Joseph Platak (born c. 1909) was a leading handball player in the 1930s and 1940s. He was one of the inaugural inductees to the United States Handball Association's Hall of Fame in 1954.[1]

Joe Platak
Personal information
Full name Joseph Platak
Born 1909
Nationality  United States

Platak was a four-wall player who dominated the sport in the 1930s, winning nine national singles championships from 1935–1945, beating every opponent in just two games. He was also on two doubles championships.[1]

The son of a Lithuanian immigrant, Platak grew up in Chicago, a handball hotbed. He briefly attended Loyola University, but left it to support his parents. During the early part of his voluntary naval service, he was not allowed to travel to defend his national title.[2] He played for Chicago's Lake Shore Athletic Club. Not until Naty Alvarado did any other player win as many four-wall titles in national open singles play.[1]

In 1948 he placed third in Sullivan Award voting.


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-09-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Time magazine, May 11, 1942, "Unlucky Joe" - [1]