Bobby Schwarz Legend of the Game By Andy Krosnick
I’m writing this as a first hand witness, in my educated opinion, and someone who has played with the two greatest players the game has known! Baseball purists know that Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were the greatest baseball players without argument! In our sport of one wall paddleball, the names of Bobby Schwarz and Robert Sostre, are a cut above all others!!
WITH THAT SAID, I am writing this testimony about my longtime partner, Bobby Schwarz. Bobby first played in tournament competition with his brother Richie Schwarz, who was also a great player. As brothers sometimes do, their opinions and their on court strategies, didn’t always click. And after just one tournament, they parted ways as a team. Hence, I arrived onto the scene. I was lucky enough to have played with Bobby on a recreational level, and we did exceptionally well together. Bobby and I first played in the American Paddleball Association’s Fall Open Tournament, in October of 1972, at the Brighton Beach Bathes’ Club in Brooklyn. There were 254 teams competing!! No one knew who we were. We made it all the way to the finals!! We played the future Hall of Fame team of Howie Hammer and John Bruschi. We lost. And without going into the particulars, we learned a great deal from our first tournament together.
RATHER THEN take you on a sentimental journey through our history together, I will simply tell you, as Bobby’s partner, I observed a great deal about this man, as a great competitor, who was relentless in his pursuit to victory. Bobby was a Triple Threat. He was an outstanding offensive machine who had the arsenal to back him in the form of a powerful right hand, and a very consistent left hand. He would pound you to the point of getting a setup, and then without mercy, kill it, and end the rally. But his ability to be a defensive player was almost equaled to his offensive side. He had a remarkable anticipation sense that would give him an advantage over most opponents. The third thing he possessed, was his determination, and his ability to be a master strategist. That and along with the highest level of sportsmanship, all combined into one package!! One phenomenal athlete!!
BOBBY SCHWARZ accomplished a great many accolades in his paddleball career. Unfortunately I cannot list them, nor can Bobby. During Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012, Bobby’s entire trophy room was destroyed by floods. They were all destroyed!! It’s safe to say, Bobby had well over a hundred titles, from Singles, to Doubles, to Mixed Doubles. Bobby was the First player in the history of the game to win the Triple Crown of Paddleball Competition!! He did this at least THREE TIMES that I can remember!
AS I SAID, opening this tribute to Bobby, I was fortunate to have played and won with him. I am very lucky to have played with him. Had we never played together, I would never have accomplished any of the tournament victories I have!
IN EVERY ERA, there is always one standout player. Whether it’s Howie Hammer, Bobby Schwarz, or Robert Sostre, there’s always that one player who is heads and tails above the rest. During the Golden Years of Paddleball, Bobby Schwarz led the field!!
On a personal note, I was honored to have competed with; been friends with; shared life experiences with, this Legend, Bobby Schwarz!!