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Sipe, Howard A.

(9/21/1934 - )

Hall of Fame Induction: 2006

If the title "Mister Paddle" or "Father of Paddle" should be awarded to anyone person in the Chicago area, it would go to Sipe and itt would not be far-fetched to say that Chicago became the "hub" of the sport, in part because of his pioneering efforts.

If the title “Mister Paddle” or “Father of Paddle” should be awarded to any one person in the Chicago area, it would go to Howard A. Sipe. As a player, he has won or been a finalist in every age group from age 50, gathering six national titles and coming in second in seven others. Sipe has also won numerous state and local tournaments over the years and, in the state of Illinois, has won the 45+ division title 13 straight years.

Off-the-court, Howard made major contributions to promoting and managing the growth of the sport in the Midwest. When the regions were realigned in the early 1990′s, he was the first President of the new Region V.

Along with long-time partner, Jack Watson, Sipe helped run the Chicago Platform Charities for more than 15 years, and oversaw the senior draws of that organization for some 25 years. He was instrumental in starting the Intermediate tournament of Chicago five years ago, which now hosts one of the largest “B” events in the country. In 1990, he co-chaired, with Alan Graham, the first Men’s and Women’s National’s held in Chicago. Howard has also been the official referee of the Charities finals for over 10 years.

A platform tennis pro at Valley Lo in Glenview and a league player for Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Sipe is a consummate teacher and is ready to help any beginner learn the game of platform tennis. When you talk to the people of Chicago, there is a single trait that everyone emphasizes. While a fierce competitor, he is always a true gentleman on and off the court. He always displays himself in a positive manner, whether congratulating the winner or consoling his partner if he lost. He is also not above playing with the new players, even at the cost of his own game. His play continues to display conditioning, preparation, anticipation and subtlety. As more than one person bas said, you can always Iearn something about platform tennis by watching him play.

Few have given more back to the sport, as epitomized by the recollection of one enthusiastic player who said, β€œHe was promoting paddle tennis when I graduated from college in 1971 and he is still out there today with the same positive attitude, enthusiasm and energy.” Another said: β€œI have not seen any other person in the Chicago area give so freely of his time as he has done for the past 40+ years.”

Source: Walt Peckinpaugh, Induction remarks

Jerry Manhold (left) and the Manhold Cup Trophy. Howard Sipe (center) and Chet Kermode Gerry Manhold (left) and the Manhold Cup Trophy. Howard Sipe (center) and Chet Kermode