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SecaucusFats
02-27-2005, 10:26 AM
When pool players get to talking about the past greats, I am always dismayed that one name seems to have been forgotten- De Oro.

Here's some background:

Alfredo De Oro’s career spanned the closing of the 19th and the opening of the 20th Centuries.

De Oro won his first World Championship in Pocket Billiards in 1887. He would go on to repeat this accomplishment 17 out of 25 years. He also held the World 3 Cushion Championship 10 times from 1908 thru 1919. He holds the most national and world pool titles of anyone in The Hall of Fame.

In 1934, at the age of 71, De Oro came out of retirement for a Championship Tournament winning two dramatic victories from defending World Champion Welker Cochran.

De Oro (a Cuban) is the only Latin American ever inducted into the Billiard Congress of America “Hall of Fame”.

Here is a man who held multiple titles in various cue sports disciplines. A man whose accomplishments will quite likely never be repeated. And yet apparently, even among the self professed pool "cognoscenti", he has been relegated to the dust heap of history.


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Popcorn
02-27-2005, 11:02 AM
Quote
"Here is a man who held multiple titles in various cue sports disciplines. A man whose accomplishments will quite likely never be repeated. And yet apparently, even among the self professed pool "cognoscenti", he has been relegated to the dust heap of history."

I don't know that kind of comment is called for. He is highly regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Pool is not a game where history is very well known in general anyway. Few could name many past champions period much less one from a hundred years ago. They also played different back then. If I understand it right a champion may have repeated his championship by defeating a challenger who earned the right to play him. In other words they didn't win repeated open tournaments but it was more like boxing where they beat one challenger and were again crowned world champion. If they played that way today it is possible one of today's players may win many multiple titles and have a very impressive record. I venture to say in the early 70's Hall or Miz may have been able to go undefeated for a very long time compiling a record that if termed like they were back then, Miz or Hall may have been World champion hundreds of times. All those titles may be an apple and orange comparison to today.

SecaucusFats
02-27-2005, 12:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Quote
"Here is a man who held multiple titles in various cue sports disciplines. A man whose accomplishments will quite likely never be repeated. And yet apparently, even among the self professed pool "cognoscenti", he has been relegated to the dust heap of history."

I don't know that kind of comment is called for. He is highly regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Pool is not a game where history is very well known in general anyway.
&lt;snip&gt;

<font color="blue">I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out your reaction.

What part of the post did you take exception to? Was anything in it factually incorrect?

My point is; that precisely because the vast majority of players today are absolutely unaware of so much of the great history of the cue sports, great champions such as De Oro are forgotten. IMO, that is downright shameful. </font color>

Few could name many past champions period much less one from a hundred years ago.

<font color="blue"> Exact-o-mundo! See my previous comments above.. For some, ignorance is bliss. As for myself, I don't subscribe to that theory. </font color>

<font color="blue"> </font color>
&lt;snip&gt;

All those titles may be an apple and orange comparison to today. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">The game of baseball was different, and so was the equipment, when Babe Ruth played. Does that make The Babe any less a baseball hero than those of the modern era?

You cannot separate a man and his accomplishments from the era that shaped both, nor IMO is there any need to. Greatness should stand on it's own merits. </font color>

Popcorn
02-27-2005, 12:35 PM
I was just referring to the "Dust heap" comment. It implies that he is being purposely ignored. His legacy is intact, although his name not commonly known to most of today's players unless they memorize the small captions from the BCA, HOF. That is the extent that most of us know about many of the past champions. I dare say the BCA themselves have never really compiled a proper history of the game and players beyond snippets like the HOF stuff. If they have is certainly kept a secret. I wonder if he is recognized by Cuba as one of their most honored citizens? If not he should be.

DickLeonard
02-27-2005, 01:45 PM
I might be mistaken but I thought that Alfredo was a Diplomat for the Cuban Government. ####

SecaucusFats
02-27-2005, 09:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> I might be mistaken but I thought that Alfredo was a Diplomat for the Cuban Government. #### <hr /></blockquote>

De Oro was a diplomat--for Spain. At that time Cuba was part of the Spanish Empire, and all Cubans were considered Spanish citizens. After the Spanish-American War, Cuba became a US territory. It was granted its independence in 1902 after the US imposed the much despised Platt Amendment. De Oro identified himself as Cuban and chose to remain in Cuba as a Cuban citizen.

