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Russ Ketcham

Russ Ketcham

Russell D. Ketcham was born on March 3, 1919. Throughout his life, he was an accomphished sportsman, being an avid golfer, a tremendous fly-fisherman, a wonderful shot and captain of both his high school football team and tennis team. Russ's love of sports continued on throughout his life, ending wih his passion for the game of croquet. Russ's war record was as interesting as it was outstanding. He flew for the American Transport Command and for the final years of the war was Eisenhower's personal pilot. It was during the late 1970's that Russ began playing croquet and recognized the void in Boca Grande. Along with Bayard Sharp and the Gasparilla Inn, he decided to build one croquet court to see how it would go. Russ's enthusiasm for the game is the main reason that croquet had become so successful at the Gasparilla Inn and on the west coast of Florida.

Russ took one small court at the Inn and quickly developed three regulation courts and a thriving club. His participation with the United States Croquet Association and the Foundation was well known. Russ was an active participant in many tournaments and heavily involved with the Referee Schools. He was instrumental in developing bisque tournaments, which he felt would be far more inclusive and would generate more interest among the players, which has certainly been the case. In 1985, Russ started the Gasparilla Inn Invitational Bisque Tournament, which has proven to be very popular and alway has a long waiting list. Russ, along with his wife, Sallie, have been a tremendous asset to the game of croquet for many years.

Russ Ketcham was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1996.

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