Anyone have any information on Babe Cranfield’s 768

L.S. Dennis

Active member
I‘ve heard the story of Authur Cranfield’s 768 rumored ball run during a practice session, does anyone have any information of this?
No doubt he was a great player (anyone who could beat Lassiter 1,200 to 700 plus in 1964 I believe) had be to a Mosconi class straight pool player.

Does anyone know anymore about this? Maybe Jay could chime in on this one.

Just wondering,,,
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I heard about this run decades ago and asked Irving Crane, of upstate New York as was Babe, about it close to 40 years ago. Irving said he didn't know of it when it happened, but commented that Babe probably had more runs of 300+ than any player that ever lived (up to that point) and that he found the claim of 768 to be highly credible. He also noted that Babe was a man of the highest integrity who should be taken at his word.

Babe is also believed to have run over 700 twice (I believe the other run he claimed was 709). Babe was the John Schmidt of his day, far more focused on high runs than anything else, and surprisingly unsuccessful in top competition for someone who shone so brightly on the practice table.

I have always felt that Babe's runs, which occurred in practice, should not be recognized as records, but instead as the highest ever runs in practice.

There is little to no documentation of many of the highest ever runs of the old masters, as play was almost never recorded or televised, but can we discard all the high run claims of that era because they aren't documented to the extent we'd have a right to expect today?
 
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L.S. Dennis

Active member
I heard about this run decades ago and asked Irving Crane, also of upstate New York, about it close to 40 years ago. Irving said he didn't know of it when it happened, but commented that Babe probably had more runs of 300+ than any player that ever lived (up to that point) and that he found the claim of 768 to be highly credible. He also noted that Babe was a man of the highest integrity who should be taken at his word.

Babe is also believed to have run over 700 twice (I believe the other run he claimed was 709). Babe was the John Schmidt of his day, far more focused on high runs than anything else, and surprisingly unsuccessful in top competition for someone who shone so brightly on the practice table.

I have always felt that Babe's runs, which occurred in practice, should not be recognized as records, but instead as the highest ever runs in practice.

There is little to no documentation of many of the highest ever runs of the old masters, as play was almost never recorded or televised, but can we discard all the high run claims of that era because they aren't documented to the extent we'd have a right to expect today?
Well said, I too have heard that Babe was a man of the highest regard,. I regret not having a chance to see him play being here on the west coast. I was fortunate to see Mosconi and Carras a few times.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
can we discard all the high run claims of that era because they aren't documented to the extent we'd have a right to expect today?
Agree, and you had me up until this point. Discard the high runs of the past? But some are still wanting to discard John's recent run, only because they refuse to believe it, or don't like it because the video was a bit sped up to save some time. What would be a perfect standard for proof?

Whose runs do we accept, and whose runs do we discard? Other than video, I think it depends on the integrity of the individual. As for Babe Cranfield, he described the run to me, and if he said he did it, he meant it. I get your point with practice rather than official, but it is a slim difference. I believe Babe's was an exhibition, but was too long to get any notarizing done, though he tried. That is from Babe, not me.

All the best,
WW
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Agree, and you had me up until this point. Discard the high runs of the past? But some are still wanting to discard John's recent run, only because they refuse to believe it, or don't like it because the video was a bit sped up to save some time. What would be a perfect standard for proof?

Whose runs do we accept, and whose runs do we discard? Other than video, I think it depends on the integrity of the individual. As for Babe Cranfield, he described the run to me, and if he said he did it, he meant it. I get your point with practice rather than official, but it is a slim difference. I believe Babe's was an exhibition, but was too long to get any notarizing done, though he tried. That is from Babe, not me.

All the best,
WW
Not quite sure what you're saying or implying here.

Actually, I'm not and never have been in the camp that says John's run isn't valid. It's on video, has been witnessed, and the BCA, which seems to me the organization empowered to recognize it, has signed off on it. That's enough for me.

My point is that today's high runs are usually on video but back in the day they weren't. I don't need a perfect standard of proof for a practice run. A BCA signoff is proof in my eyes.
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
wrldpro has posted a few times that Cranfield's 768 was done at an exhibition rather than in practice. He cites a 1997 letter to the editor of Pool & Billiard Magazine by Arnold Silvernail saying that Cue Ball Kelly provided that information in a TV broadcast with Don Crique. Presumably Silvernail meant Don Criqui.

I do not know whether the claim of exhibition rather than practice is true.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
wrldpro has posted a few times that Cranfield's 768 was done at an exhibition rather than in practice. He cites a 1997 letter to the editor of Pool & Billiard Magazine by Arnold Silvernail saying that Cue Ball Kelly provided that information in a TV broadcast with Don Crique. Presumably Silvernail meant Don Criqui.

I do not know whether the claim of exhibition rather than practice is true.
Correct, and that is my understanding as well, from the man himself.

