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Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century - 08-06-2011, 05:19 PM

In 1999 Billiards Digest published their ranking of the 50 greatest players in pool and billiards for the 20th century.

Here are some of the rankings (now edited to include the entire list):

50. Jersey Red
49. Allen Gilbert
48. Jeanette Lee
47. Jimmy Moore
46. Dorothy Wise
45. Otto Reiselt
44. Babe Cranfield
43. Lou Butera
42. John Horgan
41. Cisero Murphy
40. Jerome Keogh
39. Allen Hopkins
38. Dallas West
37. Jim Rempe
36. George Sutton
35. Charlie Peterson
34. Robert Cannefax
33. Bennie Allen
32. Ray Martin
31. Ruth McGinnis
30. Johnny Archer
29. Efren Reyes
28. Loree Jon Jones
27. Buddy Hall
26. Larry Johnson (Boston Shorty)
25. Eddie Taylor
24. Jake Shaefer
23. Thomas Hueston
22. Andrew Ponzi
21. Welker Cochran
20. Erwin Rudolph
19. Harold Worst
18. Allison Fisher
17. Earl Strickland
16. Joe Balsis
15. Jean Balukas
14. Nick Varner
13. Johnny Layton
12. Jake Shaefer Jr.
11. Sang Lee
10. Jimmy Caras
9. Luther Lassiter
8. Irving Crane
7. Frank Taberski
6. Steve Mizerak
5. Mike Sigel
4. Alfredo De Oro
3. Ralph Greenleaf
2. Willie Mosconi
1. Willie Hoppe

I'm curious as to your thoughts about how you would rank some of these players, and who else you might put on the list and where.


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"I'm shootin' pool Fats, when I miss you can shoot."

Last edited by PoolBum; 08-06-2011 at 07:06 PM.
  
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08-06-2011, 05:23 PM

Why did they rank Strickland and Reyes so low?
  
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08-06-2011, 05:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoast View Post
Why did they rank Strickland and Reyes so low?
Because they are both overrated, of course.

Kelly
  
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08-06-2011, 05:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoast View Post
Why did they rank Strickland and Reyes so low?
I'm not sure why Reyes and Strickland are so low on the list. I thought it was interesting to see that this was their published result just 11 years ago. Perhaps Reyes is rated only 29th because he had yet to rise to the top in one pocket, I'm not sure. I do think that Sigel and Strickland both had winning records against Reyes in tournament play, and maybe Varner as well, at least in his prime.

Here is what they said about their criteria and method:

"The list, compiled by a select group of historians and writers, ranks these 50 players based on one superlative quality: dominance. That dominance can be measured in several ways: tournaments won, ranking among peers, mastery of several billiard disciplines, and/or the quality of competition during that player's era.

"While attempting to rate men and women of different eras in the same poll, this panel followed two basic criteria: judge players within their time, and within their context. In other words, the list does not conclude that the 35th ranked player could beat the 45th ranked player in head-to-head competition. It merely means that the 35th ranked player had a more impressive total career, within his or her time and context."


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08-06-2011, 06:02 PM

So the biggest criteria was 'dominance' and Wimpy was 9th. wtf?


Can you post the entire list?
  
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08-06-2011, 06:02 PM

Efren Reyes would be no lower than #2 Eddie Taylor would be in top 3,Buddy Hall in top 4
several are not pool players but billiard players

Wimpy,Eddie kelly,Ronnie,and some of the Filipinos are missing,Harold Worst and Jersey Red are top 20

Efryn is the best one pocket player ever,including now for my money unless he got terribly sick and i don't know it

Last edited by deanoc; 08-06-2011 at 06:04 PM.
  
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08-06-2011, 06:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoolBum View Post
I'm not sure why Reyes and Strickland are so low on the list. I thought it was interesting to see that this was their published result just 11 years ago. Perhaps Reyes is rated only 29th because he had yet to rise to the top in one pocket, I'm not sure. I do think that Sigel and Strickland both had winning records against Reyes in tournament play, and maybe Varner as well, at least in his prime.

Here is what they said about their criteria and method:

"The list, compiled by a select group of historians and writers, ranks these 50 players based on one superlative quality: dominance. That dominance can be measured in several ways: tournaments won, ranking among peers, mastery of several billiard disciplines, and/or the quality of competition during that player's era.

"While attempting to rate men and women of different eras in the same poll, this panel followed two basic criteria: judge players within their time, and within their context. In other words, the list does not conclude that the 35th ranked player could beat the 45th ranked player in head-to-head competition. It merely means that the 35th ranked player had a more impressive total career, within his or her time and context."
I would like to see the complete list before making any comments please.
  
