Raul Fantauzzi is well known in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint through his work as a coach for track and handball. In the realm of handball, when it was known as “pink ball”, he earned renown more than thirty years ago. In 1985 he reached the top spot, but he remained within the top ten of the Pro-Pyramid Chart for a decade. In 2015 he became a member of the NY Handball Hall of Fame, and this November 16th he will be honored at this year’s Inner City Handball Association awards dinner.
Fantauzzi did not become a serious handball player until he was 28 years old, and it only took him two years to capture the number 8 spot. He credits his brother Rocky for teaching him and the experience he gained playing pick-up games with the best in the neighborhood. He also received inspiration from William Baez, who when a student of Automotive High School developed a pop serve in the late ‘80s that has yet to be replicated. Baez was given the nickname: superman.
McCarren Park’s handball courts are where Fantauzzi keeps a foothold in the game. He has been championing the relocation of the fencing on the edge of the courts. His contention is that the fencing is too close to the edge courts, which makes it a hazard for injury as fingers can get hooked in the fence when trying to reach the ball. This takes four of the six courts out of regulation play.