A One in a Billion Find
Over the years, there has been talk about America’s first amateur jai-alai court, Orbea’s Amateur Fronton in Miami, Florida – which opened in the 1970s. It seems like nobody has any photos, videos or “mementos” of the place that was packed with four playing courts and lots of people smoking cigars having a good old time.
That is not the case anymore.
One of our amateur players at the St. Pete cancha, “Chip” Sutton, has changed that statement dramatically. The infamous “Chip”, brother of national champion “Ant” Anthony Sutton, has stumbled into a one-in-billion find.
He and his wife Angela had just bought a house in Tampa, just off Lois Avenue. The house had the single owner since it was built well over 60 years ago and was moving out. Out in the back yard was a large pool shed that was full of junk. Chips daughter was out there going through it all and came across some unique items. One was a 1999 Spring Training Program for the New York Yankees, who train in Tampa – just up the road from the house. Right under that was a thick 27-page booklet.
It was a copy of the original blueprint drawings of Orbea’s Amateur Fronton. Unbelievable. What are the odds of that? On top of it, that house is about 280 miles from where the court was built, too!
The rare find was on display for visitor’s last Saturday at the party honoring Chips brother and Rastock for their wins at Magic City, not far away from where the amateur court was located.
How many amateur courts have been built since then? Not many.
Milford. N. Miami. St. Pete. Matt’s.
Am I missing any?