Best Player that Quit Early on

RossThompsonJr

"Squirrel Jr"
I saw em win it at Johnson City, the hippies were cheering for em. He had it on a string back then, 1969? give or take a yr. He was like 20 yr old? then, help me out.
My dad "squirrel" was 18yrs old when he won it in 1970. He still holds the record for youngest ever to win! If anyone ever wants info on keith thompson im the guy you want to ask.
 

RossThompsonJr

"Squirrel Jr"
Squirrel used to frequent the Rack and Cue on Tatar street back in Pasadena. I grew up there.
He sure did...now he mainly plays at Corner Pocket off spencer and Legends off I-45 with me and his friend Bones. Bobby Taylor plays with us every great while as well. I wish my dad would start playing in tournaments now that hes retired, cause hes still got game left in him.
 

RossThompsonJr

"Squirrel Jr"
It's going to take some of you old scuffs to remember this name but today in Houston, TX they still remember the name, Keith "Little Squirrel" Thompson. Keith at the ripe age of 17 won the one pocket division and all around at one of, if not the, last Johnston City tournament. Quit playing all together shortly afterwards. A great loss to the game.
Well im not an old scuff, but Keith Thompson is my dad, so i know all about his pool playing days! I wish he wouldn't have quit as well. I asked him one day why he gave it up while he was at the top of his game? He replied "Well I will tell you why son. After I won the world championship in Johnson City, me and my buddy Bobby Taylor were headed back home to Houston and Bobby asked me if I wanted to make a stop at couple of popular pool halls in Atlanta and see if we can make off with a couple hundred bucks. So we stopped at a pool hall (i cant remember the name of it) and i played a few racks and the bartender saw me playing and called up the 3rd best player in town. I played the guy and beat him out of about $200 at $10/game. After that in walks the 2nd best player in town, so i played the guy and beat him out of about $460 at $10/game. Then after that in walks the #1 player in town and sure enough i beat him out off about $740 at $20/game! It couldn't have worked out any better cause once you beat the best player in town nobody wants to play you. So we called it a night and the next day Bobby talked me in to going back up there and seeing if we could make a few bucks more playing the locales before heading back home. We got there and couldn't get any action so we sat at the bar and drank a coke. In walks the mailman and he lays down the new issue of billiards magazine and on the cover is the picture of me holding the trophy and in big print saying KEITH SQUIRREL THOMPSON WINS CHAMPIONSHIP KNOCKING OFF HEAVILY FAVORED LASSITER! I looked at Bobby and said lets get out of here now! We get up and walkout and not a minute later the bartender and a few guys walkout holding that magazine and Bobby looks at them, points at me and says YA THATS HIM and the look on there face was priceless!" Haha I had to tell yall that story but anyways after he won in Johnson City everyone knew who he was so he couldn't find anyone who wanted to play him and thats how he made his money was hustling so he quit playing. He's retired now from his job so he picked his cue back up and started playing again, but mostly just with me at home or occasionally at a pool hall.
 

West Point 1987

On the Hill, Out of Gas
Well im not an old scuff, but Keith Thompson is my dad, so i know all about his pool playing days! I wish he wouldn't have quit as well. I asked him one day why he gave it up while he was at the top of his game? He replied "Well I will tell you why son. After I won the world championship in Johnson City, me and my buddy Bobby Taylor were headed back home to Houston and Bobby asked me if I wanted to make a stop at couple of popular pool halls in Atlanta and see if we can make off with a couple hundred bucks. So we stopped at a pool hall (i cant remember the name of it) and i played a few racks and the bartender saw me playing and called up the 3rd best player in town. I played the guy and beat him out of about $200 at $10/game. After that in walks the 2nd best player in town, so i played the guy and beat him out of about $460 at $10/game. Then after that in walks the #1 player in town and sure enough i beat him out off about $740 at $20/game! It couldn't have worked out any better cause once you beat the best player in town nobody wants to play you. So we called it a night and the next day Bobby talked me in to going back up there and seeing if we could make a few bucks more playing the locales before heading back home. We got there and couldn't get any action so we sat at the bar and drank a coke. In walks the mailman and he lays down the new issue of billiards magazine and on the cover is the picture of me holding the trophy and in big print saying KEITH SQUIRREL THOMPSON WINS CHAMPIONSHIP KNOCKING OFF HEAVILY FAVORED LASSITER! I looked at Bobby and said lets get out of here now! We get up and walkout and not a minute later the bartender and a few guys walkout holding that magazine and Bobby looks at them, points at me and says YA THATS HIM and the look on there face was priceless!" Haha I had to tell yall that story but anyways after he won in Johnson City everyone knew who he was so he couldn't find anyone who wanted to play him and thats how he made his money was hustling so he quit playing. He's retired now from his job so he picked his cue back up and started playing again, but mostly just with me at home or occasionally at a pool hall.

