Monday, March 14, 2005

Ping-Pong Googling & Dancing Tunes

From the History of U.S. Table Tennis, Vol. III, on "Tournaments Preceding the National Team Championships, 1952":

Down at the New Orleans Y (no USTTA affiliate there or anywhere in Louisiana), Oliver Galloway was the Men’s winner over Hugh Baxley in straight games. The two finalists were deuce-in-the-5th pressed in the Doubles by Levey/Schneider. Shirley Suffrin wasn’t…sufferin’, at least not for long, for she won the Women’s from Marjorie Robinson 21-5 in the deciding 3rd. YMCA Physical Director Warren Smith arranged age-classification matches for local boys, and he himself came runner-up in the Junior’s to Joe Kincaid. Later in the season, at Baton Rouge, Galloway will be beaten by former Louisiana State Champion George “Killer” Woods who will then defeat Mo Jashim in the final. Meredith Boggan/Jimmy Watson will be the Doubles winners over Jashim/John Naylor.
Hugh Baxley is my dad. He won the U.S. Open (amateur division) for table tennis in 1971. It saddens me that the greatest table-tennis player in history (my very own daddy) (yes, I may be a little biased) is only referenced a single time in a Google search for "hugh baxley table tennis," and the one mention is of him losing. My dad never loses at ping-pong.

That's just wrong. We should all write angry letters to the U.S. Association of Table Tennis and demand that Hugh Baxley be inducted into the Table Tennis Hall of Fame.

This is actually kind of a neat site. It has everything you ever wanted to know about table tennis, past and present. It includes a link to the Table Tennis Museum, which has a great collection of all kind of table tennis memorabilia, such as table tennis balls through the ages, early advertisements, vintage photos of famous people playing ping-pong (including Judy Garland, Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart, and Mao Tse-Tung, as well as "African natives" and "American Indians," to name but a few), cool stamps, and early sheet music.

Below are some of the early sheet-music titles.

"Ping Pong Quadrille"
"Ping Pong Polka"
"Ping Pong Barn Dance"
"Ping Pong Scherzo"
"Ping Pong Girl"
"Ping Pong Amour" (ooh, la la!)

... and my favorite, which my mom must have sung to my dad back in their courtin' days, "I Wants a Ping Pong Man." (Warning: The sheet music cover for this 1902 song, as you might expect, is racially offensive. Visit at your own risk!)

You know, if J.S. Bach hadn't pre-dated ping-pong, we might today have such masterpieces as "Ping Pong Courante," "Ping Pong Partita," and "Ping Pong Sarabande."

Seriously, there are some great pictures at the table tennis history site--some funny, and nearly all interesting. I want to post some of them here, but I worry about posting copyrighted stuff. So you'll just have to click on the link. Sorry.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article and link. It was interesting and I must tell you sometimes about the great times that Oliver Galloway (the person that I lost to in the article)had. We became doubles partners and also competed in singles many times subsequent to the time in the article. Also, the Robinson teenager that lost the woman's championship became the best woman player in the South a few years later and we played mixed doubles together. Good blog.

    Dad

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  2. Hmmm, somehow I knew you would like this post ...

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  3. I wonder, I attended a Table Tennis tournament in NOLA with Hugh. I wonder if this was the one.

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