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03-26-2003, 09:16 PM
i've heard many legends of Mr. Greenleaf. some things complete opposite of each other... he was an opium addict and drunkard, he was stricly anti drug/alcohol, he was when "on" the best of all time but when off was absolutely terrible, he was married to a Chinese princess. i've been try to find more about him in the library and online and for one of the most recognizable names in billiards he has little info.. well easy to find info out there. i haven't been able to find a decent bio page even. any suggestions and links greately appreciated.
best regards,
^v^

Steve Lipsky
03-26-2003, 10:02 PM
Redwine, check out the book, "Willie's Game" by Willie Mosconi (and Stanley Cohen, I think).

There is a ton of information on Greenleaf, and you could tell he meant an enormous amount to Willie.

- Steve

L.S. Dennis
03-27-2003, 12:07 AM
I've seen a ton of stuff on Greenleaf scattered around although I can't point to one specific place to find it all.

I would be very suspect about beleiving things taken from the book 'Willie's Game' as I found that book to be extremely sugar coated in it's factual information at least where Mosconi was involved.

Hopster
03-27-2003, 02:26 AM
The book Mcgoorty had a few pages on him. Mcgoorty who was a drunk himself and didnt seem like that much of a b.s. artist confirmed that Greenleaf was indeed a drunk. Fats had some info on him in the book The Bank Shot but he is to be taken with a grain of salt, although i beleive he said Greenleaf burned himself out with the drink also. His wife wasnt really chinese, that was just a stage name. Princess Nai Tai Tai or something like that.
Anyway i have 3 good photos of Greenleaf on the comp, one of them he is with his wife. Send me a PM with your e mail and i will send you all three of them if you like.
Free of charge too. Can ya beleive that in this day and age ???? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
03-27-2003, 07:24 AM
CCBer #### Leonard has a story about Greenleaf running 125 in an exhibition when he was so drunk he had to hold onto the rails to keep from falling down.

Or was that in "McGoorty" /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Wally~~ CRS victim

#### leonard
03-27-2003, 08:04 AM
Wally that was a true story told to me by the owner of the poolroom. One of Greenleafs wives was a local. Ralph visited the area and would practice at this fellows poolroom. He jumped at the opportunity to book him and he came in drunk ran 125 and out holding on to the table to keep from falling. He put on trick shots and was gone in a little over 30 minutes.

Ralph played a local player Tommy[Little Cesear] Giovanni an exhibition in Albany and before the game Cesear asked Ralph if it was all right if he played a tight safe game on him. He explained he enjoyed playing that way. Ralph told him play whatever way you are comfortable. They lagged for the break with Ralph losing by a wide margin. He then gave him a rotation break, he ran 7 balls and missed and Ralph ran out. That was told to me by Little Cesear.####

03-27-2003, 05:02 PM
thanks everyone. also a private message sent. does anyone else have any interesting stories or links? i would gladly welcome a super-long Fast Larry post on this matter. perhaps he's quit the message board? anyway, thanks again.
best regards,
^v^

Robert Pirrazzi
03-27-2003, 07:40 PM
I have heard and read quite a bit about Greenleaf.He was the best in the state of Illinois at 11 yrsof age. He played a challenge match with the WorldChampion Frank Taberski when he was only 16 years old. He lost something like 450-410. He then wontitle at 19 yrs of age. I have an tape of him running the last 6 balls of the 1926 World Championship finals and his stroke was absolutelybeautiful. Every old-timer I ask who has seen himplay, all say he was the best, even better than Mosconi. I would love to see a biography on him. I also heard he once practised straight pool on a12' snooker table usinghe red balls, and he ran 80+balls.

03-30-2003, 05:19 PM
Fast Lary: i would very much like to hear what you know of Ralph Greenleaf
best regards,
^v^

Hopster
03-30-2003, 05:24 PM
I would like to know what his high run was on a 5x10. That would no doubt be something special. I used to play on a 5x10 years ago and it was TOUGH.

q4summit
03-30-2003, 10:32 PM
Fast Lary is on tour atm, I believe that is why he is absent from the boards.

Marc

#### leonard
03-31-2003, 07:24 AM
In one story posted he ran 275 in an exhibition match. Whether it was his high is not known.####

Paul_Mon
03-31-2003, 11:06 AM
Butch,
I thought you once said that Babe Cranfield ran over 300 on a 5 X 10? Or maybe it was someone else, I'm having trouble remembering.

Paul Mon

Hopster
03-31-2003, 04:40 PM
275 is a really impressive number. I remember i ran like 18 or 20 on a 5x10 and i thought i conquered the world. Them tight pockets made me cringe every time i had to hit ball with any kind of force, but i miss that old table.