What's his game these days?
 

metallicane

AzB Silver Member
Well im not an old scuff, but Keith Thompson is my dad, so i know all about his pool playing days! I wish he wouldn't have quit as well. I asked him one day why he gave it up while he was at the top of his game? He replied "Well I will tell you why son. After I won the world championship in Johnson City, me and my buddy Bobby Taylor were headed back home to Houston and Bobby asked me if I wanted to make a stop at couple of popular pool halls in Atlanta and see if we can make off with a couple hundred bucks. So we stopped at a pool hall (i cant remember the name of it) and i played a few racks and the bartender saw me playing and called up the 3rd best player in town. I played the guy and beat him out of about $200 at $10/game. After that in walks the 2nd best player in town, so i played the guy and beat him out of about $460 at $10/game. Then after that in walks the #1 player in town and sure enough i beat him out off about $740 at $20/game! It couldn't have worked out any better cause once you beat the best player in town nobody wants to play you. So we called it a night and the next day Bobby talked me in to going back up there and seeing if we could make a few bucks more playing the locales before heading back home. We got there and couldn't get any action so we sat at the bar and drank a coke. In walks the mailman and he lays down the new issue of billiards magazine and on the cover is the picture of me holding the trophy and in big print saying KEITH SQUIRREL THOMPSON WINS CHAMPIONSHIP KNOCKING OFF HEAVILY FAVORED LASSITER! I looked at Bobby and said lets get out of here now! We get up and walkout and not a minute later the bartender and a few guys walkout holding that magazine and Bobby looks at them, points at me and says YA THATS HIM and the look on there face was priceless!" Haha I had to tell yall that story but anyways after he won in Johnson City everyone knew who he was so he couldn't find anyone who wanted to play him and thats how he made his money was hustling so he quit playing. He's retired now from his job so he picked his cue back up and started playing again, but mostly just with me at home or occasionally at a pool hall.

Thanks for sharing. Pretty cool.
 

Okie

Seeker
Well im not an old scuff, but Keith Thompson is my dad, so i know all about his pool playing days! I wish he wouldn't have quit as well. I asked him one day why he gave it up while he was at the top of his game? He replied "Well I will tell you why son. After I won the world championship in Johnson City, me and my buddy Bobby Taylor were headed back home to Houston and Bobby asked me if I wanted to make a stop at couple of popular pool halls in Atlanta and see if we can make off with a couple hundred bucks. So we stopped at a pool hall (i cant remember the name of it) and i played a few racks and the bartender saw me playing and called up the 3rd best player in town. I played the guy and beat him out of about $200 at $10/game. After that in walks the 2nd best player in town, so i played the guy and beat him out of about $460 at $10/game. Then after that in walks the #1 player in town and sure enough i beat him out off about $740 at $20/game! It couldn't have worked out any better cause once you beat the best player in town nobody wants to play you. So we called it a night and the next day Bobby talked me in to going back up there and seeing if we could make a few bucks more playing the locales before heading back home. We got there and couldn't get any action so we sat at the bar and drank a coke. In walks the mailman and he lays down the new issue of billiards magazine and on the cover is the picture of me holding the trophy and in big print saying KEITH SQUIRREL THOMPSON WINS CHAMPIONSHIP KNOCKING OFF HEAVILY FAVORED LASSITER! I looked at Bobby and said lets get out of here now! We get up and walkout and not a minute later the bartender and a few guys walkout holding that magazine and Bobby looks at them, points at me and says YA THATS HIM and the look on there face was priceless!" Haha I had to tell yall that story but anyways after he won in Johnson City everyone knew who he was so he couldn't find anyone who wanted to play him and thats how he made his money was hustling so he quit playing. He's retired now from his job so he picked his cue back up and started playing again, but mostly just with me at home or occasionally at a pool hall.

