Memorial (Gone But Not Forgotten)

This page is a reminder of our departed paddleball family that left us too soon. A page where we can relive some of the great times we spent with them on and off the courts

Sy Lane

Sy Lane

Remembering Sy Lane

‪#‎PAF‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Anthony Segarra & Mike Melendez

His name will always be synonymous with Zerega Indoor Paddleball, now Paddleball, Handball, and Racquetball. Since 1981, he built Zerega into the “Mecca of indoor Paddleball”. While many refer to him as the Godfather of paddleball & though others existed before him, his tenure straight to 2013 makes him the greatest proponent of our beloved sport seemingly hands down. He loved the game of paddleball & as a paddleball player he carried his own weight handsomely and was a fierce competitor. Only Father Time slowed him down.

Though he appeared stoic in appearance, he was carefully guarded in opinion but still honest as a critic of fair analysis. His words carried much weight in PB as he proved to be approachable, a sweetheart in essence. He was a very friendly individual in the long run. Ultimately, he is/was one of our most beloved players-activists and “will never be forgotten”, rightfully so!! He did not allow nonsense in his place of business to prevail and one can still feel his presence today at Zerega.

 Rest In Peace Sy Lane – Father, Provider, Protector, friend of the Winter seasons of Paddleball, Handball, & Racquetball …. Your name, when spoken, will evoke Respect first & foremost along w/much gratitude, and love always in fond memories

Sy Lane Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/2013

Clarence Davis

gone6

Remembering Clarence Davis

By Mike Melendez

‪#‎PAF‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

Clarence Davis Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy Was  a FUN guy to be around and easily recognized amongst the crowd by his beautiful smile. Clarence’s home park was Carmine in the Village and very much loved by the Paddleball community.Clarence loved the game of Paddleball and was a fierce competitor and a gentleman on & off the court. Gone too soon but NEVER to be Forgotten. R.I.P our friend. By Mike Melendez

Clarence Davis Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Jeff Haber

Jeff Haber

Remembering Jeff Haber

By Mike Melendez

‪#‎PAF‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

I remember Jeff Haber as an intense player on the paddleball courts dripping in sweat from hustling and giving it his all to win every game. I had the opportunity to play with him and loved his game and his competitiveness. Another huggable giant in the game of paddleball gone too soon!

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

 

Phil Cosentino

Phil Cosentino

Remembering Phil Consentino

By Charlene & Mike Melendez

‪#‎PAF‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

Phil was from Babylon, NY. He resided in Long Island and Spring Hill Florida where small ball Paddleball is still played. A solid Paddleball player with a great low serve and very competitive. He mentored paddleball to many players and was respected and loved by the paddleball community. He loved the game of Paddleball!

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/2013

George McFadden

George McFadden

Remembering George McFadden

By Mike Melendez

‪#‎PAF‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/2013

Loved the game of paddleball and was a fierce competitor. He owned the beautiful Macfadden Paddle Sport facility in Queens. He enjoyed helping kids and people in general and was an active participant in the community, a gentle giant of a man!

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/2013

Bill Pacheco

Bill Pacheco

Remembering Bill Pacheco

‪#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Anita Maldonado

I remember Bill Pacheco — he was the cutest kid playing paddleball up at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and at Orchard Beach. Bill loved paddleball.

During those hot summer nights in the 70s we played under the glaring lights at Yankee Stadium Park. The Courts were packed with teenagers, grown-ups and paddleball players trying to stake their claim to their Court. There was nothing like it. A great match meant everyone in the Park was watching you. We were on stage. This was OUR stage. This was our tennis game and we were all great at it.

Orchard Beach was the weekend spot, with its rundown courts and hundreds of people gathering on the Boardwalk. Paddleball players claiming stake to their Courts. There was nothing like playing at Orchard Beach. From sunrise to sunset we stayed on the Courts all day and all night. We had to take down the winning team in order to be the champs! At the end of the day, with aching, cramping legs those of us who had biked to Orchard would ride back home through Pelham Parkway; paddles on our knapsacks; our backs aching and bones and body hurting. But happy we were and happy we rode – hasta manana baby!

Back in those days we knew the heart of paddleball players and that’s how we became friends with each other – everything was intense. Who could play? Who had game? Who had the desire to win? Who was good enough to take the champs off the Court? We ALL knew how each of us played. We knew who wanted to win and who didn’t give up. We played hard and fast. Paddleball was OUR game. It was what we had and we loved it! This was our sport!

As everything in life progresses, we as Teenagers moved on with our lives and faced the world. The years we shared on the Paddleball Courts of New York City still live in our memories. Bill Pacheco enjoyed the game just as he enjoyed a good life — so he told me.

