View Full Version : "Memories of Mosconi"
01-15-2003, 07:46 PM
I was fortunate enough to have see Mosconi play twice in my life. To this day I've never seen anyone control the cue ball like that man. One of things he would do is spread out all the balls on the table then ask someone put a dollar bill anywhere on the tabel and after he would run all the balls off the table the cue ball would be resting not only on the bill but pretty close to Washington's head on the bill.
Anyone else ever see him do these things?
01-15-2003, 08:08 PM
I had a chance to see him at the Sands in Vegas in 91 but i blew it. I have a few tapes of him from Bert Kinnister playing 8 ball and nine ball, also got the tape of him playing Caras from accu stats.
I would love to get more of him in action, i know theyre out there, i just cant find them.
Truly an amazing man at the table. I had the pleasure of watching him several times. They broke the mold after him in more ways than one. His antics off the table live on also. The man just commanded respect when playing, sometimes overly so.
01-16-2003, 07:34 AM
I saw him play only once, about 40 years ago, but I still remember something from that experience. He was playing an exhibition and I was sitting near him as his opponent ran a few balls. When his opponent missed, he immediately got up and turned to those of us nearby to announce the sequence of shots he intended to make to leave himself a break shot for the next rack. It was clear that even as his opponent was playing, Mosconi was studying the table layout intently and planning his runout should his opponent miss. If I had to choose one player to shot a difficult shot, with my life on the line if he missed, it would have to be Willie in his prime. BTW, he ran out those balls in just the sequence he had announced when he rose from his chair.
Thats a good point. Does anybody know where to pick up a video of Mosconi that is worthwhile?
Gayle in MD
01-16-2003, 09:13 AM
If anyone knows where we can find a video of him, please let us know!! I would love to have it also.
Gayle in Md.
01-16-2003, 10:33 AM
Video of TV Pool events. Johnson City, Wide World of Sports, Willie playing Fats, Willie playing a short game of 14.1, lots of TV episodes of pool..
Willie Joplin offers this tape. I have a copy and its great.
Not the indepth viewing you would want to see of Willie. but there is a section on the Legends of pool on Wide World of Sports.. this include Willie, Wimpy, Crane, Moore, and others that is good.
Willie Joplin will probably be at Brady's Mid Atlantic Classic next week. Get a copy.. its worth it.
01-16-2003, 11:22 AM
It's strange with a man of his reputation and caliber you would expect to see more availble. A friend of mine has a video copy of something called "the great cue men" done by Pete Smith's shorts back in the late 40's in which he a Carras did some trick shots and other things. In one scene it shows Mosconi jumping the cue ball from one table to another and making all 15 balls on the same shot! Incredible but true.
01-16-2003, 01:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote L.S. Dennis:</font><hr>In one scene it shows Mosconi jumping the cue ball from one table to another and making all 15 balls on the same shot! Incredible but true. <hr /></blockquote>
L.S.Dennis...Take another look at that scene. Mosconi is jumping the CB from the headspot of one table, launching it off of a matchbook on the footspot of the same table, and landing on the second table, to pocket the butterfly shot (which, btw, is PART of the 15-ball setup shot), which is only 6 balls, set up in the middle of the table. I don't believe it would be possible to make the 15-ball setup shot, jumping the CB from table to table. You have to hit THAT shot with far more speed than you could generate with that same launch of the CB. I have that same tape.
Scott Lee /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
01-16-2003, 02:44 PM
You may be correct on that. It's been a while since I've seen that tape. Nevertheless this is not what made Mosconi famous. I'm sure any good trick shot artist given enough tries could make that same shot. There still is not nearly enough film of Mosconi in actual play out there for people to view in my opinion.
01-17-2003, 09:12 PM
Story about Willie Mosconi from Jimmy Ried's website
Under Index of "Stories" "Willie Mosconi"
Some very good stories... too..
01-18-2003, 12:59 AM
Willie was really something, wasn't he? I was extremely lucky to have been able to play him a 150 point exhibition match about 20 years ago. I'm not sure but I think I might be the only woman to have played him. Ruth McGuinness might have in the '40's but I haven't come across any evidence of that yet. In our match, he ran 100 balls in about 20 minutes and missed intentionally to give me a chance to shoot. He was very gracious to me, but then, I wasn't a threat. It was a great experience.
01-18-2003, 09:14 AM
If my memeory serve me correctly, wasn't there a match arranged for Ruth and Willie when they were still both children? I seem to remember reading somthing about that somewhere.
01-18-2003, 10:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote L.S. Dennis:</font><hr> Hi Fran,
If my memeory serve me correctly, wasn't there a match arranged for Ruth and Willie when they were still both children? I seem to remember reading somthing about that somewhere. <hr /></blockquote>
Yes, it's very possible that they played as children. Also, I know that Mosconi, McGuinness and Greenleaf toured together giving exhibitions so they may have played then as well. I was thinking though, that maybe not when they were adults because Ruth was capable of winning a game or two off those guys, and I don't think Ralph or Willie would have wanted the chance of that happening.
