PDA

View Full Version : The Best Straight Pool Player Ever



DickLeonard
09-21-2005, 11:37 AM
Maybe Hal Houle remembers him but most CCBers won't even be able to find his name anywhere. I never saw him play but DON WILLIS told me that in his mind Fritz "Scarface" Fournier of Utica,NY was the best. I ask him on what he based that on. He said everytime they played the last game for all the money Fritz ran out.

I know "the Cannonball" ED Kienowski of Utica was no slouch and he learned from SCarface.

Eric.
09-21-2005, 12:09 PM
Hey Dick,

That's a topic that could be debated depending on what criteria i.e. tournament player, gambler, etc. I think it could depend on if you go by world records, who won more over a longer period of time and so on...

Ralph Greenleaf comes to mind...


Eric

Chopstick
09-21-2005, 12:34 PM
Seems I've heard the name but I don't remember anything else. I've always been a straight pool fan.

freddythebeard
09-22-2005, 05:17 AM
I was on the road with Eddie Cannonball Kienowski in Ft. Lauderdale in the 60s. He would run 100 balls every morning before we would go for breakfast. A great player, but he didnt consider himself in the same league as the Lassiters, Mosconis, Greenleafs, and a few others. Alton Babyface Whitlow from Detroit considered Scarface a great player, but again not in the Greenleaf/Mosconi league. A distinction must be made between gambling, road action, and tournaments. All the above mentioned players, including Babyface - who Lassiter could never beat for money - thrived under difficult conditions, ie., Big money games, bad tables, neutral tables etc. Lets not forget when the match occurred away from tournament jurisdiction, these guys could shark, intimidate and psych, none of which was tolerated by the pristine BCA.
The Beard

dutchboy
09-22-2005, 08:05 AM
Lets not forget the great Steve Mizerak who during his career won the U.S. Open from 70-75. In addition he won more tourn. with a field of over seventy players who could run over a hundred balls. He also had the highest ball per inning of any player in history...I believe it's 30-35, that's counting safe play and backscratching. Mosconi claimed 15 defences of a title that was limited most years to challenge matches and doesn't rise to level of competition that the Miz was subjected to. The big guy was the classic straight pool player, great patterns, beautiful stroke with finesse and power and a real special affinity for 14.1. I was sorry to hear of his stroke, do you happen to know how he's doing?

DickLeonard
09-22-2005, 07:51 PM
Freddythebeard, I had posted this before of playing in a tournament at the CueClub in Syracuse. The Cannonball had lost to Jimmy Quick of Elmira 100 to whatever.In the match all Quickie did was clear the table and then play a safe.

After the matches were over The Ballman put on the funniest routine of his game with Quickie. If traveled with him you
knew his moves. Running by the corner pocket grabbing the
pocket and swinging himself around. That fancy dance move he made rocking from one foot to the other. The move he made with his hand as if he had discovered gold on the
table. EDDIE had more moves than a snake. I was sorry that
it wasn't videotaped. He had everyone in stitches even Quickie.####

Bumps
09-26-2005, 11:26 AM
Only Jimmy Quick I knew from that area was from Binghamton, New York. Good player in his day.

Gerry
09-26-2005, 03:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote freddythebeard:</font><hr> I was on the road with Eddie Cannonball Kienowski in Ft. Lauderdale in the 60s. He would run 100 balls every morning before we would go for breakfast. A great player, but he didnt consider himself in the same league as the Lassiters, Mosconis, Greenleafs, and a few others. Alton Babyface Whitlow from Detroit considered Scarface a great player, but again not in the Greenleaf/Mosconi league. A distinction must be made between gambling, road action, and tournaments. All the above mentioned players, including Babyface - who Lassiter could never beat for money - thrived under difficult conditions, ie., Big money games, bad tables, neutral tables etc. Lets not forget when the match occurred away from tournament jurisdiction, these guys could shark, intimidate and psych, none of which was tolerated by the pristine BCA.
The Beard <hr /></blockquote>


Beard,
Why would he think he was'nt in the same league with the greats if he ran 100's every day? That's strong as hell! I've heard Grady talk about Harrold Worst(sp) who used to run 200 everyday for practice /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Maybe I just don't realise the strength of Mosconi and the top flite gang? They must have put the fear of God in thier opponents!......Gerry

dg-in-centralpa
09-26-2005, 06:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote dutchboy:</font><hr> Lets not forget the great Steve Mizerak who during his career won the U.S. Open from 70-75. In addition he won more tourn. with a field of over seventy players who could run over a hundred balls. I was sorry to hear of his stroke, do you happen to know how he's doing? <hr /></blockquote>

I was just at the US Open, and if you read some of those threads, you will see more. The Miz is wheelchair bound. As you often see with a stroke, his speech is slurred, his body &amp; face have lost some of the muscle control. With a strong will and concentration he can stand and take a few steps. When they did a tribute to him at the open, he actually left his wheelchair and walked past the pool table to the chair and eased his body down.
But don't be fooled! His mind and wit are just as sharp as before and if he has his way, he will find a way to shoot pool again.
Mrs. DG
who had a GREAT time at the open!

hondo
09-27-2005, 06:25 AM
Irving Crane was great but the best were Mosconi
and Greenleaf.

freddythebeard
09-27-2005, 07:47 AM
"Beard,
Why would he think he was'nt in the same league with the greats if he ran 100's every day? That's strong as hell! I've heard Grady talk about Harrold Worst(sp) who used to run 200 everyday for practice

Maybe I just don't realise the strength of Mosconi and the top flite gang? They must have put the fear of God in thier opponents!......Gerry "

Gerry,
Safety play separated many of the straight pool greats. I have watched Irving Crane practice alone and play himself safe for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The purity of how some of the players ran the racks also served as an intimidating factor. Re. Harold Worst, he did not run perfect patterns, but he was the most intimidating player probably ever. The confidence he would exude when it came to a critical shot was frightening. Re. The White Cannonball, Eddie Kienowski, I was in with him when he bar-b-q'd Weenie Beenie in Ft. Lauderdale playing Onepocket and giving him 8 to 7 and the break!

