A champion and a friend has passed

wincardona

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you for your concern

Thanks to every one that replied. This has been a very dark week, first traveling to Reno to see my good friend Cole in what looks to be a losing battle fighting for his life. Cole is a very brave man who I respect more than anyone can imagine, he has always stood up well for anything he was fighting for and this is no different. After returning home from Reno I get a call from my good friend Bernie Schwartz's son, Bruce. He tells me that his father is in a hospice and is not doing well. I wanted to fly up to see him, however, his son told me that he probably wouldn't be conscious and maybe I should wait for the funeral. I agreed and we hung up. No more than 3 minutes after we spoke that he called back to tell me that his father passed. Life is short and precious...and don't forget it. I won't.:smile:

Live life to the fullest, that's what I have learned.

Bill Incardona
 

watchez

What time is it?
Silver Member
Thanks to every one that replied. This has been a very dark week, first traveling to Reno to see my good friend Cole in what looks to be a losing battle fighting for his life. Cole is a very brave man who I respect more than anyone can imagine, he has always stood up well for anything he was fighting for and this is no different. After returning home from Reno I get a call from my good friend Bernie Schwartz's son, Bruce. He tells me that his father is in a hospice and is not doing well. I wanted to fly up to see him, however, his son told me that he probably wouldn't be conscious and maybe I should wait for the funeral. I agreed and we hung up. No more than 3 minutes after we spoke that he called back to tell me that his father passed. Life is short and precious...and don't forget it. I won't.:smile:

Live life to the fullest, that's what I have learned.

Bill Incardona

Billy - sorry to hear of your loss. The worst part about life is death.
 

JoeyA

Efren's Mini-Tourn BACKER
Silver Member
Sorry to hear about your loss Billy.

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
 

putt-putt44

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That was Larry Schwartz, no relation.
P.S. Remember Mark, the "Schwartz" is with you!

Ha-ha,,,Mel Brooks is smiling on ya Jay,,,,

Just saw him on ''The Talk'' last Thurs....did you know Richard Pryor wrote most of ''Blazing Saddles'' ??

I'm sure Bernie saw it,,,,,!!

Alan Ende...
 

ROB.M

:)
Silver Member
Post

So sorry to hear the news, Billy. He was a little before my time, so I decided to do a wee bit of research this morning to find out who Bernie Schwartz was, and I came acrsos this article written in January 1970. It takes place at the infamous Jack and Jill's pool room, owned by Weenie Bennie, in Arlington, Virginia:

Tonight in Jack n Jill Cue Club, a pool rustler named Bernie Schwartz clinched the U.S. Open Nine Ball Tournament. With this new achievement. Schwartz may be the best nine ball player in the country.

The tournament lead was shared by Schwartz. Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter, "Champagne" Eddie Kelly, and Jim "The Springfield Rifle" Rellihan at 5-1, but then the balding Schwartz roared back to lead, 11-2. and eventually win.

Jim Morgan in Drag

Schwartz bets liberally and has won as much as $15,000 in a week. In the all-night sessions, his girl friend, in her blonde wig, black leather pumps, and imitation sealskin coat, is an important factor in his success. She sits near Schwartz and gives him Marlboros and coffee.

Denizens of Jack n Jill are now talking up a large money match between Lassiter and The Hawk, Lassiter has always been acknowledged as the finest nine ball player in the world, but now there are some doubters.

In Joke

As one familiar face known only as "Pumpkin" said. "When you've been out of action for four years like Lassiter has, it's got to hurt, and I don't care who you are."


Source: Wig, Marlboros Win Virginia Pool Tournament [Retrieved 12 May 2013]

What a shame he didn't get into the One-Pocket Hall of Fame while he was still alive to enjoy it, but, thank goodness, he did make into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Western Pennsylvania in 2002. This is a cool pool read:

Bernie "The Hawk" Schwartz, a pool hustler who began chalking up as a kid in Oakland in the late 1940s, will be inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania tonight.

