Have Racquet Will Travel and Don't Forget Your Hat
Remembering our friend and colleague, J. Warren Young .. by Dick Carrington
J. Warren Young passed away on March 20, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. It was a sad day for the squash community. That week-end he was to play in the National Championships in Philadelphia in the 75 + division. When he didn’t show, calls came in from friends asking about his whereabouts. His presence was missed but he will be long remembered for his lifelong enthusiasm, skill, and sportsmanship.
Warren became a squash player serendipitously in the early 60’s. He was a rugby player in college but at his first job after graduation from Harvard, his boss was an avid player who would ask his protégé to play with him at lunchtime. (Afterward his boss, an editor at Random House, would meet the celebrity author, Truman Capote, for a multi-martini lunch. It was Capote’s daily routine which caused the Random House editor to get his exercise in before these famous liquid lunches). Warren went on to become a fixture at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, N.Y. where he impressed its members with his keen competitive spirit and affable personality. At the end of his first year of playing, he was honored with the Most Improved Player of the Year award in Manhattan.
From that point on, up until a few weeks of his passing, Warren played and competed regularly at the Harvard Club of New York, LA Fitness in North Dallas, and the Las Colinas Sports Club. He travelled extensively for his job at the Boy Scouts and would take the opportunity to attend tournaments around the country while successfully coaxing fellow players to support the Boy Scouts. Many of its benefactors were senior corporate executives who were squash contacts which Warren had honed over the years. After his retirement from the Boys Scouts of America, he connected more frequently with the Bermuda squash players, and any given Saturday he could be found playing at the Coral Beach Club.
Taking up the game as an adult, Warren left his mark in the Master divisions which were organized by age groups. In the early 80’s Warren was consistently ranked in the top 5 in the country in the over 40 division. He continued to play at that high level through the different age groups and in 2011, he reached the pinnacle with a No.1 national ranking which he shared with another competitor. It was in his 70’s that Warren possessed not only superior racquet skills but also enjoyed an athletic advantage over the opponents in his age group. He was ranked either #2 or #3 in his other years in that division. One of his favorite tournaments was held each December at the Kiva Club in Santa Fe, N.M. where he competed for 32 years. He won that tournament many years and was said to have amassed the largest known collection of nambe’ goblets, cups, and plates. He was also well known for his accomplishments at the prestigious Eastern States Invitational held at the Yale Club in New York City. (After Warren moved to Dallas, Texas was officially gerrymandered as an “eastern” state). During these tournaments Warren was a popular choice to referee some of the more challenging matches (between certain players who became more ornery with age.) In that capacity, he was commended for his fairness and the way he commanded respect from all participants.
As a tribute to his lifelong devotion and contribution to the sport, his family, friends, and the Dallas squash community are rededicating the 2019 bi-annual Texas Open as the J.Warren Young Memorial Texas Open. It is a well-deserved honor to a man who gave the sport so much as a player, mentor, sportsman, and financial supporter of the game we love.
To read more about the 2019 J Warren Young Texas Open or if you want to make a contribution, please click here.