The San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame (SDTHOF) was established in 2006. To date, 56 individuals, who have left their indelible mark in San Diego’s great tennis history have been elected into the Hall. This year, three out of the five being inducted to the Class of 2020 are from North County: Cathie Anderson of Del Mar, Arnold (posthumous) and Esther Belinsky of Rancho Santa Fe, and Larry Belinsky, also of Rancho Santa Fe.
Anderson is being recognized for her excellence in the Senior Success category. Born in 1942 and having grown up in Dayton, Ohio, Anderson learned how to play tennis when she was 6 years old and, as she improved, she began playing competitive tennis. She attended Cal Berkeley with a major in economics. After three years of working a 9-5 job, Anderson decided to teach tennis, first in Danville, and then Oakland. When she moved to San Diego in 1985, she was hired at the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club and worked there as one of its certified pros for several years until she branched out and began teaching on her own. Her resume includes:
• Voted the USPTA Senior Player of the Year in 1990
• Women’s 50’s World Singles Champion in 2006
• To date, she has won 30 USTA Gold Balls, 58 Silver Balls, and 24 Bronze Balls
• She has been selected to represent the U.S. on 22 International Teams
• She has already been inducted into the SoCal Senior Tennis Hall of Fame
• She already holds a place in the Dayton Sports Hall of Fame
Besides tennis, Anderson loves animals. She has been a volunteer at Sea World, caring for many of their penguins. Currently, Anderson breeds and trains chocolate labradors. She travels all over competing in obedience and agility trials with her dogs.
Arnold and Esther Belinsky took an active interest in local tennis from the beginning. Arnold was born in Detroit in 1931. He met his bride-to-be, Esther, while he was stationed at the Coronado Amphibious Base and they married in 1954. After serving in the Navy, he worked for his father-in-law’s retail furniture chain (Union Furniture) for 10 years until going into business for himself in 1966 with the opening of Arnold’s Furniture and Interiors (“from our Family to Yours”). Arnold’s was an instant success and had 25 years of successive growth before selling out in 1991.
When Arnold moved to San Diego from Detroit, he learned how to play tennis and fell in love with the sport. As Arnold and Esther’s family grew, they introduced their three children to tennis who ultimately all went on to play college tennis. Arnold diligently worked on his own game and achieved a San Diego County #1 ranking in the Men’s 65 singles in 1997. Arnold and Esther have supported tennis from the very beginning by donating to improve San Diego’s older tennis facilities and to build new ones as well. The Belinskys are being honored in the Philanthropy category and here are some examples of their generosity:
• Original founders of the Barnes Tennis Center (YTSD) and regular ongoing contributors
• Instrumental in refurbishing the Balboa Tennis Club at Morley Field and had the clubhouse named after them
• Funded the Arnold and Esther Belinsky Family Playground at the Booth Educational Building at Barnes Tennis Center
• Founders of the Belinsky Family Tennis Complex at the San Diego Jewish Academy
• Rancho Penasquitos Arnold Belinsky Memorial Tennis Tournament Sponsor
Arnold passed away in 2016 and is survived by Esther and their three tennis- playing children: Larry (Judy), Craig, and Sheila as well as six grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.
Larry Belinsky is being recognized in two categories: Senior Success and Community Service. He was introduced to tennis at age 7 and it has been his passion ever since. Born in 1954, he played high school tennis at Patrick Henry High School, one year at Cal Berkeley, and three years at San Diego State University. He married Judy, his teenage sweetheart in 1976, and learned his family’s furniture business (Arnold’s) from the ground up. Upon selling the family business in 1991, he and Judy went back into business in 1993 with Country Furniture Faire. They closed it in 2007 and officially retired. Here are Larry’s notable achievements in the above-mentioned categories:
• #1 ranked player in his age group for 20 consecutive years in S.D. (1990-2010)
• Male Player of the Year in 1993
• Gold Ball winner in 2000 USTA Men’s 45 Hard Court Doubles
• #1 USTA Doubles ranking in 2000 Men’s 45 Doubles
• Ranked #1 in SoCal Men’s 55 Singles for two years
• Larry has won 2 USTA Gold Balls, 6 Silver Balls, and 5 Bronze Balls
• Silver Medalist for Men’s 60 Singles at the 2017 World Maccabiah Games in Israel
• Founder of the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame – Est. in 2006
• Board member of Youth Tennis San Diego Foundation
• Canyon Crest Academy tennis coach for nine years passing on life skills and lessons to student athletes (approximately 650 families)
More than tennis, Larry’s greatest love is his family. He and wife Judy have two children: son Jordan and daughter Daryn, and granddaughter Olivia (Jordan’s daughter).
The San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Saturday, Aug. 29, 4:30 p.m. at Balboa Tennis Club, 2221 Morley Field Drive, San Diego, 92104.
Reception and refreshments to follow the ceremony. To learn more about the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame, visit: www.sandiegotennis.com and link to SDTHOF.