USATT Hall of Fame

By Larry Hodges | March 19, 2018, 9:27 a.m. (ET)

USATT Hall of famers

USATT Hall of Fame

By Larry Hodges, tabletenniscoaching.com


Every major sport has a Hall of Fame where fans can read about their favorite stars and learn about others. The USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame was created in 1979 - after a "false start" in 1966 (read about this in the History of the Hall of Fame). Steve Isaacson was the primary mover in its creation. The Hall honors the greatest table tennis players, officials, and contributors since USATT (then called USTTA) was formed in 1933.


Now there are an even 150 members - 97 players and 53 officials/contributors. (Note that there were no inductions in 2016, the year USATT switched the Nationals from December to July.) Each year potential inductees are Nominated, and then the Hall of Fame Committee (President Sean O'Neill, Tim Boggan, Dean Johnson, Patty Martinez, Scott Gordon, Mal Anderson, Dick Hicks, Donna Sakai, and Yvonne Kronlage) adds their own choices, and then they vote. Anyone who gets a 2/3 majority is inducted.


There is an Annual Dinner at the USA Nationals in July where that year's inductees are officially inducted, with a roughly 15-minute presentation on each of them, followed by an acceptance speech. There is also an annual Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award. About a hundred people attend the dinner each year - if you are at the Nationals, you don't want to miss this! You'll get to hobnob with both the current and past inductees who attend. (Disclosure - I'm a 2003 inductee.) I'll be there - stop by and say hello!


Some of the regular attendees include Sean O'Neill, Dan Seemiller, Insook & Shekar Bhushan, Dave & Donna Sakai, Dell & Connie Sweeris, Lily Yip, Patty Martinez, Tim Boggan, Jack Howard, Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Dick Hicks, Barbara Kaminsky, Yvonne Kronlage, Scott Gordon, Mal Anderson, Dean Johnson, Dick Evans, Si Wasserman, Judy Hoarfrost and Jim McQueen, with apologies to those left out.


Want to help out? Here's the Donation page! There are also In Memoriam and Retrospectives pages.


One of my little pet projects was to get all the Hall of Fame programs online - all 34 of them, starting in 1979. I ran into difficulties as I couldn't locate the one from 1989, but Donna Sakai found one in her files and sent it to me. I scanned all of them (except for the last eight, which I had created and had the PDFs), fixed them up, and sent them to Sean O'Neill, and he put them online. I also compiled a year-by-year listing of inductees - all we had was an alphabetical one. So here they are!