The Legendary Pearl to Take On 14.1 Attempts

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Another one of his sacrificial lambs. I'm a member of that club too. I was never so nervous as the day I played Willie. I literally could not feel the cue in my hands and actually whiffed a ball I was aiming at early in the "match." He had mercy on me and ran 131 and out to put me out of my misery. Someone gave me a photo of Willie and I shaking hands before we started and I treasured that photo for years before losing it during one of my many moves. C'est la vie.
I was 17 at the time and driving to the room I was fine.
Then I walked in and there was a large crowd and then there was Willie a God of pool to a 17 year old.
He had silver hair perfectly combed,a fresh shave and a nice suit and tie and that's when the nerves kick in.
 

briankenobi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's my understanding from what I've read, that Willie didn't really enjoy playing pool in his later years and only did it for the paycheck, if that's true, then he probably was a jerk when not playing?
This is exactly what I heard as well. Dr Cue met Mosconi's son at one of Tom's shows and Mosconi's son verified that to Tom, who told me when we were talking about Mosconi.
 

fjk

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Eric, Earl has committed to playing Dec 28-Jan 2, perhaps starting around 3pm each day -- how long he plays each day is up to him so predicting how many attempts he'll make is not knowable.

And of course, it's Earl, so there's that.

Lou Figueroa
Starting work "around" three hours past the crack of noon ("perhaps") with no commitment to how long he stays. Great work if you can get it I guess.

I'm younger than Early and my best time for playing pool is in the morning (old eyes tire fast). For his best performance, he should spend a few weeks getting his sleep patterns straightened out and then start those high runs well-rested and with fresh eyes. The older we get, the more important these things become.
 
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Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
Starting work "around" three hours past the crack of noon ("perhaps") with no commitment to how long he stays. Great work if you can get it I guess.

I'm younger than Early and my best time for playing pool is in the morning (old eyes tire fast). For his best performance, he should spend a few weeks getting his sleep patterns straightened out and then start those high runs well-rested and with fresh eyes. The older we get, the more important these things become.
As far as we know 3 pm might be the "morning" for Earl where it is the start of the day and he is well rested with fresh eyes. Wouldn't be the least unusual for a pool player.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Starting work "around" three hours past the crack of noon ("perhaps") with no commitment to how long he stays. Great work if you can get it I guess.

I'm younger than Early and my best time for playing pool is in the morning (old eyes tire fast). For his best performance, he should spend a few weeks getting his sleep patterns straightened out and then start those high runs well-rested and with fresh eyes. The older we get, the more important these things become.

As I understand it, those are the days and times Earl chose — I’m thinking he knows what he’s doing to give this his best effort.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
On the subject of Mosconi being a jerk, he was probably no more a jerk than any other athlete who sat at the pinnacle of his sport.

The four times I saw him he was always a perfect gentleman. But I have heard many stories that he could get prickly if he felt the venue and/or audience did not do him and the game due credit. I think one has to remember that he was a product of a different era. He came up through the Great Depression and played pool to put food on the table and later make a good life for his wife and kids. Those circumstances meant he was always out for blood and in fact there are accounts that he would chew his tongue until it bled when he was confined to the chair while his opponent shot.

Also consider that his paradigm for the game was pool played in grand ballrooms, players in tuxedoes, the audience in coats and ties and at rapt attention, and the results of his matches front page news across the country. He crisscrossed the country for numerous years never knowing what conditions he would encounter yet knowing he’d have to walk in and satisfied an audience attending his exhibition with the expectation they would see a 100 ball run executed by the greatest straight pool player who ever lived.

Was Mosconi a prima donna? Sure. Did he deserve to be? You bet.

Lou Figueroa
 
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jaywheel

Registered
I disagree with that last part. Being really good, even the best at something, doesn't give you the right to be a jerk, may you be Michael Jordan, Messi or Tiger Woods.

To paraphrase Gene Simmons talking about bands not playing their most popular song in concert or turning their back to their audience while playing: Oh so you're an artist? Paint my house bitch.
 

DeeDeeCues

Well-known member
On the subject of Mosconi being a jerk, he was probably no more a jerk than any other athlete who sat at the pinnacle of his sport.

The four times I saw him he was always a perfect gentleman. But I have heard many stories that he could get prickly if he felt the venue and/or audience did not do him and the game due credit. I think one has to remember that he was a product of a different era. He came up through the Great Depression and played pool to put food on the table and later make a good life for his wife and kids. Those circumstances meant he was always out for blood and in fact there are accounts that he would chew his tongue until it bled when he was confined to the chair while his opponent shot.

