Pool ball collecting.

Bob Jewett

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This set of Hyatt bicentennial balls came in its own case.

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Bob Jewett

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This was Aramith's take on the bicentennial. The colors are screened on. Somehow this set ended up with an over-sized cue ball.

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K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
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Very nice showing and set of Hyatt's, Bob. I've not seen that special issue case before. Pray tell where you obtained such a fine set of history!!

:)

I also like the Aramith screened bicentennial sets - but haven't been able to acquire a "nice enough" set yet. Still on the prowl.


🏻



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WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
More Beautiful Cue Balls

Since cue balls are well-received in this thread, in addition to the Blue Dot I showed earlier, I thought I'd show three of my most rare:

First, a Blue Circle from the Albany Billiard Ball Company. This was one given to me by world champion Babe Cranfield, in 1977, when I knew him in Syracuse, NY. He had several he carried around. It's held up well over the years, as I use it sparingly.

Second, another Albany cue ball, absolutely plain, no circle, dot, triangle, etc. I bought this cue ball along with the set of Vitallites I showed earlier. Although it had no markings, this was considered a very good cue ball by Ralph Meinelly, the owner of the only billiard supply store in Syracuse at the time. Notice the slightly darker color? I suspect it might have a bit more bakelite in it than usual.

Third. Speaking of bakelite, this one is supposedly pure bakelite, according to Ralph, so I had to buy it. These cue balls go back to the days of complete ivory ball sets, when a bakelite ball was used for the opening break, as ivory was prone to crack with a hard hit. It's an interesting cue ball, very dark, and you can put a lot of spin on it. Babe Cranfield tried some trick shots with it, and confirmed the spin factor. Where was it made? I suspect the Albany company, but who knows. Ralph had a few in his store, and said they had been sitting around a long time. Ralph was at least in his late 70s at that time, so it could from the 60s, 50s, I couldn't say.

Rubick's and K2, I think you'll get a kick out of these.

All the best,
WW
 

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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Very nice showing and set of Hyatt's, Bob. I've not seen that special issue case before. Pray tell where you obtained such a fine set of history!!

:)

I also like the Aramith screened bicentennial sets - but haven't been able to acquire a "nice enough" set yet. Still on the prowl. ...
I got pretty much all my sets on EBay. A few, like a poker set I have, I found in sporting goods stores and my Bonus Ball set I got at a BCA Trade Show.

And in case anyone is interested, I'm getting rid of my ball sets so the above are available.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good evening, Wild Wing.

Many thanks indeed, sir, for sharing some more pictures of your collection. Not only are they beautiful, the provenance is fascinating and your review of their respective attributes much appreciated and welcomed. I hope there are many more to come!

Here's wishing you the best of rolls,

RC. :)
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good evening, Bob. :)

Sincere thanks for posting up those wonderful Centennials, sir. I also think it would be a great addition to the thread if folks posted up more sets they wished to sell, maybe with a guide price for bids?

Kind regards,

RC. :)
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
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... I also think it would be a great addition to the thread if folks posted up more sets they wished to sell, maybe with a guide price for bids?

...
I haven't been keeping careful track of prices on EBay for a while, but for the two sets I show above...

The Hyatt bicentennial star-dart set with inscribed cue ball has sold for as much as $578 with original (cardboard) box and certificate. (There was a certificate from Hyatt but I don't know what it was like.) They have sold for as low as $240 used for a complete set, but lower for a set missing the 8 ball. (Who would take the 8 ball out of a set like this?!?) The Hyatt carrying case I show above was not special for the bicentennial balls, so far as I know.

The Aramith 13-star sets with flag box (screened colors) have sold for between $180 and $225.

Also...

The Hyatt "Romanique" (with Roman numerals, above) balls were also made around 1976 so there may be some confusion with the bicentennial balls. They were the official ball of the 1976 World Open Straight Pool Championships in Asbury Park, NJ. I saw a set unsold at $200 asking but I think they should go for more than that. A note shows them as "Romanique II" -- I have no idea about the first version.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Since cue balls are well-received in this thread, in addition to the Blue Dot I showed earlier, I thought I'd show three of my most rare:



First, a Blue Circle from the Albany Billiard Ball Company. This was one given to me by world champion Babe Cranfield, in 1977, when I knew him in Syracuse, NY. He had several he carried around. It's held up well over the years, as I use it sparingly.



Second, another Albany cue ball, absolutely plain, no circle, dot, triangle, etc. I bought this cue ball along with the set of Vitallites I showed earlier. Although it had no markings, this was considered a very good cue ball by Ralph Meinelly, the owner of the only billiard supply store in Syracuse at the time. Notice the slightly darker color? I suspect it might have a bit more bakelite in it than usual.



