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June 30, 2016
Short Hills, NJ
2016 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
On February 5, 2016, Bobo Delaney was inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame during the Short Hills Club 65th Anniversary. Bobo's achievements and contributions to the sport are well described in the induction speech given by the Hall of Fame Committee Chair Steve Baird. (Hank Irvine also spoke at this event; his extemporaneous remarks, unfortunately, were not rec-orded for posterity.)
Induction Speech by Steve Baird
Bobo Delaney has had a magnificent career, as a player, a teacher, an ambassador, and a role model for our sport.
She kicked off her career in 1976 by winning the Junior Nationals, and then winning it again in 1978. Eleven years later, in 1989, Bobo won the Women’s Nationals with Sarah Kreiger. She followed this up by winning five Mixed Nationals Open wins between 2002 and 2011, four with the great John Milbank (“The Stork”) and one with Steve DeRose. Her five Mixed Open TItles ties her with Hall-of-Famers Hilary Hilton Marold and Charlotte Lee for most Mixed Nationals titles ever.
Another incredible record that Bobo owns is winning Open titles 22 years apart—specifically the 1989 Women’s Nationals and then 22 years later the 2011 Mixed Nationals. This record truly symbolizes her amazing fitness (triathlons), her perseverance, and her willpower.
Bobo has also had outstanding success in senior play, capturing 12 Senior Nationals titles with five different partners including: Tonia Mangan (her long-time partner and sister-in-law), Judy Takach, Patty Hogan, Sarah Kreiger, and John Milbank.
Bobo is a widely known as a master strategist. She comes in with a game plan and sticks to it. Her opponents know she will battle them for every point. Simply put by one of her long-time competitors, “She gives you nothing.” This is why many people call Bobo one of the greatest grinders of all time. And that is a supreme compliment in paddle. Two other parts of her game that are outstanding are her volleying with her quick reflexes and her “blitzes,” where she’s like a gazelle as she comes charging into net for the winner.
Bobo loves the camaraderie and is respected and admired by all for her sportsman-ship. She also loves teaching the game and has been a paddle pro for more than 30 years. Many of her students are here tonight to help celebrate with her.
Bobo has raised a wonderful family and by the way, her daughter, Corey, is a six-time Junior National Champion, and there’s some big time soccer and lacrosse players in the house as well.
So by any measure, Bobo has had an amazing career of both excellence and longevi-ty, but now, who better to give us some deeper insight into how she did it and what she’s really like than her teacher and mentor for over 40 years, the legend, Hank Irvine.
And now, she is the recipient of the APTA’s highest honor, the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame Award, to Bobo Delaney.