Also consider that his paradigm for the game was pool played in grand ballrooms, players in tuxedoes, the audience in coats and ties and at rapt attention, and the results of his matches front page news across the country. He crisscrossed the country for numerous years never knowing what conditions he would encounter yet knowing he’d have to walk in and satisfied an audience attending his exhibition with the expectation they would see a 100 ball run executed by the greatest straight pool player who ever lived.

Was Mosconi a prima donna? Sure. Did he deserve to be? You bet.

Lou Figueroa

I highly doubt Willie's match results were often front page news outside of local rags. Also, tuxedos were never the normal attire.

You lose credibility when you exaggerate everything.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I disagree with that last part. Being really good, even the best at something, doesn't give you the right to be a jerk, may you be Michael Jordan, Messi or Tiger Woods.

To paraphrase Gene Simmons talking about bands not playing their most popular song in concert or turning their back to their audience while playing: Oh so you're an artist? Paint my house bitch.

I heard his attitude wasn't from being a prima donna as it was - he simply didn't like shooting pool to make money. He always wanted to be a dancer, as did his father, but clearly that didn't happen.

Not saying he wasn't a prima donna, I just heard the attitude was there for other reasons but, I only know what I can read in books.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I disagree with that last part. Being really good, even the best at something, doesn't give you the right to be a jerk, may you be Michael Jordan, Messi or Tiger Woods.

To paraphrase Gene Simmons talking about bands not playing their most popular song in concert or turning their back to their audience while playing: Oh so you're an artist? Paint my house bitch.

I don't believe I or anyone else said being the best gave you the right to be a jerk.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I highly doubt Willie's match results were often front page news outside of local rags. Also, tuxedos were never the normal attire.

You lose credibility when you exaggerate everything.

I suppose my mistake was thinking that those interested in the subject would know something about the history of the game --- my bad.

So, on the subject of tuxes, yes, they were the standard attire for pool players back in the day for national championships.

On the issue of front page coverage, at the time I was speaking of, national championships were usually held in a major city on the East Coast. The tournaments were front page news in the NYTimes, Boston Globe, or Philadelphia Inquirer. However, sometimes the championships would be played in blocks with portions of the match played across the country in cities like NY, Philly, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, and San Francisco. And when that would happen it was front page news on the newspapers of those cities. Hence my comment about his match results being news across the country.

Oh, and here's a bit of additional history you're probably unaware of: Ralph Greenleaf was a vaudeville star who played that circuit doing a trick shot show with a mirror hung over the table so the audience could see the shots:


Please note the passage about newspaper headline coverage, even about their vacation.

Lou Figueroa
 

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lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I heard his attitude wasn't from being a prima donna as it was - he simply didn't like shooting pool to make money. He always wanted to be a dancer, as did his father, but clearly that didn't happen.

Not saying he wasn't a prima donna, I just heard the attitude was there for other reasons but, I only know what I can read in books.

I'm not so sure he wanted to be a dancer.

Yes, he was part of a dancing team early in life but I didn't recall ever reading that that was what he really wanted to do in life. What I have read is that playing pool came so easily and naturally to him that he was somewhat bored with the game. But as I've previously said the game provided him a lucrative income. I think I once read that Mosconi said words to the effect: a monkey could play this game.

But in addition I don't think he cared for how the game went from 14.1 to 9ball.

Lou Figueroa
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not so sure he wanted to be a dancer.

Yes, he was part of a dancing team early in life but I didn't recall ever reading that that was what he really wanted to do in life. What I have read is that playing pool came so easily and naturally to him that he was somewhat bored with the game. But as I've previously said the game provided him a lucrative income. I think I once read that Mosconi said words to the effect: a monkey could play this game.

But in addition I don't think he cared for how the game went from 14.1 to 9ball.

Lou Figueroa

Do you know if it was his father that wanted him to be a dancer? I read it somewhere, I'll poke through the last couple of books I read about pool and see if I can find it.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Do you know if it was his father that wanted him to be a dancer? I read it somewhere, I'll poke through the last couple of books I read about pool and see if I can find it.

I think it was his father's efforts to keep him out of the pool hall -- and to have him join a family Vaudeville troupe, the Dancing Mosconi's.

Except it turned out that the rehearsal studio had a pool table in the back. The rest is history.

Lou Figueroa
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it was his father's efforts to keep him out of the pool hall -- and to have him join a family Vaudeville troupe, the Dancing Mosconi's.

Except it turned out that the rehearsal studio had a pool table in the back. The rest is history.

Lou Figueroa

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Have a Merry Christmas ;)
 
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