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1965

The APTA Honor Award initiated: 10 pioneers honored

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The Founders of the game. Fess Blanchard (left) and Jimmy Cogswell.
The Founders of the game. Fess Blanchard (left) and Jimmy Cogswell.

On February 18, 1965, the APTA gave out the inaugural Honor Awards to individuals who had made outstanding contributions to platform tennis. The awards were to be presented when the association's Executive Committee felt that one or more individuals merited inclusion in the group of men and women who had created the game, nurtured it, or played it as champions. The first APTA Honor Award Recipients were: Madeline (Madge) Childress Beck: Considered one of the outstanding women players of the game, Madeline (Madge) Childress Beck won 17 National Championships—12 Women’s, 4 Mixed, and 1 Singles—from 1936 to 1960 and likely would have won more except that the Women’s Nationals were not held from 1943-1948, and the Mixed Nationals were not held from 1943-1945 and in 1948. (Fox Meadow Tennis Club) When it comes to discussing the leading women players developed since the game b[...]

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1965

National Championships

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Holmes and O’Hearn (son of Hall of Fame member Charles O’Hearn), the previous year’s finalists won a five-setter over Dick Squires and Ted Winnpenny, Jr.1 Hebard won his first 50+ with partner Sidney Sweet and Charlotte Lee won her fourth Mixed title, this time with Bill Pardoe. Do Cogswell Deland and Susan Beck Wasch won the Women’s; it was Wasch’s fourth Women’s title and the second one for the team. Note 1: Charley O’Hearn was seen anxiously walking back and forth around the court where the final was being played like an expectant father. He was overjoyed at the outcome. Source: Oliver H. Durrell The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967; and APTA Platform Paddle Tennis 1963-1973: Rules and Records, 1973; Personal communication from Michael O’Hearn.

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1966

APTA Honor Award: 7 more pioneers honored

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Don Evans accepting the Honor Award form Brook Kindred. Evans solved the problem of inconsistent bounces of the wires, an innovation that spurred the growth of the game.
Don Evans accepting the Honor Award form Brook Kindred. Evans solved the problem of inconsistent bounces of the wires, an innovation that spurred the growth of the game.

James M. Carlisle: Carlisle served as APTA Secretary from 1955-1957, and as President from 1957-1959. A winner in as many different kinds of tournaments as anyone else in the early years of the game, he won the Men’s Nationals in 1955 and 1958 with Richard K. Hebard. He also won the first and second annual National Men's 45+, in 1957 and 1958, a tournament that he is generally considered to have founded. (Fox Meadow Tennis Club). Donald K. Evans: Among his many accomplishments, Donald K. Evans is best known for the backstop that shares his name. In designing and producing the Evan Backstop, he solved the major impediment to the enjoyment and expansion of the game—the inconsistent bounces of the ball off the wires. He designed and built the freestanding taut wiring that is officially used today. The first installation was on Jimmy Cogswell’s court in Scarsdale, NY, during the wi[...]

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1966

National Championships

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Men's Nationals, 1966: Richard Squires and Edward l. Winpenny, Jr
Men's Nationals, 1966: Richard Squires and Edward l. Winpenny, Jr

The previous year’s finalists, Dick Squires and Ted Winnpenny, Jr., prevailed over the new and rising team of Gordon Gray and Jesse Sammis. Charlotte Lee won her fourth Women’s title with yet another partner, Carolyn Nelson, and Gordon Gray and Anne Symmers won the first of their three straight Mixed titles. The dominance by Fox Meadow teams had begun to wane. Cogswell's grandson, Rawle Deland, Jr., was a finalist in the Junior Boy's for the second year in a row. Source: Oliver H. Durrell The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967; and APTA Platform Paddle Tennis 1963-1973: Rules and Records, 1973

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1965

APTA Annual Meeting – Two Regional VPs added to Board to support growth

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To support the growth of the game beyond the NYC metropolitan area the APTA Board elected two Regional VPS located in MA (New England) and MD (Mid Atlantic). 1965 Annual Meeting Minutes

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1967

Edmund Swanberg elected APTA President (1967-1969)

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Swanberg enjoyed many years as an active player and enthusiast of the game. He fondly recalled the well-attended annual meetings of the APTA at the Princeton Club in New York City and, at one of these meetings during his tenure, he reported that it appeared that the game was growing at a rate of 20-25% annually, based on metrics of court construction and APTA membership rolls. Swanberg was instrumental in getting ranking players to put on exhibitions at clubs where new courts had been built.

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1967

APTA Honor Award: Close, Stephenson, Sutter

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Walter Close (1916-1991) was know as a
Walter Close (1916-1991) was know as a "doer" at the APTA as well as at Fox Meadow. The retaining wall he built between the club porch and the tennis courts still stands.

Walter H. Close, Jr.: Walter Close started his platform tennis career in the early 1950’s and soon became known as a “worker” who gravitated to the important jobs. He teamed with Dick Hebard to win the National Men’s 45+ in 1960 and again in 1961. But, his accomplishments stretched beyond the court. He served as APTA Tournament Chairman from 1958-1959, after which he served as association President from 1960-1961. These were busy and successful years for the game and, during his regime, the APTA membership increased from 24 to 38 membership clubs. (Fox Meadow Tennis Club). John A. Stephenson: John Stephenson served as Vice President of the APTA from 1941 to 1946, and as its President from 1948-49. An avid player and tough competitor, he won many local tournaments, and was very active in promoting paddle at the Manursing Island Club, and organized some of the first night play u[...]

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1967

Durrell’s “Official Guide to Platform Tennis” published

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The book was authorized by the APTA and the dust-jacket explained the book’s goals: “This book has been prepared to answer every conceivable question about platform tennis. It tells the story of the origin and development of the game, describes the strategy and tactics of play, how to go about constructing a platform, where to purchase paddles, balls, and net, the official rules, and how to run a tournament. It also explains the activities of the American Platform Tennis Association, and lists its past officials, as well as the records of every major tournament ever played under the auspices of the Association.” One of the useful tips from the chapter on "How to Run a Tournament" "The Chairman can host the semi-finals for luncheon at his home, thus allowing the finalists a chance for a shower and change of clothes. Bull shots (vodka and beef broth) are traditional on this [...]

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1967

National Championships

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Kimberly and Jennings defeated Richardson and Swanberg in the finals in four sets
Kimberly and Jennings defeated Richardson and Swanberg in the finals in four sets

APTA President Ned Swanberg and his partner Tom Richardson lost to the 1964 Champions David Jennings and Oliver Kimberly, Jr. in four sets. Charlotte Lee and Peggy Stanton won the first of their four straight Women’s titles, defeating two time champions Do Deland (Cogswell's daughter) and Susan Wasch. Gordon Gray and Anne Symmers won their second straight Mixed. George Lowman and Bill Pardoe won their second straight Men’s 50+. Gogswell's grandson won the Junior Boy's with John Lowman; they had been finalists in 1965 and 1966. Source: Oliver H. Durrell The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967; and APTA Platform Paddle Tennis 1963-1973: Rules and Records, 1973 Women's Nationals 1967: Peggy Stanton and Charlotte Lee

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