Old school pool. Bank on, brother!
the Beard

SplinterHands
09-27-2005, 06:02 PM
If straight pool was the game of choice today, there wouldn't be much mention of past players. John Schmidt might be the best.

Snyder1
09-27-2005, 06:58 PM
My dad grew up in Crane's pool room in Binghamton, NY ... he's got some amazing stories - the most amazing to me is that he never saw him practice. Ever. He would spot top local players rediculous # of balls &amp; take them apart. He never saw him lose (at least at his own pool hall). This was the early to mid 1950's ... Crane may have been a bit past his prime, but still was a world class player. He kind of joked around with the high school kids &amp; did not tolerate any masee or jump shots - easiest way to get kicked out of his hall. I just wish there was more video footage of these old time greats ... I'd dearly love to see some of it ... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

JS

hondo
09-28-2005, 10:24 AM
I grew up shooting at the Strand Pool Room, Clarksburg,
WV. Absolutely no jumps or masses. It ruined me because
I can barely jump or masse 40 years later.


quote=Snyder1] My dad grew up in Crane's pool room in Binghamton, NY ... he's got some amazing stories - the most amazing to me is that he never saw him practice. Ever. He would spot top local players rediculous # of balls &amp; take them apart. He never saw him lose (at least at his own pool hall). This was the early to mid 1950's ... Crane may have been a bit past his prime, but still was a world class player. He kind of joked around with the high school kids &amp; did not tolerate any masee or jump shots - easiest way to get kicked out of his hall. I just wish there was more video footage of these old time greats ... I'd dearly love to see some of it ... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

JS <hr /></blockquote>

DickLeonard
09-29-2005, 06:24 AM
Hondo just a story about my Mentor Joe Canton, Cue Ball
Kelly told me in 1950 or 51, Joe played a 6 week exhibition at Julians in NYC and he did what Kelly thought was a Worlds Record. He ran over 100 balls in every match afternoon and evening for 42 days.

The people in Julians wanted a Match with Mosconi, Willie had heard how Joe was playing. He would only play him on a 5x10 table. Being 5ft2-10 inches he was at a distinct disadvantage playing on a 5x10. Besides coming from an area where 5x10s where billiard tables. Joe gave in and played him on a 5x10 and only won one game in the series of 8.

He had played Irving many times running, 110 and out on him to win the National Title in Chicago in 1951. He beat him an exhibiton game at the Navy Base in Geneva during the War. Joe was station there.

Jimmy Moore always said if he knew what Joe knew about straight pool Mosconi would never beat him. Here is my take on the subject. I played Mosconi and Crane two games each and Joe over a thousand games. Mosconi and Crane played more three cushion position shots in those 4 games than Joe played in all the games we played.

Joe's drawbacks were the bridge and not learning to play left handed. Try playing with a Bridge when your eye level is equal to the height of the bridge. It is next to impossible.

The most important thing I learned from Joe was the importance of playing opposite handed.####

DickLeonard
09-29-2005, 06:37 AM
Hondo just like I had wished there was video of the Cannonball doing his Imatation of his game with Jimmy Quick. That was forty years ago and I can remember it as if it was yesterday.

He should be in the Comics Hall of Fame, he had all the moves and gestures equal to the Marks Brother,Abbott and Costello,etc and it is only stored in my memory.####

mybreak
09-29-2005, 08:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote freddythebeard:</font><hr> A distinction must be made between gambling, road action, and tournaments. All the above mentioned players, including Babyface - who Lassiter could never beat for money - thrived under difficult conditions, ie., Big money games, bad tables, neutral tables etc. Lets not forget when the match occurred away from tournament jurisdiction, these guys could shark, intimidate and psych, none of which was tolerated by the pristine BCA.
The Beard <hr /></blockquote>


Truer words could not have been spoken regarding sharking, intimidating, and psyching...and I'll add one more item which is choosing the right victim to match up before doing all of that.

In the tournament world of today, whether it's the BCA or some dinky little pool room tournament...guys just don't realize how important a factor the above mentioned was.
IT WAS EVERYTHING!! And the best at it had all the money in their pocket before the first ball was struck, it didn't matter who the opponent was.

hondo
09-29-2005, 08:48 AM
Thanks for sharing, Dick. One thing about growing
up in pool rooms, you meet some fascinating characters.
I already have guys in my home town telling their
favorite stories about me. I try to make my presence
known.

DickLeonard
09-29-2005, 09:25 AM
Hondo you must have heard Bud Hipes stories, I think he was from Wheeling WV. If you tell me yours I tell you mine.####

hondo
09-29-2005, 10:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Hondo you must have heard Bud Hipes stories, I think he was from Wheeling WV. If you tell me yours I tell you mine.#### <hr /></blockquote>

Dick, I'm 57 and had never been in Wheeling till
about 25 years ago. When I used to go up there
the best player in town was called Speedy. I went
into the only ph in Wheeling and there was only one
guy playing at all. I had been warned about Speedy.
The guy asked me if I wanted to play &amp; I said " It
depends. You don't have a nickname, do you?"
He said, "Well, they call me Speedy".
Sorry, I never heard of Bud Hipes.
The best WV player I ever saw was Lucky Joey
who used to own the old Diamond Billiards on
Summers St. in Charleston.
We had a great player in Clarksburg named Charley
Duvaliers who used to own a pool room in Va. with
Weenie Beenie.