Purists might argue that a game that can be played with a cigarette 'twixt your lips is no sport. Phooey. If Tiger Woods is lauded for making his living with a bagful of sticks, how much more impressive is a man who could earn his family's keep carrying one?

Schwartz, now 67, was this good: He didn't just meet Minnesota Fats under Kaufmann's clock; he cleaned Fats' clock in Kaufmann's when the braggart blew through town promoting pool tables in 1968. Schwartz won the Las Vegas Invitational, the world nine-ball championship, in 1970. And a friend told me that the wads of cash that changed hands when the big players came to Schwartz's basement pool hall on Murray Avenue, "The Hawk's Nest," could have choked a stable of horses.

So I called Schwartz in suburban Detroit, where he moved 31 years ago after selling the pool hall, to hear his tale.

His father died when he was 6. He, his older brother, Paul, and their Russian-born mother, Gertrude, moved from the Hill District to the new housing project in Oakland, Terrace Village. Cotton's Pool Room was down the hill on Fifth Avenue, and the Schwartzes, tall for their age, entered that world of gambling men at 12 and 13.

Brother Paul says he was backing Bernie with $200 bets by their late teens. By then, the family had moved to Squirrel Hill, where Paul still lives and where Bernie was mentored in Ross' pool parlor by Bunny Rogoff. Are these names great, or what?

"His skills in pool were as good as Arnold Palmer's in golf," Paul said.

But Bernie got married at 22 and quit the game. He worked in sales and, after a decade away, drifted back into the poolrooms. He bought the Hawk's Nest in 1967 when he was 32. Before long, bleachers were brought in for tournaments that featured name players such as Irving Crane, Luther Lassiter and Steve Mizerak.

"They had to take a ticket to play me," Bernie said. "Like in a bakery."

He'd always try to get them to play him on the corner table, under the air conditioner, which cooled the rubber cushions and changed all the angles.

"I used to play really good on that table. I'd say, 'Let's go back there and play in the corner,' and before they knew it, they were empty."

Not that he couldn't win elsewhere, and with style. When he won the championship in Vegas, he bested "Champagne Eddie" Kelly, who was famous for shouting "Champagne for everybody!" just before he'd sink the last ball of a match. So just before Schwartz sank his winner, he shouted "Manischewitz wine for everybody!"

These were the days when Schwartz would take short road trips with his late wife and soul mate, Ruthie, by his side, his in-laws watching their three children. He beat a local hero in Eatonton, Ga., in 1969 for $6,000, and got the only standing ovation of his career. On a later trip to Detroit, a high roller in the cookware business asked him, "What's a nice Jewish boy like you doing hustling pool?"

Within a year, Schwartz sold his pool hall and was in the cookware business himself. Like Sandy Koufax, he quit at the top of his game.

"You can't make a living playing pool. You've got to work. I had three kids by then."

They're with him this weekend, along with his four grandchildren, among the five carloads driving into town for the induction ceremonies at Beth Shalom Synagogue. Brother Paul even sprang for a billboard congratulating The Hawk above Poli's parking lot.

Schwartz never forgot his roots -- nor could his opponents. The story goes that not long after he beat Minnesota Fats, the rotund one went to Chicago to another department store. When he once again bragged of his pool prowess, out of the crowd came a shrill voice.

"You're a liar, Fats! My nephew, Bernie Schwartz, beat you in Pittsburgh!"

Bernie's Aunt Esther is no longer with us, but that story being told tonight is about as close to a sure bet as anything since Schwartz left his corner table.


Source: Storied nine-ball ace is athlete enough for hall of fame [Retrieved 12 May 2013]

RIP to a legend in the pool world.
May he rest in peace!
-
-
Thanks for the post' great read.
R.I.P Bernie. Condolences to his family&loved friends.
Rob.M
 

ibuycues

I Love Box Cues
Silver Member
Billy,

Sorry to hear the world of pool has lost another great friend and player. My thoughts and prayers will be with Bernie's friends and loved ones. And with you in your time of heavy heart.

