For 40 years, Joe Durso, 58, has been strutting and fretting upon the Seaside Courts next to the Boardwalk in Coney Island, the mecca of one-wall handball, and a place that claims Mr. Durso as perhaps its greatest and most frustrated player.
“Tennis for savages” is how Mr. Durso describes his quintessential New York City street game. But since it never caught on much beyond the New York City playgrounds, Mr. Durso’s fame never spread past the Cyclone roller coaster down the block.
“I suffer from the same tragedy as handball itself: we never got the recognition we deserved,” he said. “How could I not be bitter? I’m the greatest-ever at something the world knows nothing about.”
Mr. Durso has more than two dozen national handball titles.
“I’m the best on three levels,” he said with characteristic understatement. “I have the titles, I look like an Adonis, and no one could ever outtalk me. I’m like a giant among pygmies.”
[Photo Via: 30 Days (and nights) in Brooklyn]