Greg and Martha McDonald, WOR Hall of Fame's (WORHOF) 2013 inductees (inducted as a team) met on the University of Florida's outdoor courts in August 1973. 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of their partnership as one of the most enduring and decorated men's and mixed doubles tandem in outdoor racquetball history. Not only did they make history with their brilliant performance on and off of the court, but they were actually part of the first ever National Outdoor Championships played in CA in the mid 1970's and even today they are having notable success competing at almost every WOR National Championship.
Their record speaks for itself with an impressive 32 major, national pro or open titles (including 29 outdoor National titles), but this trail-brazing couple was also instrumental in bringing Florida outdoor racquetball to national prominence where the couple would became part of history by challenging racquetball to allow them to compete in men's doubles events as part of equal opportunity for women in the sport. Martha McDonald has won many National outdoor singles titles, yet the team's dominant performance and place in racquetball lore has always been in doubles, especially in the men's age group divisions. Through the men's divisions of 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, and 50+, they consistently won National championships against their male peers-including current and former national champions of both the outdoor and indoor games and it is this record that sets them apart.
There were many player complaints about the McDonalds competing in men's National outdoor doubles in the seventies at Orange Coast College. However, they were successful in prevailing in one of the earliest uses of Title 9 on a college campus to continue competing as a men's team at the Nationals. In 1986, after winning the Florida State men's 30+ indoor doubles championship and finishing second in the men's 30+ doubles at the Southeastern Regional, the AARA notified the McDonalds that their qualification for the 1986 AARA Nationals would not be allowed. They appealed the decision, won and later went on to finish the indoor national making the Round of 8 in the men's 30+ doubles and mixed doubles (a remarkable accomplishment at the time). Part of the agreement with the AARA stipulated that as long as there were
playing in the appropriate mixed age group divisions, the McDonalds would be allowed to compete indoors. In 1988, Greg and Martha traveled to the AARA National Indoors in Baltimore where there were now new and popular mixed doubles for 25+, 30+ and 35+. They won both the mixed 25+ and 30+ divisions beating a few Indoor National Team Coaches along the way.
Like the famous Hawkes serve that would be invented much later, Greg McDonald is credited with the creation of a famous shot still used to this day in outdoor racquetball, the "Big Bounce" overhead return which was a uniquely offensive shot. Neither pregnancies nor five major surgeries would derail their desire to play and in fact, the dynamic husband and wife duo even won two 35+ men's National outdoor titles when Martha twice tore anterior cruciate ligaments in her right knee during the early rounds of each tournament. Greg uses this as evidence that he actually has been carrying Martha in the men's divisions all of these years. After the fifth ACL reconstruction, Martha elected to retire from singles competitions. Martha also had a successful stint on the WPRA indoor racquetball circuit in 1979 while six months pregnant (with son Chris) and Martha continues to play mixed pro outdoor doubles with Chris, last winning the WOR National title together in 2010.In national outdoor mixed doubles, Greg and Martha's record is unparalleled. They recaptured the mixed elite national title at Golden West in 2012 after Greg's recovery from a stroke.
It is distinct honor to announce the induction of Team McDonald into the WOR Hall of Fame for the class of 2013 as the second inductee ever. The McDonalds will be inducted and honored at the WOR Hall of Fame ceremony at the WOR Championships in July in Huntington Beach.
Hank Marcus, WOR Executive Director stated," Greg and Martha represent everything great about the outdoor game; competitive, family oriented, and the strength to stand up for what they believe is right on and off the court. They have not only been a big part of the history of outdoor, but are part of the fabric of the game. Their involvement and influence extend from Florida to California and have touched every part of outdoor over the last 40 years". Greg Lewerenz, WOR Chairman said, "As a pro player, I know how difficult it is to compete in the yearly WOR championships, but to do this from day one until the present and to win so many titles together is both incredible and illusive. We are honored to induct racquetball's enduring racquetball team into the WORHOF. Brett Elkins, WOR Hall of Fame Chairman said, "This is a remarkable couple whose passion, purpose and performance in racquetball is unparalleled not only with their multiple, national pro titles, but also by being pioneers in the opening up for woman to compete equally with men in sports. We are very proud to honor racquetball's most famous doubles team to the outdoor hall of fame not only for their historic performance on the court but for their character and class off the court. They are unique part of outdoor racquetball history, and a very special thanks goes out to their son Chris and Jack for nominating them.
Martha McDonald's Titles:
6-time National Outdoor Women's Singles Champion (1976, 1985-87, 1991)
7-time National Outdoor Women's Singles Finalist (1977, 1980, 1982-84, 1988, 1990)
4-time National Outdoor Women's Pro Doubles Champion (2005-6, 2009, 2011)
2-time National Outdoor Women's Pro Doubles Finalist (2010, 2012)
3-time National Outdoor Pro/Open Mixed Doubles Champion (1991 in AARA w/ Waggoner); 2008 (Pro Kennex) & 2010 (WOR) w/ son Chris McDonald
National Intercollegiate Women's Singles Champion, University of Florida (1976)
Florida State Outdoor Women's Singles Champion (1977) 3-time Florida State Indoor Women's Singles Champion (1976 Open, 1987 Open and 30+)
Greg McDonald's Titles:
3-time National Outdoor Men's Senior Singles Champion (1989-90, 1992)
National Outdoor Men's 50+ Doubles Champion (2009)
2-time National Outdoor Men's 100 Combined Doubles Finalist (2010, 2012)
National Outdoor Men's Pro/Open Doubles Finalist (1985)
AARA Southeastern Regional Indoor Doubles Champion (1984 30+)
Florida State Outdoor Men's Singles Champion (1977)
AARA Florida State Indoor Men's Doubles Champion (1984 30+)
Greg & Martha McDonald's Titles (as a team):
2-time AARA National Indoor Doubles Champion (1988- Mixed 25+ and Mixed 30+)
3-time Men's National Outdoor Men's Senior Doubles Champion (1991-92 in 35+, 2007 in 50+)
2-time Men's National Outdoor Men's Senior Doubles Finalist (1990, 2002)
9-time National Outdoor Mixed Doubles Pro/Open Champion (1984-87, 1992, 1995, 1997-98, 2000)
2-time National Outdoor Mixed Doubles Pro/Open Finalist (1983, 2002)
2-time National Outdoor Mixed Elite Doubles Champion (2010, 2012)
2009- Finalist AARA Southeastern Regional Indoor Doubles Champion (1986 Men's 30+ finalist and Mixed Open finalist)
4-time AARA Florida State Indoor Doubles Champion (1986: Men's 30+ & Mixed Open finalist. 1985: Men's 25+ and Men's 30+ champions. 1984: Mixed Open-finalist and Men's 25+ and Mixed Open Champions)