RIP Bernie,

Will Prout
 

George Fels

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
RIP Bernie Schwartz

Sorry for your loss, Billy. Everybody said he was a GREAT player who used to play Nick Vacchiano even-up and match up with Marino for hundreds a game. Best regards, GF
 

freddy the beard

Freddy Bentivegna
Silver Member
The only time I saw Bernie play was at your place in Chicago years ago. He was playing St Louis Louie 9 ball sets for a rumored 10 dimes and giving Louie the 7 ball. It was a who's who of the pool world sweating the action late one night. I bumped into Mike Sigel and chatted with Flyboy. I think I came there with Bobby Cotton.

They played on the last table on the left next to the can if I remember right. All the lights in the room were off except the bulb over their battle field. Louie won the first set and I congratulated him. He thanked me and joked about how he was in dead whack. I told him to get back on the table right away so he could stay there. He laughed and I couldn't help but notice how amped up he was. In those days at that time of the night it wasn't because they had a high metabolism.

Toward the end of the second set, Bernie caught a gear and pulled ahead. Louie was struggling, so the reinforcements came out. Bernie studied a layout late in the set and bent down to shoot a tough 7 ball. In this crowded room of 75-100 sweators, the unmistakable sound of high heels broke the silence. They started in the back of the room and slowly made their way toward Bernie and the bathroom. Bernie stood up just as a lovely lady in tight white pants emerged out of the darkness.

She stopped at the edge of table and all eyes were on her and Bernie. If this was a man, he was committing the ultimate shark and probably wouldn't have made it out of the door. But Bernie, realizing that it was Louie's girl, gracefully bowed and with a sweeping motion of his arm, allowed her to pass. The room exploded! People fell out of their chairs as she clip clopped past the table with that lovely behind.

Bernie won the set.

Best,
Mike

Great times, indeed. The table you are referring to is also where St Louie Louie broke his cue after he had already pawned it to six different tush-hogs and they all showed up to collect on it at once.

Beard
 

fasteddief

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi Billy,Sorry about your close friend passing.I heard many stories how great a player he was.I never saw him play but was told nobody could beat him for the money.It so sad to see all the great players in our generation passing on.I know you have a lot of great memories , thanks for sharing. RIP Bernie
 

SLIM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A few pictures

BERNIE & BILLY at the derby, i am sure there is some deep strategy being discussed.

Picture 047.jpg


BERNIE talking with SHANE.

Picture 039.jpg


BERNIE talking to my friend PAT about some old time players that they both knew.

Picture 020.jpg


BERNIE JUST ENJOYING THE SHOW.

Picture 006.jpg
 
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nightmare

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Billy, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Bernie.

When I first started my foray into the action side of the game in the mid ‘70s in North Jersey, one of the older players, Tommy Halliday (“Staten Island” or “Doc”), took me under his wing and as we went from place to place searching for a game, he’d tell me stories about all the great players. That was when I first heard of Bernie Schwartz.

I remember Tommy telling me what a good guy and a what a great player he was. I never was lucky enough to watch him play – all I ever heard were the stories about how if Bernie could get them to light, they were history – and for big money too. Over the years, whenever the conversation turned to the greats of the game, Bernie’s name was always mentioned. I remember sitting around Cue-Topia listening to Billy Incardona, Eddie Kelly, Monk and Bunny Rogoff telling their Bernie stories when we all lived in Vegas.

It wasn’t until the ’12 Derby City Classic that I finally got to meet Bernie. I'm sure you knew, Billy, how much I’d love to meet him and you were right – I was thrilled. I could’ve sat there all day listening to the conversation. Although we only spent a short time together, I found that everything I’d ever heard about the guy was true. Bernie was a very mannered and classy man – warm, affable, funny, down-to-earth – he was the real deal. We took a couple of photos that day – here’s one of them…

I was honored to meet you, Bernie – thank you, Billy. I sure wish I had had the chance to know you better. RIP, sir…

Mary Kenniston
 

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