Babe Cranfield

chas1022

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Larry Moy is a hellava nice guy. He contacted me once about a comment I made on his and Babe's straight pool book (which, by the way, is wonderful). Larry was a long time friend of Babe and has a ton of stories about him. I'm sure anyone from the forums who contacted Larry would be met with a warm response.
I have messaged back and forth with Larry. He is a great guy and lives straight pool. He was a pretty good shooter and he became a student of Babes. Larry is a class act
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1982: Harrahs, Atlantic City, winner Willie Mosconi.
1983: Claridge, Atlantic City, winner Luther Lassiter.
1984: The Concord at Kiamesha Lake, New York, winner Jimmy Moore.

Mosconi did claim something like 15 straight titles when no tournaments were held in some of those years. Grady Mathews and Bill Staton talked about that on Accu-Stats.
Some years there were not "official " tournaments to declare a World 14.1 champion- correct- but there were challenge matches held between the very best 14.1 players in any year that there was not actually a tournament and Willie Mosconi was not defeated in any world title challenge match- hence his claim of 15 world titles

I have listened to Grady Matthews on the Accu- Stats video from a 1989 US Open 14.1 match. His information is technically correct, but there was no doubt that Mosconi was king of the 14.1 on a nine foot during all 15 of those years.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have messaged back and forth with Larry. He is a great guy and lives straight pool. He was a pretty good shooter and he became a student of Babes. Larry is a class act
I have also messaged with Larry- very enjoyable conversations- what a great opportunity he had to spend time with one of the great 14.1 players who ever lived. Larry also had the opportunity to spend some time with Toby Sweet, who opened a room in Rockland county NY way back in the 70s - not bad pool company!
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Some years there were not "official " tournaments to declare a World 14.1 champion- correct- but there were challenge matches held between the very best 14.1 players in any year that there was not actually a tournament and Willie Mosconi was not defeated in any world title challenge match- hence his claim of 15 world titles
That wasn't the standard sequence of events. Typically a World Tournament in a round-robin format was followed by a series of challenge matches of the top finishers within a year. And the correct number is not 15 according to Ursitti's list and it is not 15 according to the list in "Willie's Game" which is Willie's autobiography. According to both of those, Willie won 19 World Championships. Here is the list in a previous post:

 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That wasn't the standard sequence of events. Typically a World Tournament in a round-robin format was followed by a series of challenge matches of the top finishers within a year. And the correct number is not 15 according to Ursitti's list and it is not 15 according to the list in "Willie's Game" which is Willie's autobiography. According to both of those, Willie won 19 World Championships. Here is the list in a previous post:

Right 19- the quote from Grady was regarding the 15 "consecutive' that is what I was referring to today. So Willie won 19 - but if there were 15 of those claimed as consecutive World 14.1 championships- I would also give Willie credit for that - however, from everything I have researched - there were not actually 15 consecutive true round robin world 14.1 championships held over the 15 year period claimed as a title by Willie- so in that sense Grady may have been correct; but Willie did compete in 14.1 challenge matches and remained undefeated in those in any year that a true World 14.1 was not held within that 15 year timeframe- so I would say both Grady and Willie were correct in their statements.

In any event, not to split hairs or muddle history, I heard Grady's statement on the Accustat video way back in 1990- as I did also attend the 1989 US OPEN 14.1 in Chicago, and purchased some of those 14.1 videos in 1990. Honestly, regardless of Grady's statement, does anyone doubt that Willie was the number one 14.1 player during that time period? To me, Grady almost seemed to be questioning that point when he made his statement, even though he was trying to use facts when he raised a shadow of a doubt on Willie's dominance during that period.
 

Michael Fedak

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow - what a great thread and a great tribute to keeping Cranfield's legacy alive!

From the pivotal Peter Ghostine ("One Rock") fascinating post back in 2015 (!) that blew it open - to the more recent comments by the great and gentlemanly Larry Moy (I have that book), Bob Jewett, SJM, AtLarge, Alsti, mikemosconi and others.
What a treat.
This forum is the Wikipedia and History Channel of 14.1. Bravo.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Some years there were not "official " tournaments to declare a World 14.1 champion- correct- but there were challenge matches held between the very best 14.1 players in any year that there was not actually a tournament and Willie Mosconi was not defeated in any world title challenge match- hence his claim of 15 world titles

I have listened to Grady Matthews on the Accu- Stats video from a 1989 US Open 14.1 match. His information is technically correct, but there was no doubt that Mosconi was king of the 14.1 on a nine foot during all 15 of those years.
I would agree with you to an extent. For the greatest straight pool player, I think it's fair to say most with a civil mind would pick Mosconi. I think he was competitively the best, given his tournament and exhibition records.

Having known Babe Cranfield during his very good years, I would say he had more knowledge than any other player, but chose another full time career. I watched him run hundreds and two hundreds every day when he was in his 60s, long after Mosconi did that at an earlier age. How Cranfield would break down a rack was a rare talent.

All the best,
WW
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would agree with you to an extent. For the greatest straight pool player, I think it's fair to say most with a civil mind would pick Mosconi. I think he was competitively the best, given his tournament and exhibition records.

Having known Babe Cranfield during his very good years, I would say he had more knowledge than any other player, but chose another full time career. I watched him run hundreds and two hundreds every day when he was in his 60s, long after Mosconi did that at an earlier age. How Cranfield would break down a rack was a rare talent.

All the best,
WW
Yes, very hard to fairly judge a guy as great as the Babe when he chose to work full time outside of a pool career. Who knows what he could have been had pool been able to provide him a full time salary equivalent. Even Irving Crane was selling Cadillacs part time to supplement his income from pool. Balsis also stayed away from the game for a good period of time to make a living. Mosconi was able to focus on his game full time.

Can you imagine if all these past 14.1 greats were offered a huge prize for a high consecutive ball run over, say, a six month period - 500 ball run would have been blown away many times over - that's why I laugh at our new "modern" 14.1 high run total.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is an autographed cue ball from Babe.
IMG_1027r.jpg
 
Top