Amos Rosenbloom has had cancer come and go three different times, with his latest remission period lasting five years and counting. That's only one of the health woes that admittedly have slowed the 82-year-old Edina man down when it comes to racquetball.
Why, he used to play five times a week. Now?
"It's about four or five times a week," he says.
A laugh came from the other end of the phone line. Maybe by the time Rosenbloom is 100, he'll be down to three or four times a week. His love of the sport, which he took up 40 years ago after handball became too taxing, led Rosenbloom to a great honor: He was inducted last Wednesday into the National Masters Racquetball Association Hall of Fame.
The ceremony was in conjunction with the association's annual tournament in Allentown, Pa. Not only did Rosenbloom take home the honor, but also first place in the 80-85 division doubles event.
"It's a great event, particularly when you're the award recipient," Rosenbloom said. Winning doubles "was the frosting on the cake."
But Rosenbloom, who served in the Korean War and later founded Rosenbloom & Rosenbloom Insurance in the Twin Cities, sees the lasting benefit of racquetball measured in years and relationships rather than plaques and trophies.
He's maintained friendships through the sport for countless years; in one instance, it even led him to a glimpse behind the Hollywood curtain. At a tournament several years ago, he met a fellow player who turned out to be actor Ryan O'Neal. Rosenbloom wound up getting invited to play at O'Neal's home in California.
And while he still plays in national tournaments, getting a good sweat several times a week locally can be just as meaningful.
"As guys get older, they don't recognize some of the benefits that can come from maintaining a sport," he said. "I've had cancer three times. Racquetball helps you through that stuff. It helps you maintain vitality. Any sport can do that. For me, it's racquetball."