Pool ball collecting.

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
First impressions.

Most are fleeting. Many will linger. Very few are ingrained.

On a recent whim, I tried something to test impressions. And what triggers them.

I uncased the following ball set from my Brewery & Spirits section and placed them on the pool table in front of 4 other fellows before starting play for a few hours:

7041fbcf8a8c40f6f6a69ad6cf327f8d.jpg


They walked closer, and I asked: “So tell me, boys, what comes to mind when you see this ball set?”

The answers in no particular order...
* beer
* pool
* some TV commercials way back when - which immediately followed with...
* Steve Mizerak!

Ah ha.

I followed that exclamation by asking the gents to tell me what they remember or know about The Miz. Remarkably, they ALL recalled with fanatical detail where they were, what they were doing and whom they were with when they saw the TV commercial that made Steve Mizerak famous - along with the obligatory “how much better” they all played pool back then as well. Uh huh. Didn’t we all.

On the surface, things typically look one way - but delve a little deeper and the cool and fascinating details begin to emerge.

The details making impressions.

In 1975, Miller Lite changed the way the world thought about beer. And who better to showcase such bravado than one of the most incredible pool players to grace our presence in that era - to be seen in pool-playing bars around the world - but Steve Mizerak - The man from NJ that started shooting pool at 4 years old who grew up and eventually taught school to make a living - and who was also a world champion that very few knew about. The Miz would quite literally become a household name in a mere 29 seconds “just showing off”.

I rattled off a few tidbits about the great Steve Mizerak to do a bit of showing off of my own while I had the floor for a minute or two:

* started playing exhibitions at 6
* he could run 50 balls at age 11 and over 100 by 13
* he turned pro at 13. Yes, you read that right - 13
* his 30+ major tournament victories spanned nearly 30 years
* he won the U.S. OPEN 14.1 Pocket Billiards Championship an unprecedented 4 years straight starting at age 26, besting a few guys in the finals you may have heard about: Lassiter, Balsis and DeLiberto
* he was the youngest person ever inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1980
* he was inducted into the 14.1 Hall Of Fame in 2017
* he said they shot that one scene 191 times because the damn thing was always out of focus or someone sneezed. A door slammed. A light flickered. Always something - taking nearly 9 hours to film it. The best part: he says he never missed the shot.
* overall, revered by all peers as a pure class act and gentleman. A role model if there ever was one.

The pool room stayed mouse-quiet for what seemed like minutes. My four pals were in awe I think of what they didn’t know about Steve Mizerak just moments earlier. I’ve been in awe of the man for decades since meeting him in person back in Las Vegas as a youngster in my early 20’s. Those memories even spawned the idea to have his 11 or so books in a special Mizerak section in my library. Take one home if you like for a fun read. And a few lessons.

Most guys don’t notice the Mizerak books amongst the 450+ selections in my cue sports library or remember the commercials or his VHS tapes - but one thing I do know that they’ll never forget is this Miller Lite ball set and the games we played that day. New memories forged to go with those early first impressions.

2f23efe62edc5992051ba2966a969b55.jpg


For fun, do some quick www searching for things on The Miz and see if he won’t inspire you just a little bit.



~ K.

Excellent write up and interesting tidbits about The Miz. Interesting personal fact; he and I share the same birthplace: Perth Amboy, NJ.
 

bfriesth

Bolder
Silver Member
New Member

Not sure what happened exactly but my friend obtained a set of Amarith Tournament balls in December and something clicked. I have enjoyed the four sets I have at home but never thought about collecting until I saw those Tournaments. Now apparently I'm obsessed. I started searching online and of course this AZ Forum kept popping up in my search results. It has taken me a few days but have read the entire three years of this string. I now know more about pool balls and collecting than I ever thought I would. I am very interested in working on my collection and have appreciated all of the information found in this forum. In my short collecting career I have obtained a set of Burt Double Stripe clay, Hyatt Romanique II, Vigma Stars and Stripes, Aramith Tournament, Crown Games Poker, Brunswick Clay and Brunswick Centennial. I love these sets and am enjoying the search. My wife thinks I'm crazy.

