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9 on the snap
12-01-2007, 05:10 PM
Baker's in Tampa is no more. The doors are closed after 65 years. It was THE place in Tampa forever. RIP


"Estalished in 1942, Bakers is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously operated pool halls in the United States. Believe it or not, Mr. Angus Baker originally opened this business as a Barber Shop. It was quite successful but the one problem he had was keeping the good barbers. Not really knowing what to do, he decided to put in a pool table. Ironically enough, the barbers stayed around longer as they really liked playing pool. Even more interesting were the men that would come by and play, whether they were there to get a haircut or to just pass the time. Well, that meant that the little corner Barber Shop with the fellow named Shine that would shine your shoes just had to expand just a bit....and it did. Mr. Baker decided that maybe he should also provide all of these folks with some food and drinks, and sure enough that was a hit too.

As a matter of a fact, this Fine Establishment was such a success that tournaments began taking place at Bakers. Next thing you know, Mr. Baker had tournaments going that attracted players such as Steve Mizerak, Willie Mosconi, Steve Cook, Buddy Hall, New York Blackie, Mike Sigel, Earl Strickland, Keith McKready, and too many others to count."

JoeyInCali
12-01-2007, 05:15 PM
Sad.
I hope those GC's find a new home.

Johnnyt
12-01-2007, 05:23 PM
Wow, that is a shame. I spent many an hour in Baker's in the 80's. It was one of the true players rooms in the country for many years. Every big name tournament player and road player hit that place first when they came to Florida. Most NY Yankees including Babe Ruth played there also. Johnnyt

sizl
12-01-2007, 05:23 PM
[QUOTE=9 on the snap]Baker's in Tampa is no more. The doors are closed after 65 years. It was THE place in Tampa forever. RIP
QUOTE]


That is truly sad. I have heard ALOT of stories from Louis Alexander Goff about Bakers. He used to frequent Bakers in the 50's and 60's and was a "champion" 1pocket player back in his day.



Peace
Todd

cyrex
12-01-2007, 05:24 PM
Looks like it was a nice place to play pool and make some memories. Best of luck to the owners on their future endevours.

9 on the snap
12-01-2007, 05:43 PM
Wow, that is a shame. I spent many an hour in Baker's in the 80's. It was one of the true players rooms in the country for many years. Every big name tournament player and road player hit that place first when they came to Florida. Most NY Yankees including Babe Ruth played there also. Johnnyt

You are right Johnny. It's a true shame. I will miss that place big time. I hadn't been there in a while, as I have my own table now, and I go to planet 9 ball as it's around the corner if I go to a room. That place was pure history. It was THE room in Florida for a long time.

Joe

!Smorgass Bored
12-01-2007, 07:28 PM
I took my wife to Bakers 20 years ago and she saw a young Tommy Kennedy and Dennis Hatch, Buddy Hall, Steve Cook, Benny Conway Sr., Jay Flowers and a ton of others. She had a great time for two days and never forgot the players that she met and watched.

15 years later, she was at Planet 9-Ball and Tommy Kennedy walked by and smiled at her and said "Hi" and she ran ran over to me and said "Tommy Kennedy remembered me after all these years and said hello, I just love him."

Wisely, (and one of the few times in my life) I just kept my mouth shut and smiled back at her. The last time that I was at Bakers was for Mike Janis' tournament. I'll miss Bakers Billiards.

Doug

Jimmy M.
12-01-2007, 08:19 PM
I took my wife to Bakers 20 years ago and she saw a young Tommy Kennedy and Dennis Hatch, Buddy Hall, Steve Cook, Benny Conway Sr., Jay Flowers and a ton of others. She had a great time for two days and never forgot the players that she met and watched.

15 years later, she was at Planet 9-Ball and Tommy Kennedy walked by and smiled at her and said "Hi" and she ran ran over to me and said "Tommy Kennedy remembered me after all these years and said hello, I just love him."

Wisely, (and one of the few times in my life) I just kept my mouth shut and smiled back at her. The last time that I was at Bakers was for Mike Janis' tournament. I'll miss Bakers Billiards.

Doug

AZHousePro: I would like you to delete my account immediately. Smorg's post contains absolutely no sarcastic humor and none of his patented wit. I am sure that this is a sign that this site is going to hell in a handbasket and I want off this train! (imo)

olauzon
12-01-2007, 11:55 PM
Looks like it was a nice place to play pool and make some memories. Best of luck to the owners on their future endevours.

with all due respect, siddartha, i don't wish future endeavors in this vicinity luck. a venue like this should be culture marked by the state and kept as such. but yea..

salut baker's!

JMB
12-02-2007, 01:33 AM
In the early eighties - made three or four trips to Bakers and talked over and over to Geraldine Titcomb about buying this poolroom. I was running around with Jay Flowers who I met in Ohio at a tournament when he was backing Ray Martin. We kept in touch and became friends (I liked his brash style). The price was right but the government was involved because of tax problems. I passed, often wondered whether I made a mistake. I know now that I should have opened in Florida many years ago, just one of many many bad decisions. Steve Cook was a houseman there, Buddy Hall and Bill Stigall and numerous other strong players were in action on a regular basis. Great old room.

cuejoey
12-02-2007, 03:06 AM
Wow that is sad of the closing..a piece of history..people will always have the memories but that's not like having the real thing........with them being there so long it makes me wonder what is the oldest pool room in America ?i will start another thread.........

jay helfert
12-02-2007, 04:04 AM
Baker's in Tampa is no more. The doors are closed after 65 years. It was THE place in Tampa forever. RIP


"Estalished in 1942, Bakers is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, continuously operated pool halls in the United States. Believe it or not, Mr. Angus Baker originally opened this business as a Barber Shop. It was quite successful but the one problem he had was keeping the good barbers. Not really knowing what to do, he decided to put in a pool table. Ironically enough, the barbers stayed around longer as they really liked playing pool. Even more interesting were the men that would come by and play, whether they were there to get a haircut or to just pass the time. Well, that meant that the little corner Barber Shop with the fellow named Shine that would shine your shoes just had to expand just a bit....and it did. Mr. Baker decided that maybe he should also provide all of these folks with some food and drinks, and sure enough that was a hit too.

As a matter of a fact, this Fine Establishment was such a success that tournaments began taking place at Bakers. Next thing you know, Mr. Baker had tournaments going that attracted players such as Steve Mizerak, Willie Mosconi, Steve Cook, Buddy Hall, New York Blackie, Mike Sigel, Earl Strickland, Keith McKready, and too many others to count."

I'll tell you how long it has been since I was there. Mikey Carella was playing One Pocket with Bill Stigall and giving him 9-6 and 9-7. And beating him! This was in 1977 I believe.

Johnnyt
12-02-2007, 05:40 AM
What year did they stop using rack boys at Bakers? I know they had them in 1981. Johnnyt

9 on the snap
12-02-2007, 05:41 PM
I took my wife to Bakers 20 years ago and she saw a young Tommy Kennedy and Dennis Hatch, Buddy Hall, Steve Cook, Benny Conway Sr., Jay Flowers and a ton of others. She had a great time for two days and never forgot the players that she met and watched.

15 years later, she was at Planet 9-Ball and Tommy Kennedy walked by and smiled at her and said "Hi" and she ran ran over to me and said "Tommy Kennedy remembered me after all these years and said hello, I just love him."

Wisely, (and one of the few times in my life) I just kept my mouth shut and smiled back at her. The last time that I was at Bakers was for Mike Janis' tournament. I'll miss Bakers Billiards.

Doug

We all will Smorg, and it makes you wonder how many of these pieces of history will be left 20 years from now.