WHO WAS REINY SCHLEIER??
The “Top 8” District Amateurs of the Central District compete each year in the “Reiny Schleier Masters”! Those who compete in the CD Reiny are a part of the Shuffleboard history of the CD!! Congratulations to each participant, YOU ARE SPECIAL!! (The State Ams and the Pros compete only in the CD Masters!!)
Let’s meet the man for whom this event is dedicated and named after.
Reiny Schleier was a resident of Nalcrest (National Association of Letter Carriers). Nalcrest was, and still is, a retirement community on Hwy 60 about 10 miles east of Lake Wales, FL. Lake Wales is on Hwy 27 about 20 miles north of Avon Park.
Schleier was a Vice President of the Central District circa 1975 and became the President circa 1979-81. Reiny was a great booster of Shuffleboard, especially for the Amateurs, so much so, that any tournament where “one of his adopted students” was playing, Reiny made it a point to catch them between games and encourage their play!!
Several of his “students” went on the Pro circuit and did very well for which he could take credit.
On one occasion while showing the Courts of Nalcrest to Bob Pearson, he told Bob that he had the players sweep the Courts each morning before play, and while doing so, he instructed them to bang their brooms on the concrete. He went on to explain that this was a precaution intended to scare away the snakes which had been know to use the warm surface of the courts as a good place to sun bathe. Bob Pearson advises that the Central District Board agreed to a proposal by Schleier to hold an Amateur Tournament ~~ at about the same time as the McDonalds agreed to sponsor the Pro Masters. Schleier agreed to sponsor the event.
SHUFFLER’S NOTE: I believe the use of the term “sponsorship” meant that Mr. Schleier would have supplied the trophies; careful, I have prefaced this remark with “I believe”. The CD has carried on this tradition, presenting trophies in lieu of cash.
With regard to the 1st Reiny Tournament, Bob Pearson writes as follows: “I found a photo of the winners of his first tournament in an old Preview and I think it was in March of 1986 at Winter Haven”. Bob goes on: “I cannot remember when he passed away, but I do remember going to Nalcrest and bringing his Widow to the last day of a Reiny Schleier tournament so she could participate in the presentations. After his death, many of us who knew him encouraged the officers of the District to continue the tournament in his name which they have done.” Bob Pearson.
I would like to thank Bob Pearson, now deceased, for supplying this information ~~ as Bob put it: “I had to search the cockles of my brain”!!
From the archives of The Shuffler. Stan McCormack. 2017 03 16