Edmund A. "Teddy" Prentis, IV
To suggest that Teddy cut his teeth on a croquet mallet would be an exaggeration but not too big a one. The fact is that Ted wielded his first real mallet at age 14 on the Westhampton Mallet Club's lawns back in the early 60's after working hours as the club's all round handyman and refreshment dispenser during weekend tournaments. His natural athletic ability combined with studious observation of the game, as it was evolving within the club's play, together with the visit of the Hurlingham Club Team, led by John Solomon in 1967, set the stage for Teddy's string of club championships in Westhampton and the winning competitive edge he has enjoyed ever since.
To fully document Teddy's remarkable competitive career over the past quarter century would require far more space than available here. This record, however, would still not begin to touch on the substantial contributions he has made to the "growth and enjoyment" of the sport that has, at long last, brought him into the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame.
As a player, his multiple championships of the Westhampton Mallet and New York Croquet Clubs, Club Invitationals by the score, Regional Championships, a record eight USCA National Titles including the 1983 Singles, four Doubles (including two with father Ned), three National Club Team Championships (with Jack Osborn for the NYCC) and eight time member of the U.S. National Team, speak for themselves.
After achieving the number one ranking in the first USCA Grand Prix in 1983, Teddy's competitive career became secondary to his commitment as a teacher of the sport. As the world's first full time professional instructor and resident pro at Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, Teddy's two nationwide tours under the auspices of The Croquet Foundation of America provided many USCA clubs with much needed assistance.
His teaching talents contributed to the creation and production of the current library of instructional video tapes funded by the CFA.
As Director of the USCA's National School, Regional and National Tournaments from the early 1980's to 1988 Teddy's influence on the improving standard of play and quality of competitions is unparalleled by any individual in the history of American croquet.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to describe the irrepressible enthusiasm, energy and dedication Teddy has brought to the task of broadening the understanding and enjoyment of croquet over the years. This eagerness to share his knowledge is well known to anyone listening to his narrated description of matches, whether over a loud speaker system at a tournament final, or simply sitting court side at a friendly pick up game.
Over the years, Teddy has authored many biographic tributes to previous inductees, one of which ended with a thought that surely bears repeating here.
It is no less an honor than is deserved, and no greater an honor we can bestow than to welcome E. A. "Teddy" Prentis, IV to the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame.
Edmund A. "Teddy" Prentis, IV was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1989.
Edmund Astley Prentis IV (“Teddy”), 68, of Delray Beach, FL, Westhampton Beach, NY, and Cluj-Napoca, Romania, died suddenly in a motorbike accident on Thursday, May 11th in Bermuda. Read his obituary.