Pan Miles - Top ping pong Player
Famous American ping pong player Pan Miles passed away in 85. Miles appeared in Man Booker winner Harold Jacobson’s profile of his longtime rival Marty Reisman (Miles was Jewish, since Reisman is), that Tablet Magazine published earlier this season. Miles won more guys’s U.S. table tennis best ping pong robots pingpongstart championships than anyone else.
I phoned Reisman up to get his take on rival and his longtime friend. “He was as good as the best and unworthy when in top shape,” he said. “The base of his match was an impenetrable, close-to-the-table defense, which imparted tremendous back-spin to the ball, taking the steam out of every aggressive player he faced with this never-before-seen paralyzing chop on both wings. He joined it with a devastating forehand attack delivered to the vulnerable intestine of his opponent.”
Reisman continued:“His forehand driveway was a stroke of attractiveness with deadly effectiveness, a circular movement requiring such elaborate timing he had lost it from the time he was 25. I saw him make Richard Bergmann, a four-time world winner, break down and cry after the beating Miles gave him in 1949 before 10,000 spectators in Wembley Stadium.”
Reisman further remembered the first time both met:
The first time that I saw Miles play was in Lawrence’s in 1943 on Broadway and 54th Street, there turned a speakeasy ping parlor. He had not won the very first of the ten titles and was. During a lull in his game, I jumped over the obstacle, yanked out my personal 75-cent ping pong paddle, and said,“Hey mister, hit a few shots .” Pan looked at me and said,“Not now kid.” I slunk back to my chair and explained to the man sitting near me,“With a little practice, I could beat that man.” Thus began the best rivalry in the annals of table tennis, culminating at us carving out a chunk of how to set up a ping pong table ping pong.
Who was better? Jacobson captures their validity nicely:
Marty Reismanthey and pan Miles were the names to conjure with. Pan Miles the more defensive of the two, but both of these capable of taking the ball sooner than every other player in the background of the sport, and creating extraordinary pace, not to mention variations of speed, by infinitesimally subtle changes in racket-head pace. Who was quicker? Miles shows up occasionally to renew the competition.
Use the phrase"best forehand from the world" in their hearing and each will appear, assuming you are speaking about him. Marty reckons there was always much preliminary flourish around the forehand of Pan for it to have been the equivalent of his. His chestnut brown eyes, open, and says nothing with ping pong table.
Below: ping pong player Mal Russell’s representation of a photograph he took of Miles (left) and Reisman (right) playing in 1949 (hinting Marty Reisman).
Pan Miles, Record-Setting U.S. Table Tennis Player, Diest in 85 [NYT] Related: Smash [Tablet Magazine]