Thanks to all the contributors in this Forum.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Not sure what happened exactly but my friend obtained a set of Amarith Tournament balls in December and something clicked. I have enjoyed the four sets I have at home but never thought about collecting until I saw those Tournaments. Now apparently I'm obsessed. I started searching online and of course this AZ Forum kept popping up in my search results. It has taken me a few days but have read the entire three years of this string. I now know more about pool balls and collecting than I ever thought I would. I am very interested in working on my collection and have appreciated all of the information found in this forum. In my short collecting career I have obtained a set of Burt Double Stripe clay, Hyatt Romanique II, Vigma Stars and Stripes, Aramith Tournament, Crown Games Poker, Brunswick Clay and Brunswick Centennial. I love these sets and am eMy wife thinks I'm crazy.



Thanks to all the contributors in this Forum.




Welcome to the forum and our crazy little world of billiard ball collectors and fans of the PBC, Mr. bfriesth!

That’s an impressive collection you’ve got started there, sir. The rare Burts. The magical Romanique IIs. The playful Pokers. And of course the beloved Brunswicks! Perhaps when you get the chance, we’d love to see a pic or two posted up here - I know I would.

Thanks for sharing your story - and your great collection. Anything I can do to help further your crazy, please don’t hesitate to fire off a personal message (PM) or an email anytime. I can also be reached at toKerry@aol.com

“apparently obsessed”

I’m still chuckling about that.



~ K.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
I love this thread just as much as I love looking
through the cue and case gallery or the
for sale section. So many cool sets.
Thank you


Thank you for those kind words, Mr C. :)

It is very rewarding indeed to hear that you love the thread. It gives us all the motivation we need to keep on collecting!

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Not sure what happened exactly but my friend obtained a set of Amarith Tournament balls in December and something clicked. I have enjoyed the four sets I have at home but never thought about collecting until I saw those Tournaments. Now apparently I'm obsessed. I started searching online and of course this AZ Forum kept popping up in my search results. It has taken me a few days but have read the entire three years of this string. I now know more about pool balls and collecting than I ever thought I would. I am very interested in working on my collection and have appreciated all of the information found in this forum. In my short collecting career I have obtained a set of Burt Double Stripe clay, Hyatt Romanique II, Vigma Stars and Stripes, Aramith Tournament, Crown Games Poker, Brunswick Clay and Brunswick Centennial. I love these sets and am enjoying the search. My wife thinks I'm crazy.

Thanks to all the contributors in this Forum.


Welcome to the forum, Mr B. :)

That is already a very impressive collection, sir. I share K2K’s sentiments in that I would love to see some photographs whenever you get an opportunity to share a few images.

Also, if you (or anyone else) ever want to reach out to me directly, please feel free to send a private message on AZB or use my personal email of ruperman@ruperman.com

Best wishes,
RC.
 

jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Novelty Ball Quality?

Are these any good? They are Boston Bruins balls, other teams available, list for about $225, street price $172.

Does anyone know who makes them, and if they are any good, will hold up, retain their gloss, etc.? Reasonable weight variation?

71ATL8cPojL._SL1500_.jpg
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Hello, Mr J. :)

I haven’t had the pleasure of adding any of the sport themed billiard balls to my collection... yet.

As I’m sure you are already aware, sir, the original NFL sets were cast by the mighty Aramith of Belgium and are therefore of a superb quality. Those NHL balls of your image do look to be of a very similar style, dear chap, but they’re not listed on the Saluc (Aramith) website so it might be prudent to assume they could originate from one of the many Chinese manufacturers?

Sorry I couldn’t answer your question, sir. Hopefully somebody else will chime in with more detailed information.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Are these any good? They are Boston Bruins balls, other teams available, list for about $225, street price $172.



Does anyone know who makes them, and if they are any good, will hold up, retain their gloss, etc.? Reasonable weight variation?



71ATL8cPojL._SL1500_.jpg



Hello, jviss-

The licensed sport balls are made by Imperial. NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB and so on.

Are they any good? Well - of course they are

Don’t compare the finish and polish to a $450 set of Aramith Tournaments or those $500+ Centennials of course, but every other detail about the sport themed sets are worth every penny, sir.

