The Poughkeepsie Star-Enterprise – January 27, 1940
The river has its boat races and the mat has Rudy LaDitzi. Although wrestling, especially the rough and tumble professional type, is far different from the clean, rigid crew grind, it is resulting in reams of publicity for Poughkeepsie out west where burly Rowdy Rudy, Bridge City butcher boy and restaurateur, now is residing and performing.
Rudy left Poughkeepsie about 10 years ago, and save for an occasional visit he has never relinquished the city as his home town. Furthermore, he is still known as the one man wrecking crew from Poughkeepsie, “a veritable demon in the ring, and a polished, college-bred gentleman outside.” While we still think Rudy’s “college” is the one of hard knocks, Rudy stands on his wide reputation as a rough and tumble and right now is the center of mat activity in Los Angeles.
Some press clippings sent east proves Rudy is putting Poughkeepsie in the spotlight. Maybe there are times when Rudy makes folks think that they come tough and rough from Poughkeepsie, but as soon as the ring joust is over and he is out mingling with the film folk, they find he is really a peace-loving sort and not the hair pulling, eye gouging expert of the ring.
Rudy to western folk is best known as Poughkeepsie’s Hungarian champion. Local folk remember him best for his wide reputation as a wrestler in his early life around the Hudson valley and also for his little eating shop down on lower Main street. But Rudy has gone “places” since he left Poughkeepsie.
He has travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Canada. Right now he is barred from New Zealand because he is too rough. Rudy can’t and won’t change his style of wrestling. They will have to pound him to a pulp before he would change— and then, probably, come growling out for more. He has been in every state in the Union and has made many friends, despite his roughhouse way of making a living.
Rudy was born on Feb. 22, 1909, in Bucharest, Rumania, of German and Hungarian parentage. He came to the United States when four months of age. Since maturing and turning to pinching noses and tossing opponents he has had more than 2,000 matches. At present he holds the California championship in contempt. “There’s about 30 other guys claiming it,” Rudy said, “but I’m not worried.”
He has had two matches which he thinks were harder and more gruesome than the others. One of them was with an Iowa farm boy. Rudy suffered a broken nose and ankle Then in Council Bluffs, Iowa, he was wrestling Lee Wykoff, and five cops jumped on Rudy and were just about ready to send him to the pearly gates but Wykoff interfered, so Rudy is still with us. However, he had to have fourteen stitches taken. Besides; the broken nose and ankle, he also has had his knee dislocated and some teeth were knocked out.
LaDitzi has had several two hour matches, and his shortest was about a minute.
His favorite holds are the Boston crab and the back-breaker, but he doesn’t like to depend on just one hold to win his matches for him. He likes to specialize in a great many.
Rudy is six feet tall, and weighs 230 pounds. He wears a 20 1/2 collar and a 9 1/2 shoe. So far, Rudy is unmarried.
He admits that he didn’t win a bout during his first two years of professional grappling. He had been an amateur wrestler for one year and was runner-up to Ed Don George in the National Amateur tournament at the New York A. C. in 1929.
In 1930, Rudy turned pro and entered a tournament in Baltimore, Md., at Carlin’s Park. Some of the entrees were world famous wrestlers such as Hans Steinke, Hans Bower, the Zybyskos, Dan Koloff, Kola Kwariani, Renato Gardini, John Pesek and Marin Plestina. These wrestlers considered Rudy “a college upstart,” although Rudy had never gone to college. Up to this time, Rudy had never seen a professional wrestling match and —as he says: “I was like a lamb led to slaughter. Just like the lambs I had slaughtered as a butcher.
The first night, Rudy lost all of his three bouts in short time. He was given such a working over that he couldn’t even get out of bed tor the next-three days. He was shamed to go home because he had bragged so much to his friends -about “what he was going to do to those poor unsuspecting pros. He had been a not-to-smart amateur who was going to win the tournament which boasted of some of the greatest stars in wrestling history.
During his first two years, he never won a bout. He got knocked out a dozen times, his teeth were knocked out, his eyes were cut and his nose broken. His ears folded over like an accordion. He learned that he had to learn the pro style of wrestling and he learned it the hard way. Everytime he winced with pain, they gave him the works, double. Eventually they made him as ugly as they were.
When he began playing their game, he began to win bouts. He outroughed the rough ones and slugged the scientific ones. He got and still gets a great mental trill from beating an opponent to a pulp.