This year marked the golden anniversary of pickleball, and while some celebrations and festivities happened, there were not as many as I thought would have, or had even hoped for. I think it is a big deal that this sport started 50 years ago, and today is the last day to celebrate that pickleball has officially turned 50!
At the beginning of the year, I created a 50th Anniversary logo for All Pickleball thinking more players would run with the idea and celebrate. I did see a few gathering on Facebook, good for all of you! USAPA added “50 years of pickleball” onto the Nationals VII medals- at least they had that covered.
But I wanted to celebrate a bit more!
To put “50 years of pickleball” in perspective, these are some world events that were going on 50 years ago:
- The Vietnam War was escalating
- Lyndon Johnson was taking his second term in office
- The Space Race was in full swing
- Medicare was passed into law
- The Rolling Stones were on a world tour
- The Beatles were in their prime
- The march to Selma led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act
- The first batch of Gatorade is tested at University of Florida
- A Charlie Brown Christmas aired for the first time
- Yes, a wide variety of firsts in 1965!
Alex Hamner and I had the pleasure of celebrating this milestone earlier this year with our buddy Barney McCallum – the last surviving founder of pickleball. We spent several days visiting the home of Pickleball, Bainbridge Island, WA, and cherishing the pickleball stories of the last 50 years that Barney shared.
Pickleball has brought us all great friends, great exercise, great competition, and most importantly- fun! So here is my one, last happy 50th Anniversary to pickleball – a sport we love sooooooo much!