Gregg Peck Career Retrospective

(Editor note: this was a post I published straight to the “Keep Racquetball Great” Facebook group on 9/25/19, in response to a groundswell of discussion related to his re-nomination to the USAR hall of fame. I’ll back-date it and copy/paste the content from that time).

I’m a bit late to the Gregg Peck for the Hall of Fame conversations from a couple weeks ago, but wanted to put up some stats to help spread awareness. Here’s a quick summary of Gregg’s rball career in support of his nomination:

Junior Career Accomplishments:

  • Multiple USRA State and Regional Championships
  • Multiple IRA state and Regional Championships
  • 1980 USRA Junior National champion (17U)
  • Won title as a 16yr old, defeating Brett Harnett in final

Professional Career Accomplishments:

  • 20th all-time in professional Tournament Wins
  • 18th all-time in career W/L Percentage, all rounds
  • Held career winning Head-to-Head records against Hall of Fame pro players Ed Andrews, Ruben Gonzalez, Brian Hawkes, Mike Ray and Davey Bledsoe.
  • Retired with multiple victories over 5-time pro tour champ Yellen and Hogan.
  • Youngest pro player ever to make a Semi-final (oct 1980 Coors Grand Prix I)
  • 1981 NRC Rookie of the year
  • 1983 International Racquetball Most Improved Player
  • 1985 DP Nationals Champion (defeated Mike Yellen in the final).
  • 1985 Pro Male Athlete Player of the Year
  • Finalist, 1985 Ektelon Nationals (losing to Cliff Swain in a nationally televised match)
  • Semifinalist, 1983 DP Leach Nationals
  • Semifinalist, 1983 Catalina Pro Nationals

Amateur/Age Career Accomplishments:

  • 1981 USRA National Singles Men’s Open finalist (losing to Ed Andrews)
  • 1996 USRA 30+ Men’s Doubles champion (with Brett Harnett)
  • 1997 USRA 30+ Men’s Singles champion
  • 1997 USRA 30+ Men’s Doubles champion (with Brett Harnett)
  • 2002 USRA 25+ Men’s Doubles champion (with Mike Guidry)
  • 2003 USRA 35+ Mixed Doubles champion (with ?)
  • 2004 USRA 25+ Men’s Doubles champion (with Mike Guidry)

Coaching and Mentoring Accomplishments:

  • Peck Racquetball Camp Instructor, 1978-1986
  • 14 Junior National titles won by participants in El Paso Junior program
  • Coached future pro tour champs Swain, Monchik and Huczek.
  • Head Coach, US Junior National Team, 1999-2000.
  • 2-time Gold winning Junior national team coach
  • USA won 24 junior world titles under his guidance

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Peck’s contributions to the sport span many facets; he was an accomplished player at the Junior, Professional and Adult/Age level. He was an accomplished coach/mentor who served the USRA national team. He’s well liked and well advocated for in the racquetball community. He is a worthy candidate for the Hall of Fame.

Best Family Combos in Racquetball History

Andree Parrilla is part of two of the best family-pairs in the sport’s history.

Here’s a fun one to discuss during this slight break in the rball tourney schedule; what’s the best Father/Son combo in our sports’ history? How about Husband/Wife or Brother/Sister?

Here’s some opinions on each category from yours truly, with others that I considered. Did I forget someone? Am I totally wrong? Feel free to chime in.

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1. Best Husband/Wife combo: Jack Huczek and Christie Van Hees
Only husband-wife team where both sides have won tour championships. Both retired way too soon; I would bet money Jack in particular could still be making the back end of pro tournaments if he was still playing (he was born in 1983, so hes younger right now than Kane/Rocky/Alvaro).

Honorable Mentions:
– Kane Waselenchuk and Kim Waselenchuk
– Sudsy Monchik and Vero Sotomayor
– Daniel De La Rosa and Michelle De La Rosa

There’s actually a slew of Racquetball playing couples with pro experience on both sides … i limited this to just the best and the top 3 honorable mentions. If you want to include the Pratts, Fowlers, Wachtels, Kirches, Hawthornes, or others, I wouldn’t blame you.

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2. Best Brother/Sister combo: Jessica Leona Parrilla and Andree Parrilla

Honorable Mentions:
– Paola Longoria and Christian Longoria
– 
Coby Iwaasa and Alexis Iwaasa
– 
Adam Manilla and Erika Manilla

Another category where there’s lots of honorable mentions; I left out the Paraisos, the Doyles, Kerrs, and Odegards in particular. I sense there’s a lot of younger players in the junior ranks that could qualify here too.

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3. Best Brother/Brother: has to be the Pecks: Dave Peck and Gregg Peck

Honorable mentions:
– Jose Rojas and Marco Rojas
–  Armando Landa (or Roman) and Alex Landa
– Tim Landeryou & James Landeryou

Lots of good examples of brothers playing right now. Bredenbecks, Murrays, Kurzbards, Garays, Kellers, Acunas, etc. And there might be more in the Latin Americas that i’m not aware of, since there’s so many players with common surnames.

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4. Best Sister/Sister: Jacqueline Paraiso-Larsson and Joy MacKenzie

Honorable mention:
– Michelle (Key) De La Rosa & Danielle (Key) Danielle Maddux.

Am i missing any good sister acts? I could only really come up with a couple here.

From here on, its slimmer pickings…

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5. Best Father/Son: Fabian Parrilla and son Andree Parrilla

Honorable Mention:
– ?

I thought of a few other father/son combos where at least we knew both sides played at a high level (examples: Schopiearys, Ullimans, Elkins). But I couldn’t think of a single instance of a top pro from our entire sport’s history who has a son playing at a high level right now.

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6. Best Mother/Daughter: Malia Kamahoahoa Bailey and daughter Kelani Lawrence.

Honorable mentions:
Gerry & Kerri Stoffregen Wachtel
Debbie & Janel Tisinger-Ledkins

Could also include the Keys here. Karen-Darold Key entered the very first US Open ladies pro draw when her daughters were just 8 and 5.

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7. Father/Daughter: The Parrillas again: Fabian and Jessica.

Honorable Mention:
Dennis Rajsich & Rhonda Rajsich

Father/Daughter combos are hard to come by … but not as hard as the last category.

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8. Mother/Son: literally the only example I could find where a mother and son both had pro experience is … Goldie Hogan and Marty Hogan.

That’s right: Marty’s mother entered a number of the very earliest Ladies pro draws in the early 70s at the same time her precocious son Marty was starting to win events as a teen-ager.

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So, did I miss anyone? Do we have any top pros with younger kids making their way up the junior ranks?

Editor note: I mistakenly thought that Armando Landa was Alex’s father; they are brothers. This post has been edited following corrections.