The weights are spot-on. They play well and will stay near-perfect will diligent care and attention to cleaning techniques since they don’t employ the expensive Duramith finish like I mentioned with the Aramith sets.

I would consider having your favorite sport team balls (and their best rival) amongst your top 10 desirables. There’s something special about playing the myriad games with friends and foes using team balls.

0c71d377ace6df63fb28d7ce9ea25b8c.jpg



~ K.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you, K2 and RC, for the nice replies.

I confess, I'd love to have a set that were Bruins at home (solids) and Montreal Canadiens away (stripes). The only was I can imagine doing this is to buy two sets. Perhaps there's someone out there who would like the complementary set? :)
 

bfriesth

Bolder
Silver Member
Thanks for the warm welcome. I am working on my ability to take quality photos but here is a couple. The Burt Double Stripe photo is from the seller. Others are my attempt.

Burt Double Stripe Clay.

BurtDSSet.jpg

Hyatt Romanique II

Romanique II One.jpg

Romanique II Eleven Ball close up normal side
Romanique II Eleven Ball Close Up 2.jpg

Romanique II Eleven Ball deformed.
Romanique II Eleven Ball Close Up.jpg




Would you give me an opinion on the Romanique II Eleven Ball. The entire set is slightly yellowed as expected but one half of the Eleven ball is actually brown. Does not seem to be on the surface but maybe a manufacturer defect? Have you ever seen this before?

I now have your collection list printed on my desk and Rubik's Cube's list of sets included in this Forum as a resource for my wish list for my collection. Thanks you very much.
 

Meucciplayer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a few single balls someone gave me a while ago which featured similar yellowing. My guess was that they have been openly lying around for years - either getting sunlight on one side or nicotine. In my case a careful application of Aramith Restorer and then the regular Aramith Cleaner got them to near white again.

I still love to lurk in this great thread. Also, it's got to be the most peaceful long thread on AZB ever. Good job and a special thanks to the two major contributors - Rubik's and K2Kraze.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Hello again, Mr B. :)

Thank you for sharing the photographs, sir. It is always very much appreciated.

I have noticed that particular kind of yellowing and dark brown stains quite regularly on vintage balls from the 1970s. Formaldehyde was used in the compound back in those days. My guess is that it reacts with the phenolic (or other) resins over time to cause the effect seen on your Romanique 11. Some could also be surface dirt, of course, dear chap. Check out Mr K’s advice on polishing and cleaning earlier in the thread. The gentleman is a modern day Merlin when it comes to restoring billiard balls.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Good morning, Mr M. :)

Many thanks for those kind words, sir. Hearing that folks enjoy the thread is the best motivation ever to keep it going.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
.....Would you give me an opinion on the Romanique II Eleven Ball. The entire set is slightly yellowed as expected but one half of the Eleven ball is actually brown. Does not seem to be on the surface but maybe a manufacturer defect? Have you ever seen this before?.....



Hello again, bfriesth!

That is a magnificent set of the Burt Doubles, sir - bright colors and looking fantastic for their age with nary a damaged area seen anywhere - great find!

I also noticed the fine condition of the original Hyatt Romanique II box that often shows worse-for-wear signs of abuse .....and perfectly poised to showcase the racked ball treasures that have been on my Top 10 list from the very first day I saw them in a vintage add decades ago! Of ALL the ball sets, I’ll wager a Kings ransom that the Roman IIs will be picked as a glowing favorite by every guest that sees them - because they (always) are at my home

As our very own and very kind Rubik’s Cube and fellow Meucciplayer mentioned almost immediately, it’s the Hyatt compounds incorporating formaldehyde that over time (may/usually) cause the smoky stain look...

