Time Line, Highlighted History of American Table Soccer
From Table Soccer Digest, Vol 1 No 1, Fall 1986
Lawrence Patterson is called to active duty during the Berlin crisis. While stationed in Germany, Patterson arranges with a German factory for rights to import highly popular European table soccer game to the U.S.A...
Patterson brings first table soccer game to the U.S. He receives Canadian and American trademark rights to the term "FOOSBALL" and christens his soccer table "Foosball Match".
Patterson sells franchise to his FOOSBALL MATCH soccer table by mail order using full page ads in such prestigious national publications such as LIFE Magazine, Esquire, and the Wall Street Journal. Between
1967 and 1973
some 10,000 tables were shipped to franchise holders.
Patterson International publishes first FOOSNEWS Magazine.
Billy Taylor, a Portland based distributor of the Patterson FOOSBALL MATCH soccer table introduces Joe Snider to the game. Together with Steve Milos they organize the nations first table soccer leagues.
Joe Robbins of Empire Distributing receives exclusive rights to import Italian Garlando Soccer Tables to the USA. Tens of thousands of Garlandos are sold to American coin operators and arcades.
Dallas, Texas Tavern owner Bob Hayes orders a Patterson FOOSBALL MATCH Soccer Table from an advertisement in Esquire Magazine. Texas law at the time prohibits bar owners from being coin game operators... so Hayes sells his tavern and goes into the table soccer business and is soon operating FOOSBALL MATCH and German Deutscher Meister route of 25 machines.
Peabody's imports first Rene Pierre table from France.
Hayes recruits talented engineer Bob Furr and together they design the first American made Soccer Table. Hayes solicits and receives permission from multi-millionaire Lamar Hunt owner of the Dallas Tornado, a professional soccer franchise to use the Dallas Tornado logo and name. Texas Style table soccer is born!!!
(July) Bud Wachter longtime European Deutscher Meister sales rep starts Diverse Products and becomes exclusive distributor for Deutscher Meister in the USA. Deutscher Meister becomes top selling table in US along with Garlando.
Missoula, Montana tavern owner Lee Peppard stages 1st National Championships at 8-Ball Billiards on Deutscher Meister tables. Jack Briggs and Stu Meyers capture open doubles. Marcio Bonilla wins singles.
(July) Peabody's stages $9,000 Rene Pierre Championship at Virgina Beach, Virginia, 1st place mens singles awards a new automobile (Dodge Duster).
Tornado holds first national championships at Mickey Finns in Dallas, Texas. Reggie Congleton captures singles. Gary Pfeil doubles winning both doubles with George Meisner and mixed doubles with Lori Schranz.
Peppard holds $5,000 National Championships again at 8-Ball Billiards, but this time on his new Tournament Soccer Table. Bowers wins singles. Marcio Bonilla and Larry Folk win doubles.
Though there were some skeptics Peppard follows through and stages a $50,000 International Championship in Denver, Colorado at Elitch Gardens. This daring feat marked the beginning of an era of professional Table Soccer as regional legends and styles clashed for the first time. Never again would table soccer in America be quite the same.
T. Mitchell Powell well known Texas player and Tornado dealer resigns from Tornado to found Leisure Sports Systems and market 1/2 pint play on the new American table.
John Gilliland and Cal Rogers establish World Table Soccer Association.
Tornado 2nd Annual Nationals held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Darkhorse Tony Chitwood defeats highly favored Eddy Whitesides in an exciting singles final. Jeff Smith and Gary Sixkiller capture open doubles.
Brent Bednar and Mike Belz defeat Jim Wiswell and Doug Furry for the second year in a row in the Hansen Distributing Pearson Candy "Nut Goodie" high school state championships. Both teams would later go on to become World Champions.
Lee Peppard now joined by Texas promoter Cal Rogers stages Quarter Million Dollar Pro table soccer tour hitting 34 cities. Dan Kaieser and Ken Rivera capture $20,000 doubles top prize at $100,000 Finale in Denver Colorado.1975 Chicago Music Operators show has eighteen different table soccer manufacturers exhibiting tables.