Fred Agnir
02-28-2005, 06:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> When pool players get to talking about the past greats, I am always dismayed that one name seems to have been forgotten- De Oro. <hr /></blockquote> His inclusion in the Hall of Fame guarantees that his name isn't forgotten, doesn't it?

I think every time we (forum members in the internet community) talk about the world's greatest of all time, De Oro is alway brought up.

Walter Lindrum, Jay Bozeman, Don Willis, those are the names that will never be so honored in the HOF most likely, and their names will be forgotten.

Fred

SecaucusFats
02-28-2005, 09:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> When pool players get to talking about the past greats, I am always dismayed that one name seems to have been forgotten- De Oro. <hr /></blockquote> His inclusion in the Hall of Fame guarantees that his name isn't forgotten, doesn't it?
<font color="blue">I hear what you're saying. But what I was getting at is that De Oro, (and for that matter so many of the other luminaries of our sport), have been forgotten by the general pool playing public. And that includes even the majority of hard core pool players.
</font color>

I think every time we (forum members in the internet community) talk about the world's greatest of all time, De Oro is alway brought up.

<font color="blue"> Yes, of course. But folk such as you, and all the other participants on the various web forums constitute a select minority that is more active in seeking out knowledge (historical and otherwise) about pool / billiards.

Take a survey, ask most regular 'Joe or Jane Sixpack' players a simple question such as who was X (Mosconi, Sigel, Rempe, Cranfield etc..) and I'm willing to bet that the majority will come up with a blank.

</font color>

Walter Lindrum, Jay Bozeman, Don Willis, those are the names that will never be so honored in the HOF most likely, and their names will be forgotten.

<font color="blue"> I suspect you're right, but you never know. Everyone of them is certainly deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame. But hey, no matter...as long as folks like all of us remember them and pass that memory on to succesive generations, the history of their accomplishments will never perish.

BTW, Lindrum has got to have the coolest grave monument I've ever seen!

</font color>

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

Scott Lee
02-28-2005, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> Take a survey, ask most regular 'Joe or Jane Sixpack' players a simple question such as who was X (Mosconi, Sigel, Rempe, Cranfield etc..) and I'm willing to bet that the majority will come up with a blank.
<hr /></blockquote>

This is ludicrous! LOL Ask the average poolplaying individual in the U.S. to name ANY professional player, current or past, and FEW will be able to come up with anything more than "that Chinese girl", or perhaps Alison Fisher or Earl Strickland. Maybe, just maybe, they might mention Minnesota Fats (although he was not a major player from the past). Most have NO idea who Mosconi, a REAL player, was.

The fact that most people who play pool don't know who the ancient pro players were, any more than they know who the current pro players are, does not affect the game's popularity or playability for competitive purses sizes.

Not exactly sure what you're ranting about, but sadly, it is not going to change. BTW, MOST people under 40 have no idea who Babe Ruth was (isn't that a candy bar?)! LOL

Scott Lee

Popcorn
02-28-2005, 05:13 PM
Mosconi was a guest on "Whats My Line back" in early 60's and they did not guess what he did. Wouldn't you think someone like Bennitt Cerf would know who Mosconi was. Nothing has changed. They run those show in order every night on the GSN. There is a web site that has every WML show listed and when it will be aired so it will be on again some time. I just went and looked it up
http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/GuidePageServlet/showid-5501/epid-97427
For people interested The Mosconi show is number 640 and they are around 580 now so it should air in the next couple of months for those who like to have stuff like that on tape. Kind of cool.

Here is another good show if you are luckey enough to catch it at 3:30 am with M. Fats
http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/GuidePageServlet/showid-5501/epid-97963/

SecaucusFats
03-01-2005, 12:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> <hr /></blockquote>

This is ludicrous! LOL Ask the average poolplaying individual in the U.S. to name ANY professional player, current or past, and FEW will be able to come up with anything more than "that Chinese girl", or perhaps Alison Fisher or Earl Strickland. Maybe, just maybe, they might mention Minnesota Fats (although he was not a major player from the past). Most have NO idea who Mosconi, a REAL player, was.

The fact that most people who play pool don't know who the ancient pro players were, any more than they know who the current pro players are, does not affect the game's popularity or playability for competitive purses sizes.

Not exactly sure what you're ranting about, but sadly, it is not going to change. BTW, MOST people under 40 have no idea who Babe Ruth was (isn't that a candy bar?)! LOL

<font color="blue">With all due respect Mr. Lee. I'm not "ranting" this IS after all a discussion board on the subject of pool and billiards, is it not?

