Jess “Hall of Fame” Pasos

July 31, 2018

Retired Captain Jesus Pasos will be inducted in the Southern California Handball Association Hall of Fame on August 4, 2018. This is a well-deserved honor for Pasos who was the 4-Wall Singles National Champion in the 60 and over age group for 2016 and 2017, a two-time Doubles National Champion, and spent years at the top of the LAFD Handball Ladder.

Jesse rose quickly on the LAFD Ladder, winning the “E” Singles in the Fall 1976, “D” Singles in the Spring 1977, “C” Singles in the Fall 1977, “B” Singles in the Fall 1978, and finally his first “A” Singles title in the Fall 1981 Tournament.

Another early career highlight occurred in the Fall 1983 tournament, when he won the “A” Singles and “A” Doubles for the first time with partner Gilbert Reyna, which was the first of at least six Doubles titles together. Unfortunately all tournaments were not recorded in the Handball Journal. Available records show that Pasos won at least 13 “A” Singles titles and at least 15 “A” Doubles titles. He has also dominated the Masters (over 40) Division since 1999 including tournaments after his retirement. He could always be counted on to win any reunion tournament at FS-26, FS-9 or FS-11 no matter who his partner was.

Jesse has been a great ambassador to the sport with the ever present toothpick in the corner of his mouth, and layers of shirts to absorb the impact of the shots that he blocks. He is a complete player with great court instincts who always hits the smart shot. He has the rare ability to adjust his game to exploit his opponents’ weaknesses, or overpower them when necessary. Always a gentleman on the court, this honor is well deserved.

When asked about Pasos, retired Deputy Chief Joe Castro said “When the score is 9-9 in a tiebreaker, Jesus is the best athlete I’ve ever seen in any sport. In crunch time he absolutely will not miss his shot.”

Current 50 and over National Champion John Libby said that “Jesse Pasos is the fiercest, fairest, and most ferocious handball player in LAFD history.”

International Association of Firefighters Vice President Frank Lima said “Whether the handball game is on the line, or a life is on the line on scene at a fire; Jesus will always come through in the clutch. He is the most dependable person to have in critical situations on the court or at an emergency.”

A few quotes from a group text suitable for printing are: “That toothpick is totally unnecessary!” “He screens his serves!” “He borrowed my calf sleeve four years ago and wears it every time we play!” “For a guy as strong and macho as he is, he calls contact if you touch him with a feather!” “He wants every call to go his way!” “Castro has never beat him!”

Pasos joins Tati Silveyra (Pro) and Roy Harvey (Organizer) representing the LAFD in the Southern California Handball Association Hall of Fame. Please email lafdhandball@yahoo.com for ticket information.

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