Jai-Alai Chalk Talk Hall of Fame

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Re(1): Chic-chac, chula and Churruca

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 06:11:07 PM by JaiAlaiUSA

I just want to elaborate a little more about Churruca. When I was just about 20 years old I use to drive a elderly gentleman who was about 45 or 50 years my senior, to Miami Jai-Alai as he hated to drive at night. I had never even heard of the game, I wasn't really into the game in the beginning, I was just doing a friend a favor. I don't remember exactly when I did become interested, but I do remember Churruca very very well. Watching him play the game got me hooked, I kept coming back to see him night after night for about 4 years, until I went away, (Military) and followed back up until the strike of 1968.

Several of my friends and I use to pile into a fan and go out for the last few games, bet together, drink some beer, and all the while we were standing,I don't ever remember getting a seat as the place was jammed packed every night. I use to lure them out by telling them what a great athlete Churruca was,and saying wait until you see this guy play,he's unbelieveable.

Miami of course was involved heavily in the schools both in Spain & France and had their (so to speak) the pick of the liter. Everyone on the Miami Roster was a Champion, Orbea was the best singles player at that time.

Mike, my elderly friend told me they use to have contests as to who was the strongest player, he said Churruca had won it and so did Chimela who was about 19 at the time. Mike always played the 1/2 as he wanted that first point.

Churruca was the most graceful and at the same time strong and it was simply beautiful to watch him play, he was among champions but in a class by himself.

In those days the Miami Herald had about 8 handicappers making selections and they even had a morning line. Churruca's name was constantly in bold black type, meaning the Best Bet of the night.
I think it would be very interesting to Interview Orbea who played on the same roster and hear what he had to say.


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