Our Last few Performances Thu 01/12, Sat 01/14, Sun 01/15, Tue 01/17, Thu 01/19, Sat 01/21.
Next Performance TBA (Usually Tue, Thu, Sun).
Tom Contreras Remembered
Michael Contreras speaking at his father’s “Celebration of Life” in Ocala Friday afternoon
An emotional crowd of nearly 150 attended the Celebration of Life ceremony of Tom Contreras Friday afternoon in Ocala, Florida. Family and friends gathered for the guy we will miss dearly. Dozens of former jai-alai players and management were in attendance. Those speaking included Mark Beiro and Marty Fleishman who told the crowd several amusing stories about Tom from their old jai-alai days. The final speaker was Mike Contreras, the son of Tom. Tom’s three young grandchildren, whom he deeply loved were also in attendance. Several childhood friends of nearly 60 years also spoke of what a great friend Tom was.
The ceremony started with a video of Tom that included about a hundred photos of him over the years. The event was held at the Country Club of Ocala, one of Tom’s favorite golf courses. We will miss you, Tom.
Happy New Year - 2017 Begins
See News/Pelota Press for Archives of Past Activities and Stats
RIP Tom Contreras 12/18/16
Click Here for Video Tribute
TAMPA JAI-ALAI INVADES PURYEAR PARK!
St. Petersburg, FL: Spectators at little old Puryear Park Jai-alai had to take a double-look Saturday morning with a flock of former Tampa jai-alai star players all of the court at once. Regulars Scott King and Ricky Hernandez were out there along with “Four Decade Pro” Randy and Triple Crown winner Daniel Love in some great action along with several amateur jai-alai players. Scott K and Ricky are already two of our top players on America’s first public court, but now will have a little competition from a couple of jai-alai’s greatest ambassadors – Randy and Daniel.
Randy, the first American player, began his pro career in 1968 and played an amazing 26 seasons. Daniel was one of the greatest backcourters in Tampa Jai-alai history before moving to Miami to play down there after the Tampa cancha sadly closed in 1998. Daniel, who graduated from Largo High School was able to return to Pinellas county 3 years ago and has played a couple times at Puryear Park. Daniel and his wife then celebrated the first anniversary of their marriage that evening at Bern’s Steak House with the great Devore (longtime Tampa Jai-alai bartender) as his server!
When the St. Pete courts announcement was made 9 years ago about the construction of the first public court to be built in the USA, Randy and Daniel were among the first to congratulate the NJAA along with Benny and Jai-a-Lou with the news. Randy intends to play on a regular basis and after a couple throws on the court, Daniel remarked that he hadn’t changed in over 20 years and was still a great thrower! Daniel intends on playing Saturday mornings on a regular basis from now on which is great news for jai-alai fans.
Main court light replaced and readjusted
St. Petersburg, FL: One of the main jai-alai court lights – the one nearest the front wall – has been replaced and reangled to provide better lighting on the court. During yesterday’s rare Tuesday afternoon performance, players were able to talk to the maintenance crew to have them adjust the light to it covered more of the main court. After considerable work done on the light fixture, it was adjusted more away from the 3 small handball/jai-alai courts and tiled more toward the main jai-alai court. Now, more lighting is clearly visible in the front of the court – without causing any glare to the players. A special thanks to the City of St. Petersburg for the support of America’s first public jai-alai court!
Florida/Connecticut/Rhode Island Tournament Results:
Berlin, CT: The second annual National Amateur Court Jai-alai championship was completed week ending Oct 22nd, with Team Connecticut beating Team Florida and Team Rhode Island. A surprise visit Saturday from Derek Smith, the first Puryear Park player to turn pro. Here are the scores:
Game 1/ 9 points
Trifecta 1-4-3 paid $345.10
Game 2/ 9 points
Trifecta 7-5-3 paid $294.80
Game 3/ 9 points
Trifecta 6-1-3 paid $1,806.60
Game 4/ 9 points
Trifecta 5-1-6 paid $940.00
Game 5/ 9 points
Trifecta 4-8-5 paid $155.80
Game 6/ 9 points
Trifecta 2-7-4 paid $244.20
Game 7/ 15 points Doubles Championship
7 Rhode Island
Game 8/ 15 points Doubles Championship
4 Rhode Island
Game 9/ 15 points Doubles Championship
3 Rhode Island
Game 10 / 10 points Doubles Championship
2 Rhode Island
Connecticut wins championship on points
Game 11 / 10 points
Game 12 / 10 points
10 Rhode Island
1st Place Front and Back: Tony and Thomas
2nd Place Front and Back: Barry and Laca
1st Place Front and Back Mikey and Jon
2nd Place Front and Back Mark and Anthony
Finals A league
1st place Front and Back Fred and Anthony
2nd place Front and Back Geno and Jon
On Thursday, Team Florida played for over two hours at Jai-alai Heaven for some great action with the Sako/Tedrick Ball.
Once again, we were treated to some great pizza. Thanks guys!
On Saturday night, the gang all headed to Foxwoods for some gambling action.
2nd Annual Amateur Court Championship October 21-22
Features Florida vs. Connecticut vs. Rhode Island
Berlin, CT: The second annual Amateur Court Jai-alai Championship Tournament
will be held next Friday and Saturday, October 21-22 at Matt’s Court in Connecticut.
The event will be a one-time only affair this year with no action to held in
St. Petersburg this year. Up to 9 amateur players from the Tampa Bay area are expected
to compete against a couple of excellent teams from Connecticut and Rhode Island. Those playing include:
Seven of the nine players are definitely confirmed, with Cachin II and Ricky still listed as
questionable. Cachin II has family health issues while Ricky has just come off the DL following
knee surgery. Ricky will know next Monday if he can make the trip. If he does go, the trip will
be expensive to say the least.
Many of the players are staying at the Best Western Plus New England & Suites in Berlin, Connecticut
and is about a 7 minute drive from Matt’s court. The Schedule
Most of the players are on the Southwest flight arriving in Hartford at 1:35pm Thursday afternoon, October 20th.
The first stop will be at Jai-alai Heaven in Bloomfield for some more great Sako/Tedrick ball action.
The players are expected to arrive around 3pm and play for at least two hours.
Last year, Rocco put on an exhibition that was mind-boggling.
After some great Connecticut pizza and checking into their hotel, the players will head over to Matt’s
court for some practice around 7pm, for a couple hours or so of action -to get familiar again with the court.
The players will have several hours to rest up and another trip to New Haven for some more great New
Haven Pizza may be in store again. At 4pm, players will arrive at Matt’s court for some practice.
At 6:30pm sharp, the Tournament # 1 will begin. This will also be the Spectacular 9 Event and 7 regular
games will open the event. Then the CT-FL-RI tournament will take place. The action is expected to
last till 11pm Friday night and many top stars from CT and RI will be playing against some of FL finest.
It should be a lot of fun.
The court will open at 9am with action beginning with B and C league players at 10:00am.
Around 12:30pm or so, the A league players will take over and to last a few more hours.
This will be Tournament # 2.
The court will open again for early birds for open play. For those staying till Monday,
you can watch the Scott King vs. Mendi match scheduled for around 1pm.
For the dozens that ordered shirts, they will be available this Thursday for pick up and
will be also available at the Saturday 11am matinee at Puryear Park and Sunday night
performance at 5pm. There was a delay on the order as the wrong color was shipped and wrong sizes.
For those that ordered baskets with Scott King, the news is not good right now. The Mexican
basket maker is avoiding us and has had our money since June. Not good news, but hopefully we will get them soon.
Some Results from Tournament
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