|Bud Muehleisen | La Mesa, California
(Amateur Athlete/Contributor, Inducted 1974)
"Dr. Bud" Muehleisen has sometimes been called the most influential man in racquetball. He began playing paddleball in 1962, won four national titles, then took up paddle rackets in 1969, edging out Brumfield and win one of the first national championships in the sport that would become racquetball. Bud served on the IRA board of directors for seven years as the first rules committee chairman and was instrumental in the early formation of the game's first rules. He won an unprecedented 41 national titles, was a coach and teacher, a regular contributor of instructional material to early magazines and worked with most of the major equipment manufacturers in developing racquets, balls and other products.
|Joseph Sobek | Greenwich, Connecticut (deceased: 4-5-1918 to 3-27-1998)
(Contributor, Inducted 1974)
Joe Sobek has been credited with inventing the sport of racquetball. Joe was a club tennis pro in Greenwich and found the handball could be modified with a racquet (with strings) and had the first racquetball racquet developed with a test run of 25 in 1950. He then went to work with various companies to develop a proper ball for the sport and began promoting it throughout the country, founding the Paddle Rackets Association. He never competed in any tournaments. When Robert Kendler formed the IRA, Sobek stepped aside. Tennis was in his blood, however and he faded from the racquetball scene.