View Full Version : A moment of remembrance please

11-03-2004, 03:14 AM
A moment of remembrance please.

The last of the great, old time masters of straight pool has passed away. Arthur "Babe" Cranfield Jr. left us peacefully Sunday evening (10/31/4) at the age of 89. He competed against the other past all time greats such as Ralph Greenleaf, Willie Mosconi, Irving Crane, Frank Taberski, Erwin Rudolph, Andrew Ponzi, Jimmy Caras, Luther Lassiter, Joe Balsis, etc. The only two he was unable to get an edge on was Greenleaf and Mosconi, and with Crane, he broke about even. He was a pool prodigy as a child and it was said that he would become the next Greenleaf. He never became as famous as many of the other players because he didn't play pool for a living. The income from pool was too inconsistent and he had a family to support. He worked full time as a salesman for the Muzak Corporation, for about 40 years. He continued to play pool, many times a week, until in 1997 when he suffered a mild stroke that affected his eyesight. I personally saw him run 99 balls when he was 80. In my opinion, to judge him on ability, I would consider him to be in the top 5 ever in straight pool, and probably in the top 10 for pool in general. Here are some of his accomplishments (many documented, and others relayed to me when I campaigned for his induction into the BCA Hall of Fame):
The only person to ever win the National Junior, National Amateur, and World Professional Pocket Billiard titles.
1997 BCA Hall of Fame inductee.
5 - World titles.
8 - National tiltles.
Player of the Year.
Won over 50 Tournaments.
Statistics on a 4 1/2 x 9 table:
High run - 768.
Around 40 more runs of 400+ ( Incl. 492, 488, 475 ).
90 ball run with one hand.
70 ball run without the cueball touching a rail.
45 consecutive bank shots.
17 consecutive racks.
Statistics on a 5 x 10 table:
High run - 229.
Two more runs over 200.
3 cushion billiards:
High run of 16.
Fortunately in 2000, Babe and Larry Moy (an excellent player and writer as well) put together a book call "The Straight Pool Bible". It is a "must have" book for any player of any pool game. In 2002 they came out with "Essential Pool", an excellent book for beginners and beyond.
Babe was an athlete from early on; he played basketball, baseball, football, boxed and was a "scratch" golfer (something he wish he'd pursued as a professional). He was in the first group of athletes to be inducted into the Syracuse (N.Y.) Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife Ruth and his sons Larry and Gary. He was my mentor, and I consider myself blessed to have become his friend. I will miss him greatly. We will all miss him. ----------------- Arnold Silvernail

11-03-2004, 05:31 AM
Thanks for the post Nail. I am saddened to hear of Babe's passing and wish condolences to his family and friends.

I have his Straight Pool Bible and only saw him play on the recently aired Legends of Pool (which I recorded).

May Babe rest in peace as we have truly lost another Great One.

#### leonard
11-03-2004, 06:20 AM
Arnold, you have forgot to mention "The Babes" other gifts. He was a scratch Golfer and carried over a 200 Bowling Average. Archery,Tennis,Badmitton you name it and he was near expert in every field he endeavored.

In my opinion, he was a man possessed with attaining the highest skill level in whatever he did.

I played the Babe in the 1968 Salt City Tournament and lost to the Babe 125 - 123 in that game, the Babe made a shot out of the rack and ran 26 and out.

In the very next game he lost to Joe Balsis 125-124 to complete what I thougt at that time had to be the two closest games ever played.

May Heaven be ready for Him.

11-03-2004, 07:13 AM
I'm sure he'll be missed.

####.....you have to write the book. Your memory is incredible and the world needs your stories.

#### leonard
11-03-2004, 12:05 PM
Jim I am thinking of Co-Authoring a book with Local Writer William Kennedy if that can be arranged. ####

11-03-2004, 12:23 PM
I want an autographed copy...please.

11-03-2004, 04:37 PM

My condolences to you and Babe's family. He was truly the last of the "Legends" the current generations of pool players grew up to emulate.

And ####, my sincere condolences to you, too.


#### leonard
11-04-2004, 06:30 AM
Jim, the Babe had two idiosyncrasies when playing pool competitively, one was moving the pieces of chalk out of his eyesight line and placing them perfectly on the diamonds.

The other was when he was looking to see if balls would pass bye other balls, he would place his index finger on his temple while tilting his head.

Imitators would have a had field day with the Babes Moves.

The Babe got his nickname because the real Babe played pool in his fathers poolroom in NYC and the Babe was starting to play at or near the same age as the Great Willie Hoppe.####

11-06-2004, 07:09 AM
Babe Cranfield,who passed away last weekend at age 89, was the greatest billiard player to ever call Syracuse home. And it wasn't even close. That's why he was among the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame's inaugural class of inductees in '87- and remains billiards' lone representative.


11-06-2004, 09:32 AM
Put me down for a copy too. I;ve often thought while reading ####'s posts that he should write a book.

Can't wait to read it.


#### leonard
11-07-2004, 01:58 PM
Barbara if you read Babes Obit in the Syracuse paper you might have read about the apple farm in Hudson,NY. Well I played the Babe an afternoon and evening match at Frank Barrelas 3 table poolroom in Hudson.

In the afternoon match the Babe ran 115 and out to win 150 to maybe 40 balls.

Then most of the Hudson Italians,The Babe and his wife, Ruth, went to Fatso's Restaurant outside of Clermont for 3 hours of fun,food and laughter. Then back for the evening match.

In the evening match the Babe opened up with a 74 and missed and I came back with an 86 and let the Babe back to the table. He ran a 70 and got tied up with no way out. He tried a magical shot but missed and I ran 64 and out to win 150 to 144.

Now it wasn't that easy, on my third break shot I overcut the shot with my reverse English and it went into the long rail then the short rail and the cueball went into the rack and collide with the object ball again and this time it went in the pocket.

Not one to taunt the Gods of Pool I finished the run.####

11-07-2004, 02:36 PM
He was one of the greatest players of our time. He will be missed by all.