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Seemiller – The American: The Strike

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”:

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In 1976 I made a tough decision to go on strike at the U.S. Open in Philadelphia.  Many people were disappointed in not seeing me participate.  
It was embarrassing to carry a sign for 4 days. There was chaos and hard feelings. The police were summoned a couple of times. Sometimes you have to make a stand-if you want to be a professional you can’t play for nothing.
The next Nationals at Las Vegas offered 10 x the prize money.

 

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