View Full Version : pool's Jackie Robinson...

11-27-2002, 03:10 PM
Got this from best of RSB, i Wish i could have met this man...

Remembering Cisero Murphy
David Sapolis

It is Black History Month, and I would like to write a few words for one of the all time great Straight pool players of our time, Cisero Murphy.

Murphy all but dominated the game in the New York City hotbeds of straight pool throughout the 1950's and 1960's. Cisero Murphy won the Eastern States 14.1 championship in 1959, and the New York State Championship from 1959-1964. In 1964, he was excluded from paticipating in the World Invitational 14.1 Championship despite his skill. Many players picketed outside the front of the Commodore Hotel in Burbank, California (the site of the tournament) to protest his exclusion. Cisero won a battle to compete in the event the very next year. It was his first attempt at winning a world title, and he won it. He defeated Luther Lassiter convincingly in the finals.

During his illustrious career, Cisero Murphy attained a high run of 262 balls in competition. After retiring from competitive pool, Cisero Murphy started the "Pool in the streets" program in his old neighborhood of Brooklyn. Cisero decided use his god given talent to help those who could profit from it. He gave free lessons and exhibitions thoughout the next twenty years.

All world championships and high runs aside, his greatest achievement was his induction into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1995. This induction came years after many of the players he dominated had gained entry. He will always be known as pool's Jackie Robinson.

Cisero Murphy will always be remembered for his kindness, warmth and his unforgettable smile. I will always remember Cisero as the best straight pool player I ever saw. Black or white. Through all of Cisero's obstacles, he never complained or backed down. He just went into competition and proved to everybody else what he already knew : He was the best.

David Sapolis
El Paso, TX

11-27-2002, 09:29 PM

11-27-2002, 09:49 PM
Great story nAz, glad you found it. I had the pleasure of watching him play once. I never met the man.

11-28-2002, 02:01 AM
I wonder if i can find any film or video on him, would like to learn more of the man

11-28-2002, 09:35 AM
I think some of that may be embellished just a little. I saw him play quite a few times and knew people who knew him well. He was a very good player, I would not call him one of the greatest players ever, but that is my opinion. Cueball Kelly tried booking him for exhibitions, most of which he never bothered showing up for. He had personal demons. Betting on him could be a little risky as well for various reasons. When I read stuff like this, I am always reminded of what Danny DiLiberto told a spectator once when they were making impossible claims about Johnny Irish. Danny turned to the guy and said, "You know, the longer Johnny is dead, the better he plays."

11-28-2002, 01:25 PM
lol funny, Johny Irish played in and around NYC? is it true he stringed 17 racks?

#### leonard
11-28-2002, 07:28 PM
I am going to tell it like it was Cisero was a great player who had one glaring flaw. He had the godawfulest stroke any great player ever had. He would take the cue back and turn it out to left field then stop and try to return it back to the cueball. He once lost the Worlds Title to Luther by missing a ball straight into the side pocket needing only one or two balls.

He was a gentleman of the first order and he was a fast pitch softball pitcher that played in NYC. Was he the greatest player I don't think so but he was great.####