USA Table Tennis

Though Yvonne was inducted into our Hall of Fame as a Contributor, after arriving in the U.S. from England in the late 1950's, she gradually came to be known as a good player. In the '61-'62 season, she played for the U.S. in the U.S. vs. Canada matches at the annual Toronto CNE tournament. Then she went on to win the Most Valuable Player Award at the National Team Championships (her 16-7 record tied her for 7th with Lona Flam, whom she lost to in 4 in the 8th's of the National's). As late as 1995, she was still a good player--won the Women's Over 50's at the U.S. Closed.

Three and a half decades ago, with a page-long article in Topics, she pleaded for USATT help for women players. Such pleas of support for her causes would be commonplace in the years to come.

During the '62-'63 season she was the Treasurer of the D.C. Association. With English looper Derek Baddeley she reached the '63 U.S. Open Mixed Doubles final, beating Sol Schiff and Leah Neuberger in the semi's. Later that year at the NTC's she won a Best Sportsmanship Award.

In June of '63 she and her husband Carl, along with Bowie and Melba Martin, opened the Prince Georges Table Tennis Club. When it was destroyed by fire, she started another Club, and then another one....The one she'd have later in Howard County was, I believe, her fifth. Perhaps there'd be more.

It's no surprise that she was often a Women's Team Captain, repeatedly at the CNE, for example, or a Woman's Team Manager at the Olympic (formerly Sports) Festival.

She was not only Topics' "Woman of the Month" in 1972, she was, year in and year out, a real force for Women's Rights in the Sport. Why shouldn't women play their final on Center Court like the men? Why isn't there a Women's Captain for the Women's Team? Why in the history of the Sport have there been so few women on the USATT Executive Committee. (In '79 and '89 she was elected to E.C. office.) How about a baby-sitter section at tournaments? Why isn't there a Women's Senior event at the Closed? Yes, she made a vibrant USATT Women's Chair.

And she wasn't bad with the kids either. She organized camps for them during their vacation time away from school and saw they were chaperoned to a Las Vegas Closed or a far away Junior Olympics. These many years later, in 1998, she was still active--working the Newport News, VA Junior Olympic venue with Dick and Sue Butler.

Kronlage knew how to organize locally in her area. She got table tennis in the Maryland Senior Olympics and State Games. She could take on the responsibility of several Eastern Opens. Work with others to establish a Tour-Stop at the University of Maryland Cole Field House for the Chinese on their '72 reciprocal U.S. "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" trip. Manage an $8,000 then a $10,000 Maryland Open. Establish a Howard County circuit of monthly tournaments. Start an Eastern Regional Training Camp. Unabashedly set up an East Coast Colorado Springs-like Training Center.

Yvonne also wanted to be part of the real table tennis world, liked traveling. She helped get Butterfly playing uniforms for our '77 U.S. World team. Was the U.S. Team Captain to the '79 Pan-Am Games. Served as Manager of a U.S. Team to a Swedish Junior Championship. As Captain of the U.S. Women's Team to the '83 World's.

But of course Yvonne's most ambitious venture, her gutsiest, was the 1990 Baltimore Tournaments of Champions. She was the driving force that enabled the U.S. to stage its only World (Veterans) Championship--the one person in the 65-year history of our Association to accomplish that. Such a person is willing to take risks, get into trouble, be criticized, fail....Succeed.