I disagree with your premise that not knowing a thing about the history or the current state of the sport does not in your words "affect the game's popularity or playability for competitive purses sizes." In fact, I would argue that such a state is part and parcel of the reason why our sport is the 'Rodney Dangerfield' of sports (it gets no respect). Pool is still seen by a large part of the population as the province of drunkards, hustlers, and assorted miscreants precisely because no effort is made to rectify that image. I am appalled that you deem it fit to dismiss the very notion that we ought to be aware of the rich and positive image of the cue sports given the undeserved contempt in which it is held by those who know nothing of the sport.

Shame on you Mr. Lee, you of all people should know better. Oh and thank God for people like Mike Shamos, and Robert Byrne, whose tireless efforts to promote the history of the sport have served to promote a more positive and wholesome image of the cue sports. </font color>

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

SecaucusFats
03-01-2005, 12:25 AM
Thanks for the heads up Popcorn! I would love to record those shows. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Scott Lee
03-01-2005, 05:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> <font color="blue">With all due respect Mr. Lee. I'm not "ranting" this IS after all a discussion board on the subject of pool and billiards, is it not?

I disagree with your premise that not knowing a thing about the history or the current state of the sport does not in your words "affect the game's popularity or playability for competitive purses sizes." In fact, I would argue that such a state is part and parcel of the reason why our sport is the 'Rodney Dangerfield' of sports (it gets no respect). Pool is still seen by a large part of the population as the province of drunkards, hustlers, and assorted miscreants precisely because no effort is made to rectify that image. I am appalled that you deem it fit to dismiss the very notion that we ought to be aware of the rich and positive image of the cue sports given the undeserved contempt in which it is held by those who know nothing of the sport.

Shame on you Mr. Lee, you of all people should know better. Oh and thank God for people like Mike Shamos, and Robert Byrne, whose tireless efforts to promote the history of the sport have served to promote a more positive and wholesome image of the cue sports. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

This is really funny. You're trying to tell ME that I don't support and promote a positive image for pool, simply because I state that the public knowing no history of the sport, nor who the players are has no bearing on prize money? I happen to be one of those people you described (Jewett and Shamos) who spends ALL my time promoting a positive image for the sport, and tries to help people overcome their own ignorance about the "public perception", by teaching them about some of the colorful history... which, btw, you very accurately described. I also provide a very positive and wholesome image for our sport, personally. The problem is not with me, sir...it is with many of the players themselves (top amateur, semi-pro and pro), who, as you mentioned, do little to change that negative perception. I mentioned the word "ranting", because another poster mentioned it before me. Seems like you're just a little bit sensitive here. If you want to blame someone, blame the media, who started this whole negative image perception in 1939 with a Disney movie, called Pinnochio. They continued it years later with the musical, The Music Man. Then 10 yrs after that, The Hustler came. 25 yrs later, you had the Color of Money...
and just a couple years ago, Pool Hall Junkies. All of these have contributed to the public perception. Now add in many of the players' attitudes into the mix, and you can see why we are where we are. Sorry you took offense to what I said, but I stand by it. I don't believe that knowing the history, or the players, current or past, has any significant effect on current professional tournament numbers, structure, or prize money.

Scott Lee

SecaucusFats
03-01-2005, 10:42 PM
Scott,

First of all let say that I appreciate your well thought out response, it shows that folks can disagree without being disagreeable.

<font color="green">Quote S. Lee: "I happen to be one of those people you described (Jewett and Shamos) who spends ALL my time promoting a positive image for the sport, and tries to help people overcome their own ignorance about the "public perception", by teaching them about some of the colorful history... which, btw, you very accurately described." </font color>

I must admit that while I am aware of your standing and sterling reputation as an instructor, I was ignorant of your other activities in promoting our sport. I stand corrected; please accept my sincere apology.

Your comments about the media were right on the mark. "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money" present us with a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, they fueled booms in the sport and brought in many players, while at the same time reinforcing the negative stereotypes which still continue to plague the game.

Frankly, I don't know where the answer to pool's PR problems resides.

Please rest assured that while we may have some minor differences of opinion, I know that you are one of the guys in the white hats. If I ever get to meet you in person, I would sincerely be honored to shake your hand in friendship, and respect.

Scott Lee
03-01-2005, 10:49 PM
Thanks...I hope we have a chance to meet sometime too!

Scott Lee