Player Profile – Randy Seemiller
The name Seemiller has been synonymous with Pittsburgh Table Tennis since the 1970’s. Danny and Ricky, the elder brothers, rose to national and international prominence in that era. Younger brother Randy continued this standard, rising to a number 7 national ranking in 1986. He has won numerous tournaments, and has won the Men’s Pennsylvania State Championship a remarkable 12 times. Randy continues his reign as the top-ranked player in the South park Table Tennis Club, a title he has held for about 15 years.
First, a natural and perhaps obvious question. How did you get started in the sport?
How did I get started? Same way as Danny & Ricky, we played at the Phillips park Recreation Center (part of Pittsburgh Parks and recreation). I started at South park in 1972 at 12 years old, Danny, Ricky, Myself and Tim all played at the club.
Did you naturally adopt the famous Seemiller grip, or did the older brothers have to coerce you?
Yes, having anti really helped with return of serves and I really liked the style. It was good for my older brother so I knew it would be good for me.
Any favorite memories of brotherly rival wars?
Not really in TT, Dan and Rick were a lot better than me in the early days. I had rivals with my younger brother Tim during my teenage days. I did beat Ricky in ’84 PA State Championships in the semi’s, Rick did not like that. I have 5 brother and 3 sisters so we used to play in the house and one was football on our knees in the living room, there were many battles on the carpet.
You have had so many highlights in your career. Are there any that really stand out for you?
Winning National Team Tourney in Detroit 1977 with Dan & Rick. Seemiller’s vs NY and I won the 8th match against Eric Boggan which propelled us to victory. Eric beat both Danny & Ricky earlier in the match. 1983 Pan American Team member to Venezuela, living at Olympic Training Center for 6 months in 1986, travelled to Saudi Arabia to coach the Royal Saudi Air force kids (great experience 1986).
What has been the biggest factor in your success?
Practice, we used to play 3-5 hours a day, I also had great practice partners, Dan, Rick & Tim. I also helped with many training camps in the 70’s which helped hone my TT skills.
Do you have any particular role models?
Of course, my Dad & Mom, they raised 9 kids and worked hard to make it work. They helped all of us to chase our dreams, athletics ran in the family from my dad and my mom had the education (she was a nurse & my dad delivered bread for a living). A sports role model was Terry Bradshaw of the Steelers back in the 70’s, he seemed to always pull thru in tough games, not perfect by any means but always seem to pull out the win. Danny was also a role model since he was so good at table Tennis, I wanted to be just like him.
What type of players do you most enjoy playing? Enjoy least?
I liked any looper or chopper (especially lefties), I did not like playing against pips out on the backhand, for that matter on the forehand also. Pips out was a nemesis for me, flat hitters.
Do you have any more personal goals?
In table tennis not really, I am 54 years old and enjoy the exercise the game gives me. I will compete in every match, remember when the game starts it is 0-0 so you have a chance.
What developments would you like to see for Western PA Table Tennis?
More younger players, we need to have some teenagers playing TT, it is great exercise and good for your reflexes. I have been playing for 42 years competitively and it is similar today as it was back in the 70’s & 80’s. South Park has a full house on Tuesdays and that is great.
Could you tell us a little more about yourself. Hobbies, interests, work, family, etc.?
Work as a Territory manager for Moen Faucet Company covering western PA and Norhtern WV for past 9 years, been in the plumbing industry for 29 years. I have been married to my wife Laura for 22 years (she is my best friend and partner), no children, just a couple cats. Hobbies include, bicycle riding, hiking, Golf, Table Tennis & travelling.