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Bernie Schwengers with his racquet

Bernie Schwengers (1998)

Bernard Schwengers was Canada's most outstanding tennis player of his era. He won the Pacific Northwest singles championship five consecutive years from 1909 to 1913 and the Canadian singles title twice during that span. He was the top singles player on two of Canada's Davis Cup teams and was undefeated on the 1913 Canadian team that reached the Davis Cup final against the eventual champion U.S. at Wimbledon. That remains one of the greatest moments in Canadian tennis history. Schwengers was a marvelous all-around athlete. He was a standout in soccer, a champion rower for JBAA and set the B.C. 1OO-yard sprint record in 1898. A star pitcher, catcher and second baseman for the Victoria team in the old Pacific Northwest International Baseball League, Schwengers turned down an $8,000 yearly contract to play second base for the St. Louis Browns in 1902. Schwengers, the consummate gentleman athlete of his day, was a true amateur and didn't believe in pro sports. He believed in playing only for the love of the game. As late as 1943, Schwengers was winning the Pacific Northwest seniors golf championship. Schwengers is a member of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.