“The Bronx Bomber”
Carlin Rosa aka “Gorilla” is what we at Wallball World like to call the epitome of a positive handball role model. Among the many roles he plays in his life such as husband, father, son and brother, one that he clearly holds close to his heart is his position as one of the top male professional handball players in NYC.
Carlin migrated with his family to Bronx, NY from the Dominican Republic at the early age of 5 with the dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Unfortunately, being that he is one of 5 siblings his family had a difficult time supporting his dream of playing in the MLB. “It was very challenging for my parents to afford the expenses associated with becoming a baseball player. I was only able to play with family and friends but never got a chance to compete.” Little did he know that one day his life would be forever changed at the age of 14 with an introduction to the sport of handball. “My uncle who lives in Pennsylvania was visiting and he took me the courts and introduced me to handball. After my first game I completely forgot about Baseball. I was attracted to handball because it didn’t require a lot of money or people to play, it was fun to learn new shots, I got a workout and I was immediately addicted. I played mostly at Mullaly’s park which is by Yankee stadium in The Bronx. That’s where I met my wife of almost 10 years, Lina. We played everyday until the birth of our son Joshua in 2003. My parents taught me family is very important so I slowed down on handball to spend time with them. After 2 years my wife being a handball player understood how important handball is to me so she made it really easy for me to be able to spend a lot of hours after work on the courts. Without her support there is no way I could have reached “A” (professional) player status.”
Years later Carlin managed to make a name for himself on the NYC handball scene. Although he plays recreationally, Carlin takes training very seriously and as a result has become one of the strongest lefties in the game. His intense training routine has amounted to some serious injuries. “I was named MVP at the Big Blue Ballerz tournament after suffering an injury to my MCL and still finishing my game and even winning against “A” player Ralphy. Playing handball has caused me many injuries. In the last USWA doubles tournament I had to forfeit because I pulled a back muscle and could not even walk. I ended up in the emergency room and had to get a cortisone shot for the pain. My back has fully healed but I still have a torn cartilage in my left shoulder which I got surgery for in 2008. I am slowly developing Arthritis in my left knee. Even with all my injuries I am addicted to the sport so much that I can’t force myself to stop playing.”
Carlin also credits his success on the handball courts to the steady partners he’s had over the years. “The fact that I am a good lefty has made it easy for me to find strong partners. I have won with Pete, Tavito, James and Pooch. In a partner I am looking for heart. They also must be honest players. My partners and I always have mutual respect for each other, and because of that they give 100% even if we are losing. All of my partners have these qualities and it has made us a very successful team.”
“Handball has a major impact on my life” says Carlin, “and I see a lot of positives things for our sport in the near future. I think eventually everyone will see how entertaining handball is. I feel that one day handball will become a big sport like tennis and the top players will be compensated for their abilities and skills. This sport has a lot of talented athletes and one day the world will see them. Athletes in other major sports are considered role models for their abilities and handball players should be no different. We train like any other athletes but we basically do it for the love of the sport since there are no million dollar contracts in handball. My younger brother Georgy Rosa is a professional baseball player in the minor leagues for The Florida Marlin’s and he has made baseball his career and doesn’t need a 9-5 job. I would hope that one day all of us are able to make careers out of this sport that we love so much.”
Congratulations to our new Player of the Week, Carlin Rosa!
Check out Carlin’s Professional Profile under the “Players” section and the premier of our first episode of the new series “Handball Diaries” in the media section of Wallball World
Player of the Week, Carlin Rosa aka “Gorilla” – Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Team DR – “Phat Kat”, Willy Polanco, Julie, Marie, Vladamir, Carlin
Carlin’s Family – Lina & Joshua