Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Chris Crowther!

You are the 10th ranked player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). In a game that often favors players of moderate stature, you stand out as the tallest IRT player at 6' 5".

You're one of those players lurking outside the top echelon, having never made the semis at a IRT Tier 1 event. You've been in the quarters of the US Open once (2003).

But you were part of one of most curious US Open stories. In 2004, you were playing on the far back court at The Racquet Club of Memphis against Javier Moreno. The referee called a hinder. You'd opened the door to hear the referee's explanation of the call, and then closed it "with a little more force than usual." Not unlike many players have.

However, this time the door must have caught something and twisted slightly, because the next sound was that of glass fragmenting and then crumbling down in heap of little pieces. Oops.

The curious thing about the door was it was a different shape from those on the other back courts, so it wasn't going be replaced easily. However, Randy Stafford's Court Company is resident in Memphis, and they recalled that just such a door - the style of which had gone out of production 12 years earlier - had been saved by an employee to use as a table for his mother.

A phone call revealed that the table had never been made, so after 14 years of it sitting in the mother's garage, it was delivered the Racquet Club, installed and play resumed.

That all took some time. But you and Moreno were shuffled to another court in the meanwhile. After you were bandaged up from some cuts suffered as a result of the incident, you got back in and won that game, the second of the match, which evened the match at one game a piece. Unfortunately, Moreno won the next two games to take the match 3-1.

Your racquetball career has taken you many places, including Korea, Canada, Mexico and Santiago, Chile, where you were a member of Team USA at the 2007 Pan American Championships taking home a bronze medal in singles.

Yes, racquetball has been good to you over your three decades. And may your good fortune continue.

*source The Daily Racquet #4, On-site publication of Racquetball Magazine.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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