#### leonard
03-31-2003, 09:12 PM
Paul the Babe told me he ran 420 on a 5x10 at a Black Tie event at a Private Club in Syracuse before 150 or so people. Knowing the Babe he has the write up to prove it.####

L.S. Dennis
03-31-2003, 11:25 PM
Well on the Billiards Digest top 50 best players poll they had him rated 3rd behind Mosconi and Hoppe. I'd say that was pretty accurate he cerainly was a great straight pool player drunk or sober. He was not as good as Mosconi regardless of what the old timers fogged memories say. Their respective carreers bare that out. But he was certainly close that's for sure.

Tommy_Davidson
04-01-2003, 02:54 AM
> Not having seen him play,I have no actual proof,but here is what history has to say about him via George Fel's article on him. His high run was 272,very impressive considering that the tables were 5 x 10,with tight pockets that featured a hard point where the outermost tip of the pocket shim is,clay/ivory balls and SLOW cloth. What is even more impressive is the fact that he ran 125 and out over 1000 times in tournaments,challenge matches and exhibitions. He once went undefeated in a 12 man round robin tournament where he NEVER missed a single called ball. After his love affair with booze began he was arrested for public intoxication or something,nearly comatose,and was pleading his case to the duty officer. He kept telling the jailer that he was Ralph Greenleaf,but to no avail. He then offered to prove it,and asked where the nearest table was,luckily there was one right across the street. Staggering so bad he had to hold himself up on the table,he ran 134 with a house cue. Some say that Mosconi would have had no chance of beating Ralph in his gear. Tommy D.

#### leonard
04-01-2003, 07:28 AM
L.S. here is my take on Ralph and Willie, I am using my training as my basis for opinion. I have posted here that I played almost two years with Joe Canton 1951 National Champion, Don Willis would always tell me Jimmy Moore always said if he knew what Joe knew about 14.1 Mosconi would never beat him. Joe in my opinion knew more about running balls the easy way compared to Mosconi,Crane,etc. Now I had the opportunity to see great 14.1 and used that schooling to improve my play.

Ralph on the other hand was 14 years old when the game 14.1 was invented and the straight pool tourneys switched to playing 14.1. He was 19 when he won his first title just 5 years after the game was born. Mosconi was starting to play in 1932 eighteen years later and would have the opportunity to have seen others who had seen Ralph run balls and incorporate his play into their games. Willie wasn't running the 125 and out on 5x10 like Ralph was. Willie was running the 150 and out on 4 1/2 tables.

So I think Ralph was a pioneer. ####

04-01-2003, 10:10 PM
Dear Tommy, you must have done a typo, nobody ran l25 & out l000 times, not even l00, not even 50, l25 & out was very rare & still is. Best Wishes, Fast Larry

Uncle Ron in SC
04-01-2003, 10:26 PM
Check out this web site ...

http://homepages.wmich.edu/~dolan/

We might see a good biography on him down the line...

Uncle Ron in SC

California Kid
04-01-2003, 10:29 PM
When I was a little younger a friend (old timer) at Palace Billiards in S.F. said he saw Ralph run over 50 balls and the cue ball NEVER TOUCHED A RAIL. Try that sometime. Also, I've found that a 4 1/2x 9 table is eaiser to run balls than an 8 ft table as they don't get so bunched up on the sides of the rack. Anyone else notice this or is it just me??

04-01-2003, 10:30 PM
the reason for my initial post was to sift between the legend and real. running 125 in 14.1 1k times is far less on the scale compared to other Greenleaf legends. still though in learning, and trying to learn more about Ralph Greenleaf, i believe the man probably did run over 125 over 1000 times. think that the amount of tournaments was far more in Mr. Greenleaf's time than today... far better pay-outs as well. he probably did several tournaments a week.. do the math for his lifetime and 1k seems very possible. that figure is achievable in only five years of regular play.
best regards,
^v^

Tommy_Davidson
04-02-2003, 03:25 PM
> The 1000 or so times that Ralph supposedly ran 125 and out was not a typo,that was the number that George Fels used in his article. I have no reason to doubt George. Tommy D.

