View Full Version : Great African-Americans pool players
Does anyone know of any notable African-American pool players? I enjoy reading about all the pool greats, Mosconi, Hoppe, Greenleaf... and my favourite, Alfredo de Oro. However, I have yet to come across any really accomplished African-American players. All the players which I have mentioned made their mark prior to the civil-rights movement so it may have been difficult for an African-American to get his/her do in any acclaimed competition. Alfredo De Oro was of Cuban decent, I wonder if he faced any difficulty cracking in to the tournaments on the basis of his ethnicity.
If any one could give me any information concerning the history of African Americans in relation to pocket billiards, it would be greatly appreciated.
08-04-2002, 08:39 PM
Alfred did have problems. If my memory serves me right, he wasn't allowed to play in major tournaments because of his race!
08-04-2002, 08:40 PM
1937 - 1996
Inducted in Hall of Fame 1995
CISERO MURPHY: Born to a Brooklyn, New York family in 1937, James Cisero Murphy was the first and only African-American ever to win a world or U.S. national billiard title. He started by taking the New York City championship at age 16. While in his 20's he won the Eastern States 14.1 Championship six straight times against top competition, but because of his race was not invited to compete in world title events until 1965, when he won the Burbank World Invitational 14.1 tournament, beating Joe Balsis, Jimmy Moore and Luther Lassiter. Murphy remains the only player in the history of pocket billiards competition to win a world title on his first attempt. He continued to place near the top in straight pool events during the 1960s and, two decades later, had a winning record in the 1983 BCA U.S. Open 14.1 Championship. Murphy has posted several competitive high runs of over 250 balls.
08-04-2002, 09:04 PM
A black player who played in the days of Mosconi and Greenleaf by the name of James Evens has been called the best black player of that time. Many players rated him right up there with any of the players of that day. He did compete a few times posing as an American Indian, but that is about all I know about him. You may try to do some research but I would not know where to send you. One of the better players of the late 50s through the 70s in my opinion was John "cannonball" Chapman. I saw him play many times. Youngblood played very strong also. I used to go in places to play, where I may be the only white guy in the place. And now that I think about it, there were a lot of very good black players. They mostly play banks and one pocket. I wonder where some of these guys are now?
Quickly glancing through "Winning One Pocket" ---
Pg xiii, Leonard "Chicago Bugs" Rucker, played all comers 1970-1992, "He is the greatest bank pool player of his time and one of the greatest one-pocket players never to win a title".
Pg 120, Cecil Tugwell, a top one-pocket player in the '70's.
Pg 160, Paul Jones, from Chicago.
Pg 253, John "Cannonball" Chapman, Chicago, circa '63.
Pg 254, Robert "Rags" Woods, "Another great player never to hold a title".
Glancing through "Shots, Moves and Strategies" --- Pg 62, Melvin "Strawberry" Brooks, Circa '65.
And "Bugs" is mentioned again.
I'm too lazy to look through the "Billiard Encyclopedia", but I'm sure there more than a few entries.
08-04-2002, 09:36 PM
Thanks Troy...I was too lazy to type all of that.../ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Good list there Troy. I've had the pleasure of watching Rags play several times. Another player that sticks in my mind is Marvin Henderson. We had a number of One P matches in LA. He give me a little weight and was always tough to beat. A very good and steady player.
08-05-2002, 01:52 AM
I think there may be something missing here. Probably one of the elite one pocket players today. Cliff Joyner. He might be qualified for that list as well.
08-05-2002, 05:07 AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Murphy one time, around 1969 or 1970. He was not only a great pool player, but a real gentleman.
08-05-2002, 06:59 AM
Let us not forget Rotation Slim who hustled pool well into his seventies. Chicken Pot Charlie/Westchester Shorty who traveled with Country a pool hustler of the 50s/60s. Cisero would have won many more titles if he had a normal stroke. He had the godawfulleststroke of any great player that ever played.####
Cisero Murphy, you beat me to it!
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: #### leonard:</font><hr> Let us not forget Rotation Slim who hustled pool well into his seventies. Chicken Pot Charlie/Westchester Shorty who traveled with Country a pool hustler of the 50s/60s. Cisero would have won many more titles if he had a normal stroke. He had the godawfulleststroke of any great player that ever played.#### <hr></blockquote>
Leonard he was a bit of a sidewinder. Cicero invented the pause on the backswing.lol You could have a bite of your sandwich and a drink of soda before he started a forward swing!
08-05-2002, 04:24 PM
I'm not certain, but I think that Cliff is actually American Indian.
08-05-2002, 04:30 PM
Heck...I think all of us black people are part something or the other...
08-05-2002, 04:30 PM
Cisero Murphy -- isn't he in the BCA hall of fame?
Willie Munson was a pretty good player at one time -- I remember being totally impressed with his draw stroke, length of the table, seemingly without effort.
Leonard 'Bugs' Rucker was beautiful to watch at One Pocket (I hear his health is declining a bit -- hopefully I'm wrong)
08-05-2002, 04:52 PM
"One Pocket, it's an epidemic and there ain't no cure", Strawberry Brooks
I still have a tee shirt that say that on it, I got from Strawberry
08-05-2002, 05:01 PM
Me, too. That tournament he had was alotta fun. I believe even the Knoxville Bear was there. Bugs was there & Shannon Daulton. I watched a great after hours match between Bugs & Grady...
08-05-2002, 05:05 PM
I've got one too...Strawberry had them made for his LEGENDS OF ONE POCKET tournament in MD in March of 92...My buddy Tom won that event...
08-05-2002, 05:20 PM
"Country" is still around-In fact you might find him at The Golden Cue in Queens tonite. Dont count him out-He made at least one major score in the 90's that i know of and probably a bunch more.
08-05-2002, 09:29 PM
I was thinking Mike Sigel won, as unlikely as that sounds -- but I could be confused with a different tourney.
08-05-2002, 09:36 PM
It was 9 ball and 1 pocket...maybe Mike won the 9 ball event....I'll check on that...
08-05-2002, 09:49 PM
Rod, Cisero was playing his out ball, a straight in shot in the sidepocket and that letter J backwards stroke of his malfunction and he missed and Luther Lassiter ran out on him to win the Worlds Championship. Let us not forgot Earl Herring of Newburgh,NY who lost a match to Jean Balukas when she played in the Worlds Championship. After the tournament he gave up pool to become a Minister.####
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