive position again, resulting in a Satish point.   Kendell was able to muster 18 points, and actually in the early stages took a lead, but it was to no avail.

            While Satish was busy earning his $500 first place award, the crowd of over 150 people were feted to 6 foot Italian hero's that forced them to have second helpings, and the players enjoyed themselves on this gorgeous and happy Saturday.    Carl Obert assisted with the refereeing and handicapping and was his usual admirable self.   News 12, the Bronx, came in the morning and filmed some of the games and aired them over cable in the tri-state area.   Red Bull energy drink sponsored drinks for the fans and players.   And at 3:30 in the afternoon, on this bright, handball-filled day, with an increased audience  of 200 people, all play was stopped before the final match in order to accommodate a tribute to Marty O’Malley, a Bailey Park handball player, enthusiast, and promoter, who had assisted all who came to Bailey for the past 40 years, and who died recently at Bailey Park.   

            Peter Garcia, the tournament director, brought Latin Cool recording star Andrea Brachfeld, a flautist who has two new CDs out, to play the flute for the audience on behalf of Marty and as creative expression to the crowd.   Andrea, a quietly beautiful and confident flute player, stood at the edge of the A court and looked out over the audience, seated just 8 feet in front of her and surrounding her in a bulging and eager half circle.  As the crowd listened in rapt attention, Andrea produced her silver flute and played “0’Danny Boy”.   Her melodic notes caused everyone to stay still, in order to hear the fullness and richness of the song.   They gave her an ovation immediately afterwards, and then Peter read a tribute to Marty, while Andrea played impromptu behind the words of Peter’s tribute, the music mellifluously woven into the meaning of the sentences, until it was difficult to distinguish as to what part of this creation was keeping people transfixed.   When the tribute was done, there was another ovation, and then Andrea finished the memorial with a soulful and jazz inspired version of “Amazing Grace”, which left the audience in complete awe of the beauty of the flute, the talent of Andrea, and of the uniqueness of this special moment.  

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