I ran into Bill Pacheco in 2013 at C-town at 165th Street in the Bronx after not seeing him for a few decades. To my shock, he was in a wheelchair. I asked him what happened. We chatted as we headed back to his apartment. He told me how he had suffered a stroke. He told me about his life. He showed me pictures. Bill was very committed to serving his community. He had even started a very popular FaceBook page called “Wepaville” – which focused on anything and everything about Puerto Rican culture, anecdotes, stories and information.

Bill was kind, generous, nice and funny. He offered me Pasteles and I offered him coquito and we said we would stay in touch. And we did. He wrote about me on Wepaville – my own accomplishments in 4-wall racquetball for Team Puerto Rico. We talked on the phone several times after that with the commitment of keeping in touch.

While I read his Wepaville page and learned more about Bill, I realized how much he loved people and how much he was loved and respected in the Community.

He died in February 2015 and it broke my heart to know I still owed him his bottle of coquito for 2014.

I checked out Bill’s FaceBook page today [it’s still there] and he is still getting birthday wishes and he is still being told how much he is loved and how much he is missed — both by friends and family. Sometimes a beautiful soul will touch our lives in a special and beautiful way — Bill Pacheco was one of those souls. He was a special man.
Miss you Bill..

Bill Pacheco – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Joe Corella - Indian Joe

joe-winning-bud

Remembering Joe Corella(Indian Joe – Red Bandana)

‪#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Dave Siegel

“Indian” Joe Corella

The paddleball world of Staten Island lost its legend in 2015. Joe Corella, known as Indian Joe, passed away after suffering a heart attack, much too young at age 68.

Joe was one-of-a-kind paddleball player and person, a great competitor, not only on the courts, but also in life. One of his legs was several inches shorter than the other. Who would have thought that he could have excelled in sports, much less a tough game like paddleball? However, it did not hold Joe back from his intense desire to become a top player. He wore orthopedic lift shoes and sneakers that helped him overcome his handicap. Specializing in singles, Joe took on all comers back in the 1970’s. His deadly low left handed “wrist snap” serve, with him positioned in the right front corner, was his calling card, as opponents were forced to cover 99% of the court and few had a clue as to where the ball was headed. As his game grew, so did his legend and persona on Staten Island. He wore a flashy red bandana, which helped transform him into “Indian Joe.” Wherever he held court on the Island, Joe drew crowds and fans and he loved the admiration. Anyone who participated in paddleball on the Island knew of Indian Joe and his legendary reputation. The highlight of his paddleball career came in the mid 70’s when he captured the Budweiser singles championship. He was so proud of that achievement, as were the Staten Island paddleball faithful.

Joe continued to be part of the fabric of Staten Island paddleball into the 1980’s, 90’s and early 2000’s as a player. Throughout his career, he was a true sportsman, always respecting his opponents and partners, showing great class and he lived his life the same way. He was very knowledgeable in the nuances of the game and the rules. When he stopped playing due to illness, he continued to be a big part of paddleball on the Island. Every Saturday and Sunday he was at the Midland Beach courts, watching, sharing his knowledge, helping with the games and tournaments and of course chatting it up.

In 2002, it was time for Joe to tackle some new competition. He was diagnosed with lung cancer. The Staten Island paddleball crew was shocked and honestly, we didn’t know how Joe would fare. He enlisted the help of doctors who treated him with experimental medication and what do you know? Indian Joe beat it! He remained cancer-free the rest of his life.

Joe was a great friend, always there when he was needed to lend a helping hand or to call to wish you well on a happy occasion. When his friend Sal was battling cancer, he was there for him. During the last few years of his life he devoted himself to caring for his infirm uncle and cousin, giving literally 100% of his time to their care. He was a great friend to Vic, Mike, Steve, Rich as well as myself and I’m sure many others outside of the paddleball world.

It’s now been a year since Joe has passed and he is missed and loved more than ever by everyone he touched. Rest in peace, Indian Joe.

Joe Corella(Indian Joe) – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Sonny Risso

Remembering Sonny Risso. Bio to be added

‪#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

 

Sonny Risso – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Joe Lube

gone2

Remembering Joe Lube

Remembering Joe Lube

#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Frank Calo

Joseph Lubelfeld (Joe Lube) loved the game of paddleball more than anyone I know as he played three to four times a week till the a ripe old age of ??. None of us really knew how old he was but we all knew he could play. Joe was witty and had an unusual sense of humor. He was extremely passionate and committed about the game to the point of even mentoring different players.

Joe would give you the shirt off his back especially if it was dirty (Joe humor). He was a smart and smooth player who played as if he were dancing ballet. His movements were always in sync with the ball. Joe had a great fade away drop shot to either corners with both hands and a hair raising lob.

He was a writer, publisher, editor and reporter to a racquet sport newsletter, “RaquetSport player”, extolling virtues of the game and recognizing all players from A to D. He also wrote for other famous conservative literary magazines that I fail to remember their names. The man was smart.