Both Willie and Ralph were very bad losers. Willie, especially, would fly into a rage if someone even came close to beating him in an exhibition match. He felt that the exhibition was to showcase HIM and not the other player. Willie even said that the only player he accepted losing to in exhibitions was Ralph, even though he was still miffed when he lost.
01-18-2003, 12:12 PM
One last note, you may have been the second or third woman to have played him. I do remember and exhibition in which Dorothty Wise also played him! If my memory of that match serves me right she did get something like 50 or 60 balls against him. Your right about his temper and his will to win, stories of that abound!
01-18-2003, 12:25 PM
That's right, I never thought about Dorothy. She definitely could have played him too. Well, I'm certainly in good company with Ruth and Dorothy.
Thanks for the info.
01-18-2003, 12:40 PM
Your talking about Willie brings back memories of regret. I never attended one of his exhibitions nor was able to ever get to Bensingers in Chicago before they closed down. Still, good to hear the stories from a very fortunate friend.
01-18-2003, 09:57 PM
You're not alone, Chris. I missed a few good ones myself. One especially bugs me. I was playing in the PPPA World Open, barely out of my teens and the men's association staff came over to me and asked me if I'd be interested in refereeing a couple of men's matches in between mine because they were short referees. (I found out later they never had a woman ref before and had to have some big meeting to get the OK for me to ref.) Of course I said yes and they right away assigned me a table. I walked over to prapare the table and saw the name. I ran back and asked if they made a mistake. "Are you guys sure you want me to referee Lassiter's match?" They laughed and said they wanted to see Wimpy jump out of his pants when he saw a girl reffing his match.
Anyway, Chris, I can't remember a thing from that match. I keep racking my brain to try to remember, but I was so nervous that I think I just kept my focus on calling the right ball and praying that I didn't have to call a foul on him. I have no recollection how many balls he ran, or what his shot selections were, and I couldn't have been any closer than I was. I don't even remember who he played. Sheesh.
So at least you can say you weren't there. I was there and didn't see a thing. Haha!
01-20-2003, 07:17 PM
Does anyone know the real story on how Mosconi's 526 ball run actually ended?
01-20-2003, 07:27 PM
I think I might have found my own answer. Where has this information been all these years?
by Dick Hatfield
Willie Mosconi in Springfield Ohio, March 1954, ran 526 balls in a row for a world record that still stands today. His challenger was Earl "Jake" Bruney, an accomplished hometown pool shark.
The site of the action was East High Billiards, 111 ½ East High in the heart of downtown Springfield, on the second floor above Reco Sporting Goods. "East High" was a first class pool hall run by a first class gentleman named Bob Haas. The only criticizable thing Bob ever did was allow underage guys like me into his establishment. I was 16 - you were supposed to be 18 or older.
The first time I saw Mosconi, I thought he looked like a movie star: impeccably dressed in a tailor-made suit, blue cashmere topcoat, black fedora, and polished black shoes. He was a big hit with everybody, very personable, made small talk with the regulars, and occasionally fed a handful of nickels in the pinball machines. He was a regular guy.
Bruney safe-broke the balls at 8:00pm that March 18th, Mosconi shot second. They safe-shot back and forth a few times, and then Jake found his way clear to pocket the only three balls he'd make that night. After that, Willie took command of that 4X8 Brunswick for the next four and a half hours. At 12:50am, he missed the 527th shot - a six-ball in the corner. It tottered at the pocket, but wouldn't fall.
A number of Springfielders witnessed this record-breaking performance, including A.Y. "Lefty" Thomas, who made a sketch of the missed shot. Lefty will also authenticate this narrative. About fifty of the witnesses signed an affidavit verifying the high run.
Although at least three claim to have bought the legendary table that Willie and Jake shot on that night, it's actually owned by George Rude, who subsequently part-owned the East High. Later in the 1950s, George played Willie several times in exhibition matches at East High. On a couple of those occasions I took tickets and sold Mosconi's books.
01-20-2003, 07:29 PM
I heard it ended around 300 when he hit a ball to slow and had to push it in with his hand. Someone who posts here made that claim.
01-20-2003, 09:05 PM
I would say that is accurate. I heard him say he missed a cross table shot in the corner when asked. He said this in the early 60s when it was not to far in the past. He later changed the story though and began saying he just put down the cue and quit and never missed. He repeated it often in later years, but I believe the truth is he missed the shot in the corner.
01-22-2003, 06:42 AM
Okay I played him two games in 1965 he ran 169 and out on me. I had him 138 to 31 and he ran out. I have to say this I played Irving Crane twice and Mosconi twice, they played more three cushion position in four games than Joe Canton played in two years of my playing him. Don Willis always would say Jimmy Moore said if he knew what Joe Canton knew about straight pool, Mosconi would never beat him a game. Joes problem was he was 5ft2 and Mosconi towered over him at 5ft7. Mosconi did refuse to play him a match on 4 1/2x 9 in the early 50s. Joe had played six straight weeks at Julians in NYC and had run over 100 balls in every game. Cue Ball Kelly thought this was some kind of a record. Joe did play him on the 5x10 with Willie winning 7 of 8 games.####
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