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National Championships – Portion of Men’s Filmed by Telesports

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A typical gallery at Fox Meadow during this time. Photograph is from 1959.
A typical gallery at Fox Meadow during this time. Photograph is from 1959.

Telesports made a 16mm sound film of about 5 minutes showing part of the 1960 National Men's Doubles Finals. The APTA 1963 Annual Meeting Minutes indicated that the film was the property of the APTA and was available to any member club at no cost by contacting the Secretary-Treasurer. Harrison and Pardoe win their second title in a tough match against the 1953 & 1954 champions and tennis stars Guernsey and McNeill. Madge Beck and daughter Susan Beck Wasch win their second title in a row. Cliff and Suzanne Sutter captured the Mixed over FMTC’s Susan Beck Wasch and her brother John Beck, earning them a mention in the March 21st edition of Sports Illustrated. Blanchard called Cliff Sutter, “a canny player if ever there was one and few can compare with him in the way he varies his game and keeps opponents guessing.” Sutter had won the intercollegiate tennis championshi[...]

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John P. Ware elected APTA President (1961-1963)

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John P. Ware (1921-1999)
John P. Ware (1921-1999)

Ware, Blanchard’s son-in-law, spent roughly 40 years of his adult life nurturing and promoting the game of platform tennis. He served as Secretary of the APTA from 1959 to 1961, during which time he did extensive research on format, size, and timing of tournaments and the composition of paddles. Ware was instrumental in bringing young people into the game when he inaugurated the first APTA Junior Boys National Championships in 1963 and was the driving force behind changing the ball color from white to orange and persuading manufacturers to adopt the new color. He designed the crossed paddles and ball insignia for the Association. The logo was modernized in the late 1970's, but Ware's original design remains on the crests presented to Hall of Fame recipients and past Presidents. Ware was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995

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National Championships

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Future multiple champion and Hall of Famer Charlotte Lee emerged on the paddle scene as a winner in the Mixed with James Gordon, and in the Women’s with Lindsay Sager. Hebard partnered with Zan Carver to win the Men’s, and with Walter Close to win the 45+. Source: Oliver H. Durrell, The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967

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National Championships – Men’s final filmed for TV

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The Men’s final was a repeat of the previous year, although this time Hebard and Carver won in four sets, not five. The Men’s final was filmed for television. James Gordon and Charlotte Lee repeated as Mixed Winners. Susan Beck Wasch won her third Women's title with Cogswell's daughter, Theodora (Do) Deland. Source: Oliver H. Durrell, The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967

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Sports Illustrated – It’s Wintertime, So Let’s Play Tennis

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The article by Rex Lardner described the history of the game, where the game was being played, notable players and the casual sociability of the sport, including the "dress code." The article began.... "The tennis fans of Connecticut and its neighboring states are a hardy lot—at least, a significant and growing number of them are. When winter winds begin to howl and snow blankets their courts, these intrepid racketeers neither give up their ball-banging nor take up squash; they deck themselves instead in a special kind of warm winter finery and move on to a structure of wood and wire to play a game called platform Tennis."

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National Championships

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Hebard and Carver won their third straight Men’s title, and Charlotte Lee won her second Women’s title with a new partner, Buffy Briggs, and her third straight Mixed, but this time with Dick Hebard, rather than James Gordon. Zan Carver and George Harrison won the Men’s 45+. Source: Oliver H. Durrell The Official Guide to Platform Tennis, 1967, APTA Platform Paddle Tennis 1963-1973: Rules and Records, 1973

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APTA changes ball color specification

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The orange ball was pioneered by John P. Ware using spray-on paint
The orange ball was pioneered by John P. Ware using spray-on paint

In the winter of 1963, an equipment innovation pioneered at Fox Meadow brought new color to the game. Because paddle in the north is often played in snow, the traditional white ball was difficult to see. John Ware decided that coloring the balls might solve this problem. "I got a can of fluorescent paint, orangey-red, and started spraying paddle balls. These crusty orange balls worked pretty well until they dried out and cracked, and you got paint all over your clothes. But they were the precursors of the present yellow ball." The APTA 1963 Annual Meeting Minutes included the following recommendation of Rules and Equipment Chairman George Harrison: "The committee has spent the past year in an unsuccessful attempt to inveigle the ball manufacturers to produce a regulation ball spray painted with a fluorescent yellow-orange paint. . . . We suggest the member clubs purchase balls [...]

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Paul G. Sullivan elected APTA President (1963-1965)

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Paul G. Sullivan
Paul G. Sullivan

Sullivan was President of the APTA in 1964 and 1965, and was on the Board for many years prior to that, serving as secretary, treasurer, vice-president, and chairman of the nominating committee. During his tenure, the association improved its communication with the membership, and set the sport on a more professional footing by demanding quality umpiring and giving APTA more control over tournament draws.

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