ABOUT RANDY STAFFORD
Randy starting playing racquetball in Memphis at the age of 14 in 1968. His first racket was a “woody” Joe Sobek original, which is featured in the museum. During his early playing years, he won
many local , state, and regional tournaments. Randy was invited to play in both the National Invitational top singles and doubles back in 1971 and 1972. He played in the original first pro tour starting in the early 70’s. Randy was a lower ranking pro during those years as a ranking ranged from 14 to 25. However, these years gave him a passion for racquetball never to be forgotten.
A major turning point for him was when he met Dr. Bud Muelheisen, “father of racquetball” in Louisville at the National Invitationals in Louisville and again the following year at the Klondike Open in Edmonton Canada. It was here, when Dr. Bud asked Randy to spend a few weeks with him in San Diego with him to train and work on his game of Racquetball. This went on for 2 summers and it propelled Randy on his path for develop his passion and career in Racquetball. There he met and played with all the top early players which was a great experience. Before we move on to the museum to see all the history of the sport, here is a little to start it off.
While starting college at the University of Tennessee he met a paddle player, Davey Bledsoe. Randy introduced Davey to Racquetball, and Davey became Randy’s big brother at their fraternity. Davey accompanied Randy on his second visit with Dr. Bud in San Diego during the summer of 1973. The rest is history as Davey went on to become one of the top pros of all time and a current Hall of Fame member. In 1975 during his last year in college, Randy wrote and published the second book in Racquetball , “Racquetball: The Sport for Everyone”.
Out of college in 1976, Randy went on to build Racquetball courts for 40 years and playing the sport for all of these years. Randy worked many volunteer jobs in the sport of Racquetball. He also built a history booth at the US Open in Memphis for everyone to enjoy. Later became the President of USA Racqueball. Currently he still volunteers on several boards for USA Racquetball and is a member of the Racquetball Hall of Fame.
The museum site is certainly a passion that he has always wanted to do. He believes it needed to be done as our Racquetball history is so interesting and it would be a real shame if this were not completed. He has always wanted to build a real museum, and that is certainly a dream that could still happen. In the meantime, the virtual museum that Randy has developed will continue to grow and improve. Fascinatingly, Randy was never actually a collector of Racquetball items, except books he just never thru anything away. The majority of this museum is an accumulation of items during the 50 years of playing Racquetball. Plus people have joined with him and sent the museum items and pictures that has greatly enhanced this site.
You can find Randy on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/theracquetballmuseum
1968 – Started playing
1972 – Won National Collegiate Doubles
1973 – Won National Collegiate Singles
1973 -1977 Pro Tour, where he won numerous state and regional invitational tournaments
1975 – At age 21, authored the second book written about racquetball: “Racquetball: The Sport for Everyone”
1976 – Founded the Court Company
1996 – Built and donated the portable court that made the US Open in Memphis possible
2004 – 2008 President of USA Racquetball
2010 – Joined the Board of Directors of the United States Racquetball Foundation
2013 – Inducted into the Racquetball Hall of Fame