In the mid 80’s Joe developed his own newsletter called, “Paddleball News”, see one of his articles below. It was primarily circulated at Zerega Indoor Paddleball and in Van Cortland Park (Joe’s home court). His humor was represented well in this comical yet honest newsletter. Through his newsletter Joe created an ongoing story about what was happening in the game of Paddleball. He enjoyed describing the assorted characters that played the game. Joe told it like it was and sometimes took heat for it. However, he always had something nice to say about every paddleball player, no matter what.

A true lover of the sport who most probably would have not liked big blue but would have played it just because he could. We will always miss your whimsical ways and the contribution that you made to the game of paddleball.

Rest in Peace Joe Lube. You were a force to be reckoned with, on and off the court.

Click link below to see one of Joe’s articles

,https://www.facebook.com/groups/1479957222279607/permalink/1492281747713821/

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Henry Morales

Henry Morales

Remembering Henry Morales

#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Mike Melendez

I remember Henry as one of the good guys in the game of paddleball. Very quiet and humble gentleman and very competitive on the paddleball court with a very nice game.

R.I.P my friend. Your paddleball family miss you.

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Louie(Shotgun) Torres

Shotgun Luis

Remembering Louie(Shotgun) Torres

#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Mike Melendez

Personally I did not know Shotgun Louie that well. We spoke a few times about the game of paddleball and other things. I do not recall actually playing with or against him. I did see him play pick up games and he was one of the first ‘Power’ hitter I saw play the game of Paddleball.

The Louie I remember was a very good Paddleball player and a gentleman on/off the courts. He was a man of few words and liked by everyone in the Paddleball community.

R.I.P my friend Louie. The paddleball family misses you.

Born 03/10/1946 – Passed Away 05/26/2001

Pete Santos

Pete
Bio Coming soon

Remembering Pete Santos

#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By ..

Pete Santos – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Millie Candal

13a

Bio coming soon

Remembering Millie Candal

#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By .

Born 11/08/1954 – Passed Away 01/15/2016

Funches

Funches

Remembering Funches

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By Mike Melendez

I remember Funches as a very competitive, very combative paddleball player on the courts. He was also a freelance photographer mainly for the NY Post newspaper.

He donated a lot of his time taking pictures at paddleball tournaments. I personally received free tournament’s photos from him. As Christine Rodriguez said ‘He was a sweet and hug-gable giant of a friend!’

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Murray Kirschner

murray-kurshner

Remembering Murray Kirschner

Creator of the Wallbanger Newspaper

‪#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

 

Murray Kirschner  – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Tommy Martinez

tommy

Remembering Tommy Martinez

By Gene Rodriguez

‪#‎PFA ‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

Below Gene’s article there is comment from Tommy’s loving wife and friend, the lovely and paddleball royalty Evelyn Diaz

On July 23, 2015 I lost one of my best friend, Tommy Martinez. He was taken from us suddenly and prematurely. What can I say about Tommy that those who were fortunate to know him don’t already know? He and I met over thirty years ago while playing paddleball. We became best of friends almost immediately. Most probably it was his easy going manner that attracted me, as I am sure attracted others to him also.

Tommy was a gentleman from head to toe. Never in all the years I knew him did I ever see him argue. At no time did I hear him say harsh words about anyone. If he had a difference of opinion Tommy had a diplomatic way of expressing it. I truly believe he did not know how to argue. Tommy never lost his cool on or off the court maybe it was his Marine background. You needed help, Tommy was always there without the asking. He went out of his way for everyone even if he just met you. What I admired the most about Tommy was his sense of family as he was the oldest of seventeen children and proud of it.

Many may not know this but Tommy had a very keen yet dry sense of humor. When he told a joke he would start laughing before the punchline. Tommy’s early departure has left a void in my life and in many of those who knew him. I recently read the following quote, that reminded me of him: Friendship is the hardest thing to explain, it’s not something you can learn in school, but if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you haven’t really learned anything”

Tommy Martinez – Born 09/23/1946 – Passed Away 07/23/2015

Comment from Evelyn Diaz:

” Tommy was a wonderful man. Man of honor and pride. A good son, brother, father and especially wonderful husband. I was fortunate to be blessed to have such man. God knew who to bring in my life to show true love. ”

 

John Ritano

Bio Coming Soon

Remembering Funches

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By

John Ritano – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Mendy Korman

Bio Coming Soon

Remembering Mindy Korman

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

 

Albin

Albin
Bio Coming soon

Remembering Albin

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Boye Lozada

Bio Coming Soon

Remembering Boye Lozada

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

 

Les

Les
Bio Coming soon

Remembering Les

PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

By

Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy

Silo Vasquez

 

Remembering Silo Vasquez

Silo had a unique game

Bio and photo to be added

‪#‎PFA‬ ‪#‎GONEBUTNOTFORGOTTEN‬

 

Silo Vasquez  – Born mm/dd/yyyy – Passed Away mm/dd/yyyy