Dynamo puts on $15,000 Texas State Championship at Granddaddy's in Houston Texas. Darkhorse Kansas team Mark Crowell and Marty Chase surprise top Texas teams by taking top honors in open doubles.
Tornado National Championships held at the Rusty Keg in Houston Texas. $10,000 in cash and prizes are awarded. Micky Starks and Joe Burkholder win ope doubles and Steve Simon wins singles.
Tournament Soccer increases pro tour to $375,000. Belz and Bednar avenge 1975 loss by dominating doubles competition in the $125,000 World Championships before a partisan hometown crowd.
$16,000 4th Annual Tornado Nationals held in August at the Ramado Inn in Irving Texas. Open doubles first prize $2,000 won by Mark Crowell and Marty Chase. Lane Hunnicutt wins open singles.
Budweiser announces $25,000 Tournament to be held on custon Budweiser Fussball table being produced by Leisure Sports Systems, manufacturer of the American Table. Event scheduled to be played in St. Louis is cancelled at the last minute.
Dynamo stages $75,000 National Tour culminating with a national championship in St. Louis that awards three Honda Civics to Ronnie Lewis and Joe Compean (Doubles) and Mark Crowell (Singles).
Tournament Soccer announces $500,000 tour to introduce new bluetop table. Doug Furry tops money winner list after winning a new Porche in Super Singles. Furry's earnings total $27,175.00.
Playing under the team name "Lost in Space" teenagers Todd Loffredo and Gil Jackson against amazing odds win the largest participation tournament of all time capturing 1st place open doubles cash and prizes of $25,000. 64th place pays $500 and 1st in Novice Doubles is a whopping $4,000. Lee Peppard's dream of "Bigtime" Professional table soccer competition is a reality!!
Tornado Nationals awards $20,000 in prize money. Ronnie Lewis and Lee O'Quinn come through the losers bracket to defeat Jim Wiswell and Lori Schranz in a tense open doubles final. Steve Simon wins Singles.
Tournament Soccer announces one Million dollar tour to span eighteen months and hit forty cities. Tour includes 15 - 10 granders, 2 - 25 granders, 2 - 100 granders, and a $250,000 World Championship. The Browntop table is introduced at Portland Open in September 1978.
Wiz & Furry continue hometown domination by winning two Corvettes at Super Doubles Memorial Weekend in Minneapolis.
Tournament Soccer hires World Heavy Weight Champion Larry Holmes to endorse Table Soccer prducts at A.M.O.A. Show in Chicago.
Kaiser and Martin win 2 $50,000 tournaments in Rochester and Portland, ending Mike Bowers 4 year domination of Portland Doubles events.
Furry and Wiz win Table Soccer World Championships. Open Doubles and $30,000 the largest place prize ever awarded.
The Complete Book of Foosball is published by Contemporary Books, worlds largest sports book publisher.
Tournament Soccer has East-West World Championship Playoff with cash awarded to overall winner Mike Bowers and Tim Burns, Johnny Lott wins singles title.
Three-time World Champion Jim Wiswell found dead in his home.
Teen idol, Leif Garrett stars in "Long Shot" a full length feature film about three teenagers' quest to capture the National Fussball Championshiop.
Coinsport, Inc. contracts with Dynamo Corp. to produce Pro Bilt Soccer Table. CSI holds 2 majors Tournaments $12,000 U.S. Open in L.A. and $25,000 World Championship in Chicago to introduce new table designed to appeal to both Texas and Northwestern style players.
Dynamo sponsors $80,000 tour culmination with $30,000 World Championship in Chicago.
Tony Bacon and Don Chalifoux defeat Bob Gibson and Johnny Lott in a tremendous match. This tournament tops all expectations for turn-outs. Todd Loffredo wins singles.