When we saw the headlines saying “Marty Reisman Dies”, we thought it couldn’t be true. Well, we are here to unfortunately confirm the bad news. The global table tennis community mourns the loss of the original ping pong hustler and legend. Marty Reisman died today aged 82. Marty started playing ping pong young and honed his skills in the Lower East Side area of Manhattan in New York. When American hustlers were developing their pool skills to earn an extra buck, Reisman became the original ping pong hustler in places like Lawrence’s Table Tennis Emporium. His book The Money Player highlights “the confessions of America’s greatest table tennis champion and hustler.” He was the 1958 and 1960 U.S. Men’s Singles Champion and the 1997 U.S. Hardbat Champion.
What we loved about Marty Reisman was the way that he brought much needed flare and color into the sport of table tennis. His look is iconic (a subtle nod to Al Pacino in his early films maybe) yet totally unique. Table tennis has lost a character.