Popcorn
04-02-2003, 07:31 PM
I see 125 and out as running out the first open inning. Not just running 125, heck there are guys in NY you never heard of that I am sure have run over 125 a thousand times. I have known guys that would run 100+ every afternoon sometimes 100+ runs back to back. Running 100 or 125 or 150 and out is a very special thing. I personally doubt even Greenleaf has done it a thousand times. I would be curious where George got the statistic. It would be hard to verify anyway

Hopster
04-02-2003, 08:20 PM
see 125 and out as running out the first open inning. Not just running 125, heck there are guys in NY you never heard of that I am sure have run over 125 a thousand times. I have known guys that would run 100+ every afternoon sometimes 100+ runs back to back. Running 100 or 125 or 150 and out is a very special thing. I personally doubt even Greenleaf has done it a thousand times. I would be curious where George got the statistic. It would be hard to verify anyway <--Popcorn

Ok, but how many of those same guys do you think could run those 100,s and 125,s on a 5x10 with tight pockets like Greenleaf used to do ?
I think the difference in the equiptment of now and what he played on back then is enormous.

NH_Steve
04-03-2003, 06:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Hopster:</font><hr> see 125 and out as running out the first open inning. Not just running 125, heck there are guys in NY you never heard of that I am sure have run over 125 a thousand times. I have known guys that would run 100+ every afternoon sometimes 100+ runs back to back. Running 100 or 125 or 150 and out is a very special thing. I personally doubt even Greenleaf has done it a thousand times. I would be curious where George got the statistic. It would be hard to verify anyway &lt;--Popcorn

Ok, but how many of those same guys do you think could run those 100,s and 125,s on a 5x10 with tight pockets like Greenleaf used to do ?
I think the difference in the equiptment of now and what he played on back then is enormous. <hr /></blockquote>"125 and out" is just that -- but might not be the first inning, as there often would have been exchanges of safeties first -- and maybe even an intentional scratch or two. But if he cranked up 125 (or more) to win from there, I'd count that in the "125 &amp; out", and I bet George did too.

BTW, verification might not be as hard as you think, in those days papers routinely published inning by inning box scores -- you can look it up /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Just go to any 1920's sports pages from larger papers -- you'd be surprised how much billiards &amp; pool was covered.

eg8r
04-03-2003, 08:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy Davidson:</font><hr> What is even more impressive is the fact that he ran 125 and out over 1000 times in tournaments,challenge matches and exhibitions. <hr /></blockquote> I think some of the info is being forgotten. Fast Larry started it, then Popcorn stated he did not think it would happen. <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I personally doubt even Greenleaf has done it a thousand times. I would be curious where George got the statistic. It would be hard to verify anyway
<hr /></blockquote> If you go back and read the quote from Tommy, who quoted George Fels, it does not state just tournaments. I am reading between the lines and guessing that is what Larry and Popcorn are thinking.

I don't find it hard to believe he has done this a 1000 times when you include, tournaments, exhibitions and challenge matches. These guys played the game more often during that time. Not that I don't believe in exaggerations, I just don't think this one is too much, considering the man probably was playing this game everyday of the year at some point in his life.

eg8r

Popcorn
04-03-2003, 09:11 AM
If you consider the tables and conditions in Greenleaf's time, If some of those guys were able to play today they would find it a pleasure to play. I have only know a few players from that era who were very old at the time I met them and they would tell me stories of playing with wet towels around their necks in the summer time, (no air conditioning). How balls would skid and in a lot of rooms if the wool cloth, (no super strong blended cloth), got a nick in it, the owner would repair it causing balls to roll off if they hit the repair, playing under gas lights with the table all covered with flickering shadows. I don't think they were the good old days as far as playing pool was concerned. They used to crack me up telling me stories of hustling pool in those days.
I had to come back and add this. I knew one guy in the 1960s who was in his 90s at that time. He use to tell me stories about traveling in a horse and buggy hustling pool. He said when he first got a car he was now able to travel a much greater distance. He said he and a couple of friends went on a road trip, not that there were that many roads in those days. In the beginning they camped in a tent and moved from town to town. He said they did not need the tent for long, hotels became no problem because they were winning so much money they were running out of places to keep it. He said most places they went, had never seen players that played like them. When he got back he had enough to buy his mother a house. He said the invention of the car was the greatest thing ever for a hustler. This guy by the way also played cards. I believe all the stories he used to tell, even in his 90's when you watched him play, there was plenty of evidence how great a player he once was.

04-04-2003, 07:03 PM
I JUST DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GUYS KEEP GETTING THIS STUFF THE GOLDEN AGE PLAYERS WERE ON SLOW CLOTH, lOOK, I was playing in the early 40's, from the turn of the century including the 20's, 30's, 40's, they played on simonis #1, which in speed is equal to 860 simonis today. You guys keep spreading this, and I can tell you it is not true. I have a tape of little Hoppe in the 30's, hitting a 9 rail billiard and barely hitting the shot, the cloth was so fast.
Best Wishes, Fast Larry Guninger www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com)
VENI, VIDI, VICI.....