Monday, November 03, 2008

Marty Reisman, table tennis great

Speaking of table tennis...

If you don't recognize him, this is the great Marty #3 in
the world. I took my very first TT lesson from him at age 16, some 36 years ago now.

Here he is in his late 70's, demonstrating his accuracy by smashing cigarettes in half.

He hasn't lost too much!:

Don't believe the closeness of the score. When he published his autobiography, The Money Player: The confessions of America's greatest table tennis champion and hustler, he had an exhibition at Macy's department store in the 70's to launch his book.

My father Alan and I were very friendly with Marty at that time, being regulars at his club on 96th Street in Manhattan. In fact, he let us read the manuscript prior to publication and gave us an autographed copy upon its publication. Anyway, at Macy's he took on all comers -- spotting them points -- and would give a free book to anyone who could beat him in a game (he only gave away one).

I remember that he and I played an abbreviated game to 15, which he *won* by only two points (I don't recall now how many points he spotted me...probably 8...but somehow, he always seemed to win by only 2 points), and finished me off with the drop shot you see on the last shot in the video above.

My father, who competed late in the exhibition, was up by a point when Marty used his infamous drop shot. Having seen it all afternoon, my father was prepared and ran to the side of the table, smashed the ball with all of his might, and ended up standing next to Marty on his side of the table....having won the point and the game.

I won't say that Marty was upset exactly, but one could tell he wasn't very pleased. And so, you now know why I have two copies of The Money Player!


  1. Anonymous2:36 AM

    Yeah he definitely on the legends of the table tennis game. Thanks for the video! would have never found it.

  2. Anonymous2:39 PM

    He is a great champion.However, once (I played him one time only) I got lucky and beat him during a tournament in Greenpoint in 1992. He could not belive that he lost it to me... :).