Yes, thank you for sharing! Awesome story!
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
A few years ago i watched SVB beat Cliff Joyner on a bar box at Q-Masters and Stalev asked SVB to play but that he had to make what you broke and SVB turned him down. SVB would only play him if he could shoot anything after the break. I would have loved to see that match go on but again SVB did not want to play the way Stalev did. I am sure he would play that game now for sure.....................mike

I gotta give SVB the most respect here....wanting open table after the break
means that Shane thought he was the best player over Stalev, who wanted
the luck of having to shoot what you make on the break.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Well im not an old scuff, but Keith Thompson is my dad, so i know all about his pool playing days!
...He's retired now from his job so he picked his cue back up and started playing again, but mostly just with me at home or occasionally at a pool hall.
Thanks for sharing. Pretty cool.
:withstupid:
Thanks for sharing.!!!

We would love you to get your dad to come on to AZB with you. Lots of his old friends are here!
 

iralee

AzB Silver Member
I have to say that Dick Leonard was 1 of the best I have known to have ever quit early. You may know him as #####leonard over on Billiards Digest. Has a high run of 326 in straight pool right handed and several runs over 100 left handed. When the pool room he was working in closed he became a teamster driver delivering liquor all over NY STATE to support his family. Although he can't shoot right handed any more because of medical problems he can still run over 100 left handed. He once tol me that Mike Sigel never beat him in a straight pool tournament. I decided to ask Mike and Mike did verify this. Johnny Ervolino once also told me that he had never seen anybody alive that could back cut a break shot like Dick could. I watched him play Mosconi in an exhibition once and Dick was beating him and Mosconi told him to cut it out. People came to watch me play not you. He also told Dick that he could be the next champion if he did not get married. Well Dick got married a couple of months later and there went his competitive game. And he could gamble. Back in the late 60's i watched him play Turk Vartigan some $50.00 a game 9 ball and run out from all over the place. I know that $50.00 does not sound like much' but back then it was......thats my story and i am sticking to it.............mike

I'll second that story, Mike. Everyone from the Albany area (I went to school nearby Troy) knows how great a player Dick (aka Butch) Leonard is. I used to play (er, rack) for him in the late 80's early 90's: he could run 100+ practically on command. My friends called me I-rack instead of Ira, but I didn't mind. Nicest gentleman you could meet, too - he taught me a lot.

-Ira
 

iralee

AzB Silver Member
If dying early constitutes quitting early...

then Harold Worst would be the greatest.
jk: if you know his story, Worst was the best, and definitely no quitter.
 

ironman

AzB Silver Member
It's going to take some of you old scuffs to remember this name but today in Houston, TX they still remember the name, Keith "Little Squirrel" Thompson. Keith at the ripe age of 17 won the one pocket division and all around at one of, if not the, last Johnston City tournament. Quit playing all together shortly afterwards. A great loss to the game.

I saw him play at the Old Strawberrry Billiards in Pasedena Tx around 1970 after the Johnston City thing. He head not played inmonths, showed up and praccticed for about 2 hours and then beat the old KC Charlie.
he was rather tall and lanky but I remember he used the thickest shaft I had ever seen. I mean it loooked like 15-16 mm.
he went on toe become a grease monkey.

Another to puit early and a favorite of mine was omaha John (John Shuput). His was due to health problems.
 

thebighurt

AzB Silver Member
I gotta give SVB the most respect here....wanting open table after the break
means that Shane thought he was the best player over Stalev, who wanted
the luck of having to shoot what you make on the break.

Thats not what it means. Stalev wanting to play those rules meant two things. The first.. he knows Shane will outbreak him and the second and more important point is that Stalev thought he could outmove Shane and at that time Shane obviously felt that Stalev could. Stalev wanted to turn it into a moving game, that's why you play by those rules.
 
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