All the best,
WW
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
then that run should be recognized for two reasons. it was done by a credible source and recognized by one.
and two it was also done by a person very capable of doing it.

and in those days a high run or worlds highest didnt make you any money from it, so less incentive to stage it for notoriety.
 

logical

apart of their 'semi public'
Silver Member
Was it an exhibition with nobody in attendance? Is that what someone thinks they read in a letter to the editor about what someone thinks they remember was said by someone else in a TV interview?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
My understanding is that 768 was in practice, I heard Alan Hopkins say that Babe did have an exhibition run of 423 though.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Correct, and that is my understanding as well, from the man himself.

All the best,
WW
Sounds like what was missing was the affidavit of one or more witnesses to certify it. It's very unlikely Cue Ball Kelly himself was there to see the run, but if he heard of the run when it happened from one or more witnesses, he could have easily arranged an affidavit from those who were present for the entire run. One can only guess as to why neither he nor Babe nor anyone else pursued this course. Did they feel the record would be recognized with less documentation than was offered with respect to Mosconi's record run?

Was Babe's 768 ball run like Eufemia's 600+ run of about sixty years ago? Nobody but Mike himself saw his run from beginning to end. Yes, there was the possibility of a combined attestation in Mike's case. For example, if somebody saw the first 400 balls of the run and someone else saw the last 400 balls of the run, they could offer a combined attestation. Mike was a friend of my dad and noted to him that a combined attestation could have been produced, but the recordkeepers didn't consider it to be sufficient documentation. Some have suggested that Brunswick, the sponsor of Mosconi's national exhibition tour, played a part in ensuring that Mike's run was not recognized, but there's no proof.

While I feel 100% certain that Babe's 768 ball run occurred, I don't see how it could be recognized as the record at this point. Even if it was an exhibition, can it be proven that anyone other than Babe saw it from beginning to end? If there was such a person, why did that person never step forward as a witness?

The case is hardly open and shut.
 
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L.S. Dennis

Active member
The problem of someone witnessing a 700 ball run is that only the most ardent straight pool fans would stay put for the entire run, unless the shooter played at a speed of Willie or Earl. Never having seen him I’m not sure how fast Babe played.

It took Willie just two hours and twenty minutes for the 526 where if I’m not mistaken it took John over four hours to run just a hundred more.

All this being said, I too tend to think that Babe did make that run, I guess we’ll really never know.
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I'm surprised people care about the exhibition vs practice thing...

If you believe the person and/or they can prove that they pocketed the number of balls without foul then it's run that should be considered a record, of whatever regard.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think that one factor we must all consider is that the old school 14.1 greats played a different brand of straight pool. Today we have equipment that allows for the balls to open up much easier and we have a style of 14.1 that rightfully takes advantage of the modern cloth, rails, and balls.

Consider the older style of chipping out balls from a full rack, moving ball to ball with the cue ball in pattern fashion, rarely going full table length or more than two rails with the cue ball - playing on thicker napped wool cloth - balls with less elasticity than today--- NOW consider 400, 500, 600, 700 ball runs from that era -- truly amazing! It was an art.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sounds like what was missing was the affidavit of one or more witnesses to certify it. It's very unlikely Cue Ball Kelly himself was there to see the run, but if he heard of the run when it happened from one or more from witnesses, he could have easily arranged an affidavit from those who were present for the entire run. One can only guess as to why neither he nor Babe nor anyone else pursued this course. Did they feel the record would be recognized with less documentation than was offered with respect to Mosconi's record run?

Was Babe's 768 ball run like Eufemia's 600+ run of about sixty years ago? Nobody but Mike himself saw his run from beginning to end. Yes, there was the possibility of a combined attestation in Mike's case. For example, if somebody saw the first 400 balls of the run and someone else saw the last 400 balls of the run, they could offer a combined attestation. Mike was a friend of my dad and noted to him that a combined attestation could have been produced, but the recordkeepers didn't consider it to be sufficient documentation. Some have suggested that Brunswick, the sponsor of Mosconi's national exhibition tour, played a part in ensuring that Mike's run was not recognized, but there's no proof.

While I feel 100% certain that Babe's 768 ball run occurred, I don't see how it could be recognized as the record at this point. Even if it was an exhibition, can it be proven that anyone other than Babe saw it from beginning to end? If there was such a person, why did that person never step forward as a witness?

The case is hardly open and shut.
According to Babe, there were witnesses, but it took a long time, and none were present from start to finish. He did make an effort to get it notarized, but it didn't get too far, given that.

It wasn't like Euphemia's run, I believe Mike did that in his basement, or something like that. Many people witnessed Cranfield make very many high runs; it wasn't just a one time thing.

I'm not sure what it takes to recognize a record. Maybe it's just an opinion you or I may have. Then again, there is the BCA, and they seem to have arrived at a judgement that John Schmidt has the record. I'm not trying to overturn that by any means, just stating what I think is the case. As for any living witnesses to Babe's run, I doubt any exist at this point.

All the best,
WW
 
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