There is one quick “trick” I’ll share regarding a restoring technique I’ve used with much success on balls like these - a rare time when I’ll use an automotive “quick detailer” in conjunction with the green-label Aramith Billiard Ball Restorer. Allow me to explain briefly, though, so as to minimize any damage by using the gritty restoring compound:

dd69e87ad010d3715036495f5513477a.jpg


Take a “quick detailer” product and spray it liberally on a microfiber towel as well as the ball itself. FIRST. That’s the important part. THEN take the tiniest fingertip amount of the Restorer and massage it into the microfiber towel in a quarter-size area which you will then gently massage in a circular motion into the surface of the damaged/stained area of that 11 ball. Gently. Like it’s a priceless heirloom

After you’ve done that for the briefest of time, ADD a liberal amount of the blue-label Aramith Billiard Ball Cleaner compound to the microfiber towel and spray the ball once again with a quick detailer - followed by once again massaging the entire 11 ball to work out any and all surface whatnots. Follow with a dry and perfectly clean microfiber towel and buff to a perfect finish.

That may work with any luck and few tricks Please take good pics of your before and after for your own enjoyment and marvel in your handiwork. The secret this time lies in the use of the quick detailer to keep the Restorer product from abrading too much on the ball yet enough to work on the issues at hand. NEVER use the Restorer without it first.

Hope that helps!

Thank you as well, gentlemen, for the kindest of comments - RC and I think sharing and helping with fellow phenolic fanatics ranks way above actually owning the treasures which is how this all started.



~ K.
 

bfriesth

Bolder
Silver Member
Eight Ball Delux

Thanks for all the tips and tricks on restoration. I will give that a try.

I do not collect pinball machines but this one has been beside by pool table in the basement for 25 years.
Eight Ball Deluxe.jpg

This set of Stars and Stripes was a recent gift from a friend.
Stars and Stripes.jpg
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
What great contributions to the PBC thread, bfriesth!

One of the greatest Bally machines given to us in the early 80’s and probably played by every forum member at one point in their lives. I know I practically wore the one out in Elmer’s Pool Hall where I grew up playing. Eight Ball Deluxe. I love it! It looks to be in great condition, sir.

The Stars & Stripes ball set is also one of my favorites - I always put those into play approaching July. I have another variation of the S&S set and everyone comments on how great they look rolling toward pockets at slow speed. What is unique about yours is the use of red stripes and all blue backgrounds in the stars vs the ones I have. I think I like yours better

For easy comparison to all PBC thread fans, here is the other variation I have and posted earlier:

d3c13f04f626f704c9a3aee5f5ed9cd3.jpg


And looking at that photo, I realize it’s time to re-shoot those since they’re deserving of more flattering light

Thanks for sharing, sir!

~ K.
 
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bfriesth

Bolder
Silver Member
Amarith Crown Standard

Although my parents made a modest living when I was growing up, my Dad bought us an 8" table when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I think he bought it at Sears and I may be wrong but I think the playing surface was felt covered plywood. We put it in the unfinished basement with stacked stone walls, concrete floors and no windows. The set of balls that came with the table were some sort of cheap plastic and would break when they jumped off the table. It is my recollection that my Dad replaced that set with the least expensive Amarith set, the Crown Standard.

Could any of you confirm that the Crown Standard was sold in the late '60s early '70s. If so, I'd like to obtain a set of Amarith Crown Standards that may have been from that era (even though I know I can buy them new). I can see them on e-bay but don't know how to tell the age. My 91 year old Father is visiting in two weeks and I am on a mission to find this set in that short period of time.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hello, bfriesth - I think you’re in luck.

From an information standpoint that is since I do not have a perfect sample ball set to offer you, sir.

The set I think you’re referring to was called the Gold Crown ball set that was introduced in 1969 and made through 1982 - and - they look identical to the modern day Aramith version called the Crown Standard set (which in my opinion is one of the BEST valued playing balls today for under $300). Crazy thing about this whole thing - those are the first good pool balls I was allowed to play with as a kid growing up!

They were touted as “superior cast phenolic billiard balls, precision made to Brunswick’s exacting specifications. Crack and chip resistant with permanent colors. 2 1/4” regulation pocket billiard size.”

MSRP was a whopping $40 in the 1969-1970 catalog.

Here is the modern era version while I go roundup a pic of the 1969 model...

420ec8bf168c933260f6a5e569d5f7ce.jpg


Back soon.

~ K
 
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K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Ok

I’m back.

Here’s what I found in a catalog:

e4fb78c0eadd4037904d38f48084b604.jpg


Does that set look like it could be the very one you were referring to and ring a bell, sir?



~ K.
 
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