Jacoby ORANGE CLUB
Hamman ORANGE CLUB
full time professional bridge team, organized in
1968 by Dallas financier Ira Corn for the express
purpose of returning the world team championship
to the United States.
selected six players from among America's leading
young experts, paying each a salary, plus
tournament expenses, to undertake a full-time
career of studying and playing bridge. He started
with James Jacoby and Bobby Wolff, and shortly
thereafter added Billy Eisenberg, Bobby Goldman
and Mike Lawrence. Robert Hamman joined the team
in 1969. Monroe Ingberman, mathematican and
bridge writer, worked with the Aces as their
first coach. In mid-1968 retired Air-Force
Colonel Joseph Musumeci was added as trainer and
coach. The team was incorporated as the U.S.
Aces, but was popularly known as the Dallas Aces
and later simply as the Aces.
In 1969, the team achieved
the first major goal set by Corn by winning the
Spingold Knockout Teams and later a playoff match
that earned the Aces the right to represent North
America in the 1970
Bermuda Bowl in Stockholm, Sweden. With the BLUE
TEAM retired, the Aces returned the Bermuda Bowl
to North America for the first time since 1954.
The Aces successfully defended their world
title in 1971. See WORLD
||In 1975 Eddie Kantar and
John Swanson made their first appearences in
international play with the Aces and
Soloway-Eisenberg were back on the team. The Aces
were second to Italy in the
Bermuda Bowl and the team was
Hamman-Wolff(Aces Club); Eisenberg-Kantar,
Soloway-Swanson(Standard American with special
In 1976 North America did
not fare well in the Team Olympiad, but won
the Bermuda Bowl. On the team were two
former Aces - Soloway and Eisenberg.
The Aces won the
1977 Bermuda Bowl as Zone 2
representatives, and another team from North
America finished second. Playing for the Aces
once again were Hamman-Wolff, Soloway-Swanson and
Eisenberg-Kantar. In 1979 four ex-Aces won the
Bermuda Bowl in Rio on team captained by Malcolm
Brachman(Eisenberg, Goldman, Kantar, Soloway).
The next year in the 1980 World Team Olympiad ,
Corn captained the Aces to second place behind
France. His team was Hamman-Wolf, still playing
the Aces Club; Soloway-Ira Rubin(standard
American with special treatments) and Fred
Hamilton-Mike Passell (five card majors,
two-over-one game force). In 1981 for the first
time in many years no Ace or former Ace was
present on the U.S. international team.
In the fall of 1981 Corn
put together one more Aces-team. He had great
hopes for Hammn-Wolff(the only players to remain
constantly with the Aces throughout a 13 year
period), Alan Sontag-Peter Weichsel and Mike
Becker-Ronnie Rubin. Just three months after
Corn's sudden death of a heart attack in April,
1982, the Aces won the Spingold in Alberquerque
and qualified for the International Team Trials
in Minneapolis that November.
summing up the history and the victory of this
Aces team, reported: "Just say that we won
for big Ira." The Aces name stuck with them.
In the Minneapolis trials, which they won, they
were known as the Aces and their non-playing
captain was Joe Musumeci.
From that point
on the Aces Team as such disappeared into
history. But members of the team continued to
have many successes. Hamman and Wolff headed the
WBF rankings in 1992. Lawrence and Kantar are
profilic bridge authors. Soloway became the first
player to break the 40.000-point barrier in 1994,
Jacoby was a syndicated bridge columnist.