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California Kid
06-18-2009, 08:59 PM
I get a kick out of all the Mosconi stories and how he could or could not play great pool. Let me add mine. I was on leave from the service in the mid '60's and Mosconi was at the Vet's home in Yountville, Cal for Brunswick. My mother worked there. He played a man , Sam Chang, for the show. He beat Sam a long time before in a tournament and still remembered him. Chang was a world class player at one time. Yes, Willie beat him. Yes, Willie told everyone how good Chang was one was. Yes, Wille ran 100 and out and *****ed abut the tables. Yes, Willie took Sam to a very nice place to have dinner that night. Yes Sam Chang lived out his life with the respect of the other Vet's home members because of that night. Mosconi treated me pretty well that day also. As for money play. I'm sure that Willie was under contract with Brunswick and could not gamble.

Scott Lee
06-18-2009, 09:16 PM
California Kid...I don't think you can find anybody who will say that Mosconi didn't shoot great pool! As for his personal demeanor, and manners, it could go either way...he could be nice, or he could act like a creep (once, on a military base, he bawled out a little kid...maybe 6 or 7...in front of the crowd, because the kid had a coughing fit).

I've seen Mosconi a few times...he ALWAYS played great (until he was past 70). I don't think his skill has ever been in question.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Pushout
06-18-2009, 10:04 PM
Mosconi certainly did play for money, at least before he was contracted by Brunswick and I think after. Most of the money game stories I've heard occurred while he was under contract. Busting Fats at One Pocket was one of those stories.
And Scott is right, his demeanor could and did go either way, sometimes depending on if he lost an exhibition match. He mellowed some with age, I would say, and I saw him a few times in his later years.

HollyWood
06-18-2009, 11:43 PM
I prefer to have good memorys of Willie and Greenleaf. But it seems the greats have skeletons in the closet. mark

Rich93
06-19-2009, 12:32 AM
What Scott said - nobody who isn't certifiable has ever thought Mosconi wasn't a great player. The only reasonable question is whether he was the greatest. Some say a number of players would beat him at one pocket or nine ball - well, perhaps, but those were games Mosconi didn't try to be good at. In fact, he looked down on all of what he called "short rack" or hustler games. Practically nobody says he wasn't the best at the game he tried to be the best at, the tournament game at the time, straight pool.

As for gambling - to be sure he didn't gamble much after he became a world's tournament and exhibition player. There are a handful of stories that keep making the rounds - how he beat Fats and Nicky Vach at one pocket, how he beat Joe Sebastian at nine ball. But think how few these stories are. If he gambled much there would be a lot more stories being told, given his stature in the pool world. He thought gambling was bad for pool's image and he looked down on those who did it.

As for his temperament, yes, apparently he was high strung and easily irritated, and there are some instances where he behaved really badly. Like most people with bad tempers, he probably regretted it afterwards.

Johnnyt
06-19-2009, 05:43 AM
I get a kick out of all the Mosconi stories and how he could or could not play great pool. Let me add mine. I was on leave from the service in the mid '60's and Mosconi was at the Vet's home in Yountville, Cal for Brunswick. My mother worked there. He played a man , Sam Chang, for the show. He beat Sam a long time before in a tournament and still remembered him. Chang was a world class player at one time. Yes, Willie beat him. Yes, Willie told everyone how good Chang was one was. Yes, Wille ran 100 and out and *****ed abut the tables. Yes, Willie took Sam to a very nice place to have dinner that night. Yes Sam Chang lived out his life with the respect of the other Vet's home members because of that night. Mosconi treated me pretty well that day also. As for money play. I'm sure that Willie was under contract with Brunswick and could not gamble.

Thanks for this story on Mosconi...it's one of the better ones. Wouldn't be nice if a pro player or two, both male and female went to thier local VA Hospital or/and thier local VA Nursing home to give them a show on Vetrens Day. Just a few hours of their time. Johnnyt

Mr441
06-19-2009, 10:30 AM
I didn't get to see Mosconi play until he was well past retirement but he was still the best player I've ever seen. He would do an exhibition, run 100 balls effortlessly do a few trickshots and sometimes play a few racks of 9 ball with spectators. I once saw him play racks of 9 ball against spectators and the catch was Mosconi couldn't leave the spot where he was standing! He still won most of the games, it was incredible. Then he played where he actually used his shoe for a cue and he still could beat many spectators. He was truly one of a kind.

Masayoshi
06-20-2009, 10:19 AM
I once saw him play racks of 9 ball against spectators and the catch was Mosconi couldn't leave the spot where he was standing! He still won most of the games, it was incredible.

:eek:

Wish I could have been around to see that.

Mr441
06-20-2009, 10:38 AM
:eek:

Wish I could have been around to see that.


It was amazing. He was standing next to the rail near the side pocket, there was masking tape on the floor in the shape of a box, he couldn't leave the box. There was just enough room for him to take not even a half step in any direction.