Third. Speaking of bakelite, this one is supposedly pure bakelite, according to Ralph, so I had to buy it. These cue balls go back to the days of complete ivory ball sets, when a bakelite ball was used for the opening break, as ivory was prone to crack with a hard hit. It's an interesting cue ball, very dark, and you can put a lot of spin on it. Babe Cranfield tried some trick shots with it, and confirmed the spin factor. Where was it made? I suspect the Albany company, but who knows. Ralph had a few in his store, and said they had been sitting around a long time. Ralph was at least in his late 70s at that time, so it could from the 60s, 50s, I couldn't say.



Rubick's and K2, I think you'll get a kick out of these.



All the best,

WW



Bravo, WW, for sharing a few stories of your cue ball collection in the thread - quite a fascinating history you have with certain balls, I must say. You have hit upon the one trait that makes preserving and collecting so enjoyable --- having a personal connection that transports you to a special place in time with a very special person or event or experience. Priceless really :)

I particularly like the balls and their associated ball boxes that the Albany Ball Company produced - simple and remarkably high quality for the manufacturing they had available back then. They seem to polish up beautifully and roll and play as true as any made today, no matter what generation Albany offered their balls in.

Your posts have me delving into some more details and differences between the various materials and names as they changed over the millennia. From Bonzoline to Ivorylene, Crystalate to the Super Crystalate, Vitalite, Bakelite etc.

Sir --- you have succeeded in sparking a deeper appreciation for history in one post :)

BRAVO again, WW!!
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
It seems as though many contributors to this thread are keen to actually play with the treasured pool balls in their collections, a very sensible policy of course and one which I wholeheartedly applaud. I wonder if there are any other weird folks like me, however, who prefer to store them (unused) on display?

I know it's a ridiculous hobby for an adult, but I've got the collecting bug and almost have a seizure if one gets dropped or scratched! :D
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
Gold Member
Silver Member
It seems as though many contributors to this thread are keen to actually play with the treasured pool balls in their collections, a very sensible policy of course and one which I wholeheartedly applaud. I wonder if there are any other weird folks like me, however, who prefer to store them (unused) on display?

I know it's a ridiculous hobby for an adult, but I've got the collecting bug and almost have a seizure if one gets dropped or scratched! :D

I don't play with my balls either.
Yeah I just typed that lol.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It seems as though many contributors to this thread are keen to actually play with the treasured pool balls in their collections, a very sensible policy of course and one which I wholeheartedly applaud. I wonder if there are any other weird folks like me, however, who prefer to store them (unused) on display?

I know it's a ridiculous hobby for an adult, but I've got the collecting bug and almost have a seizure if one gets dropped or scratched! :D



Many fine ball pics, contributions and write-ups in this thread, Rubik's!

Collect balls to store and display only, huh? So you're one of THOSE guys hoarding all of the unique ball sets, keeping them from us that take them out to play and share. No wonder it's getting harder to locate the cool and unusual. Time for new tactics.....

On a more serious note, can you share how you hide, I mean "store and display", your ball sets? Are they part of a small pool ball museum requiring a modest admission to pay for such stockpiling? A large private library-styled collector's room with special shelving and lighting perhaps, background muzak and tea? In a pool/billiard room to keep playing guests inquiring as to what this and that ball set represents and why in the world they aren't allowed to come out and play?!

Oh the cruelty.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
While trying to leave a few of my ball sets alone and unplayed like Rubik's claims that he does, I laid eyes on these that haven't been out for a run around the rails lately, and was once again delighted and surprised how bold and fresh the game seemed "with something new". Just a few games of reds vs blacks and the Austin Powers golden 8 ball.

Playing the solid colored Casino ball sets, they always appear to effortlessly glide without rolling. They are indeed a favorite.

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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Many fine ball pics, contributions and write-ups in this thread, Rubik's!

Collect balls to store and display only, huh? So you're one of THOSE guys hoarding all of the unique ball sets, keeping them from us that take them out to play and share. No wonder it's getting harder to locate the cool and unusual. Time for new tactics.....

On a more serious note, can you share how you hide, I mean "store and display", your ball sets? Are they part of a small pool ball museum requiring a modest admission to pay for such stockpiling? A large private library-styled collector's room with special shelving and lighting perhaps, background muzak and tea? In a pool/billiard room to keep playing guests inquiring as to what this and that ball set represents and why in the world they aren't allowed to come out and play?!

Oh the cruelty.

Very sadly, K2K, when you wrote "hide" it was actually nearer the mark than I would care to dwell upon. Oh, how I would wish to display my growing collection in bespoke mahogany cabinets, softly lighted along the panelled walls of a beautifully appointed billiard room within my Georgian mansion in the country. Perhaps a tasteful portrait or two of players from a bygone era?

The truth is, alas, my tiny apartment is barely large enough to accommodate a coffee table nevermind a pool table, so the balls are confined to an attic trunk until, one box at a time, they are occasionally released whenever I feel the need to bore visiting friends or distant acquaintances who just happen to be passing.

One can always dream.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
What would be a good pub name to attract pool players, I wonder?

The Tip and Ferrule? The Torn Cloth? Tight Against The Cushion might be a good one bearing in mind 'tight' is a euphemism for drunkenness in England. :)
 
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