Marigold Edwards and John G. Nelson were unveiled as the US Squash Hall of Fame Class of 2013 at the 2013 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships Saturday, October 12.
As a part of the U.S. Open’s annual Hall of Fame night, the glass show court hosted a ceremony led by US Squash President and CEO Kevin Klipstein (pictured far left) and US Squash Hall of Fame Committee Chairman James Zug (pictured far right) to announce the new inductees and honor present members Darwin Kingsley, Bob Callahan, Joyce Davenport, Sam Howe, Ralph Howe, and Ned Edwards (pictured left to right).
“It’s a really incredible group,” Zug said. “What we have in the Hall of Fame are people who have made an enormous, extraordinary impact in squash in America either on the court, or off the court as a coach, administrator, as someone who helps develop the game. Tonight, we have some members of that incredible group with us.”
Formal induction ceremonies and celebrations co-hosted by US Squash and the inductees’ respective communities are being planned for the 2013-2014 season.
Marigold Edwards is a pioneering woman who won twenty-eight masters national singles championships, more than any other woman in U.S. history. Born in New Zealand, Goldie Edwards lived in Canada and Germany before arriving to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh where she worked as a health and physical education professor. A badminton player, she picked up her first squash racquet in her thirties, becoming the first woman to play at some clubs in Pittsburgh. She reached the finals of the open nationals four times (and the semis of the 1983 nationals at the age of fifty-one) and won the 1971 and 1972 Canadian national singles. She reigned as the 40+ hardball champion every year between 1974 and 1984, as 45+ champion from 1985 through 1989 and as 50+ champion between 1988 and 1993. In softball, she won the 50+ in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000. Edwards captained the U.S. national team in the 1968 Wolfe-Noel Cup and was awarded the Feron’s Sportsmanship Trophy in 1980.
Jay Nelson is the top masters player in U.S. Squash history with twenty-eight age-group titles, one better than previous record holder Henri Salaun. Nelson played at Andover and at Harvard (class of 1962) before moving to New York. Known for his three-wall and conditioning, he reached four semifinals of the U.S. nationals (losing in five games three of those times) and won three Metropolitan Open titles—the last at age forty-seven in a season when he also won the Met A, 35+ and 45+. In hardball, Nelson won the U.S. national 45+ in 1989 and 1990 and the 50+ in 1993 and 1995. Always an avid softball player—in 1973 Nelson played on the first U.S. national team to enter the world men’s championships—he won the national 40+ softball in 1984 and 1985; the 45+ in 1987 and 1988; the 50+ from 1992 through 1996; the 55+ from 1997 through 2001; the 60+ in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006; the 65+ in 2007 through 2011; and the 70+ in 2012. Nelson was awarded NYSquash’s Eddie Standing Trophy in 1974 (for exceptional sportsmanship), the Herbert Fischbach Trophy in 1989 (for winning his last Metropolitan Open), the President’s Prize in 1972 and 1974 (for highest winning percentage in league play) and the Bigelow Cup in 1977 (for outstanding performance).
The criteria for Hall of Fame membership is simple: the Hall is open to all U.S. players (hardball, softball, singles, doubles, pro, amateur), as well as individuals who helped the game grow and flourish. A person should have been a U.S. resident (but not necessarily a U.S. citizen) for a substantial portion of his career or had otherwise had a personal and significant impact on the U.S. game. A player must be retired from open singles competition for five years before consideration. The key requirements are dominance on the court or impact off the court and overall integrity and sportsmanship.
The US Squash Hall of Fame has 51 inductees and has been inducting members since 2000.