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08-06-2011, 06:50 PM

When someone says billiards I think of the three most popular types of cue sports and that is pool, carom, and snooker.

There are no snooker names on that list, Steve Davis should have a place on there.
  
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08-06-2011, 07:05 PM

Efren is 29th? Please, give me a break. He's 1st, top 3 at the least. Jeez...
  
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08-06-2011, 07:37 PM

All those 3 cushion and balkline players on there and no Raymond Ceulemans? Come on!

If it's based solely on dominance, Balukas would have to be No 1.
Either her or Mosconi.

Harold Worst may very well be about the best player on the list - but he was never "dominant" because he didn't get to play long enough and didn't play in that many tournaments.

These lists never work.


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08-06-2011, 07:41 PM

As soon as I saw Jimmy Moore ranked at #47, I knew the list was bs and I needn't go any further.
  
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I protest - 08-06-2011, 07:54 PM

A glaring omission here......if you're going to have billiard players listed...
....Raymond Ceulemans should be high on this list.

And if there is all forms of billiards...then there is, to me, an obvious #1....
...Walter Lindrum....I doubt anyone dominated their game more.

Pleased to see, however, that Frank Taberski was honored...he doesn't
get mentioned enough IMO.
  
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08-06-2011, 08:05 PM

The list is 20th Century players, the last 11 years don't count...........
  
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08-06-2011, 08:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoolBum View Post
In 1999 Billiards Digest published their ranking of the 50 greatest players in pool and billiards for the 20th century.

Here are some of the rankings (now edited to include the entire list):

50. Jersey Red
49. Allen Gilbert
48. Jeanette Lee
47. Jimmy Moore
46. Dorothy Wise
45. Otto Reiselt
44. Babe Cranfield
43. Lou Butera
42. John Horgan
41. Cisero Murphy
40. Jerome Keogh
39. Allen Hopkins
38. Dallas West
37. Jim Rempe
36. George Sutton
35. Charlie Peterson
34. Robert Cannefax
33. Bennie Allen
32. Ray Martin
31. Ruth McGinnis
30. Johnny Archer
29. Efren Reyes
28. Loree Jon Jones
27. Buddy Hall
26. Larry Johnson (Boston Shorty)
25. Eddie Taylor
24. Jake Shaefer
23. Thomas Hueston
22. Andrew Ponzi
21. Welker Cochran
20. Erwin Rudolph
19. Harold Worst
18. Allison Fisher
17. Earl Strickland
16. Joe Balsis
15. Jean Balukas
14. Nick Varner
13. Johnny Layton
12. Jake Shaefer Jr.
11. Sang Lee
10. Jimmy Caras
9. Luther Lassiter
8. Irving Crane
7. Frank Taberski
6. Steve Mizerak
5. Mike Sigel
4. Alfredo De Oro
3. Ralph Greenleaf
2. Willie Mosconi
1. Willie Hoppe

I'm curious as to your thoughts about how you would rank some of these players, and who else you might put on the list and where.
Only the people who made this list know what they were basing it on at the time but I would have some questions.
#1. I don't see Jose' Parica
#2.Bugs Rucker?
#3.Otto Reiselt? why not Augie Kiekheffer instead ?
#4. At least Cuelemans and why not Blomdahl ? Allen Gilbert instead of those 2 ?
#5. A lot of peoples hero Don Willis?
#6.Babe Cranfield ??
#7. Dorthy Wise?? I understand Ruth McGinness but ?
#8.Cisero Murphy? A great player but not the best.
#9. George Sutton ? Which one ? One had arms the other did not.
I guess the real experts make mistakes too. Maybe it was a twofer.
George H. Sutton lost his arms as a youngster but still played at the highest levels and George Butler Sutton was also a great player.
There are probaly more I can't think of right now.
  
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08-06-2011, 11:39 PM

For this kind of thing, I think you need to rank men and women seperatly. It's just not a fair comparison as Reyes was up against far stronger competition than Loree Jon Jones ever faced on a regular basis.

I agree that Walter Lindrum is number 1, no question. The guy was required to spot the other top players in a major tournament, and still won. His high break hasn't even been approached in the past 60 years, not even once. I think Geet Sethi has the modern day high break of 1270, Walter Lindrum is over 4000.

Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry should be in the top ten. They both made their competition look silly in the 80's and 90's respectively. No one has won more than Davis in snooker, not even Hendry. I don't understand why in the pool community people tend to pretend snooker doesn't exist.


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