Hall of Fame Induction: 2009
Canoe Brook Country Club, February 11, 2009
Hummers came late to the game by happenstance and proceeded to accumulate 19 Women’s Senior National titles, a record that has yet to be surpassed, and it was all done with gracious behavior on the court, exemplary sportsmanship, and respect for opponents and partners.
On the national scene, for almost two decades, Sharon K. Hummers accumulated 19 titles in Senior tournaments with a variety of partners, starting with the 50+ title in 1991. She then proceeded to win a string of six in a row (1991-1996), followed by victories in 1999 and 2001, a decade after her first win. Along the way she was a finalist four times (1989, 1997, 2000, and 2002). In the 60+ age group, she has been a champion three times (1999, 2002, and 2004) and was a finalist in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006. In the 70+ age group, she won four consecutive titles from 2005-2008. Hummers also added two Senior Mixed 60+ titles in 1998 and 1999. Many of her tournament victories came with her friend, Winnie Hatch, whose untimely death terminated a long-time partnership. Sharon was an officer of the Long Island Platform Tennis Association, tournament director of the Women’s National Championships in 1992 and 2002, and an active participant in the Long Island Women’s Platform Tennis League.
A lifelong tennis player, Hummers’ introduction to platform tennis came through a tennis friend, Carol Konnor, who wished to get her husband into some form of athletic activity. This was in the late 1970s when platform tennis was booming and Carol had heard about the game. Her back yard was not large enough for a tennis court, but she thought that a “paddle court” would fit and that the sport would be simple enough for her husband to learn. The court was built but, since they did not know any paddle players, Sharon and Carol played with Sharon’s husband, Herb, and his tennis partner. Before long Carol and Sharon were hooked on the game. Many Sundays there would be a group who would throw their sneakers on the court, randomly getting a partner, and play for hours.
Another event sparked further interest. A friend heard about the finals of the Tribuno Tour being contested at Forest Hills, and he urged Sharon to make the trip and watch how the game was supposed to be played. That experience sold her. This was more than a backyard exercise. it was really a challenging sport. Hummers began entering tournaments with Carol Konnor, initially B events, and then A events. In a few years, she became so proficient at the sport that she qualified for the Region I Women’s Presidents cup team. She and Carol reached a National Ranking of 8th. Sharon continued to play locally on Long Island and was dominant in many women’s and mixed events.
Over the years, Hummers taught the game to hundreds of women from the North and South Shore of Long Island. Her husband tells of playing paddle at various clubs and hearing women on adjacent courts say, “Well Sharon says….”. When four courts were donated to the Village of Garden City, NY, many residents sought out her expertise and teaching ability to learn how to play. She gave many hours of her time in instruction and promotion of the game, and had excellent teaching skills, particularly for novices desiring to learn the basics of the game.
Sharon says that one of the great things about the game is that it is ageless and she is looking forward to when the Women’ s 80+ is inaugurated.
Source: Robert A Brown and Charles E. Vasoll