Seemiller - The American: 1983 Nationals - Butterfly Table Tennis
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Seemiller – The American: 1983 Nationals

Seemiller: The American

(by Steve Hopkins)

One of the most storied players in American table tennis history, Dan Seemiller.  He first qualified for the US Team in 1972, was the top ranked player in the country by 1974, won five US National Championships, and logged an amazing international record that at one point included completing two consecutive World Team Championships without losing a match.  Later in his career, he became a highly decorated and successful coach, a tournament promoter and director, an author, and he also served as President of USTTA.

The signature grip and style that bears his name is still referred to by many internationally as “the American grip”.  Seemiller is the quintessential “American” player – with emotion and grit and heart.

In February, as Dan was training for the Olympic Trials, he began posting memories to his Facebook page.  Over the next few weeks, we are going to share some of those photos and quotes in this series “Seemiller – The American”:


This is one of my favorites for sure.
The 1983 Nationals final versus my rival Eric Boggan.  The match was two-out-of-three and I was leading 1-0 in games and up 13-5.  Eric sort of gave up and whacked in 2 winners. Next thing I know I’m down 20-19.  I realize if I lose this game my chances to win go down to 25% or less. I bring the score to deuce but Eric again takes the ad 21-20. One of my proudest moments in this sport as I play 3 perfect points to win. On the last point, Eric served FH and looped down the line. I was able to block it wide FH as Eric scrambled and threw his paddle at the ball- not getting there in time.
Second place, I think, was $1,500. First place was $3,000. I also had a $5,000 bonus for first from Butterfly. That’s a big difference for a struggling table tennis guy. That was the only time I ever jumped on the table but I loved it.  Eric’s reaction is priceless.  This was my 5th singles title. Eric had beaten my brother Rick in the semis.


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