Willie Mosconi: The Basement Tapes

RabbiHippie

"Look! A real hippie!"
Silver Member
Willie Mosconi: The Basement Tapes

Looks like this has been shared here before, but it's been a few years. I just found the video on YouTube and thought others would like to see it, too, especially in light of John Schmidt's 626.

Credit goes to AZBilliards user dmgwalsh who was responsible for making the video available online.

Towards the end of the recording, Mosconi is asked about his famous run of 526 and says that wasn't even his personal best, but that he'd run 609 on another occasion. He mentions how others had surpassed his high run, so he seems to have known about the higher runs claimed by Michael Eufemia (626) and Arthur "Babe" Cranfield (768).

I enjoyed the "basement tapes" primarily for another chance to observe Mosconi's stroke. I wish there was more game footage from that era.
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hate to dirty this so quickly with Harriman, but that guy could learn a lot fron D. Walsh about the positive ways the game can preserved.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know this has been touched on before but Willie's advice on where to hold your cue is fine IF you're his height. Taller players will naturally grip the cue further back based on height/comfort.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know this has been touched on before but Willie's advice on where to hold your cue is fine IF you're his height. Taller players will naturally grip the cue further back based on height/comfort.

Yes, also keep in mind that the older 14.1 players who were very good did not have to move the cue ball more than 12 inches or so throughout an entire match. The longer strokes that, for instance, Philippine rotation players developed were really not necessary for 14.1 and were thought to be too much "extra" movement by the older straight pool masters. ALL of them taught a short stroke on the take back of the cue and a short bridge distance from cue tip to bridge hand. Their grip hand was usually held much further forward in the wrap area than we see today by the best players. Mosconi and Bustamante would be examples of great players with opposing stroke delivery - but they both work just fine! Of course the key is to develop a cue address routine to the cue ball that allows you to stay 'ON target" through the stroke delivery until its natural completion- and to do that over and over again most consistently. We see unlimited variables in grips, bridges, and length of stroke- but keeping your stroke "on target" consistently is the key. That's where the mind trumps the mechanics- happens in many sports right? So we always hear great players say the game is 90% mental, or it is "mostly between the ears" - among greats, it is who can sustain that focus to execute most consistently for the longest time period- given a command of their OWN individually chosen mechanics,
 
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mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
He had his Balabushka for this event, and his follow through the stack on full rack break shots is always a joy to watch- his cue ball just cuts right through the stack like a knife through butter! I can't get that action no matter how much I try to follow! Anybody have a Bushka for sale? LOL!
 

2/5MR2

amateur
Towards the end of the recording, Mosconi is asked about his famous run of 526 and says that wasn't even his personal best, but that he'd run 609 on another
Any idea where would that 609 have happened? Anyone aware of an approximate date for this?
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
He had his Balabushka for this event, and his follow through the stack on full rack break shots is always a joy to watch- his cue ball just cuts right through the stack like a knife through butter! I can't get that action no matter how much I try to follow! Anybody have a Bushka for sale? LOL!
Actually, Willie was using his Rambow for that event, not the Balabushka. Maybe a bit hard to see, but look for shorter ferrules, brass joint with thinner joint rings, and no nickel rings inside the rings. Also look for the shots that show a shorter buttplate used by Rambow, than the standard one and a half inch delrin used by Balabushka. I suspect the material used by Rambow was ivory, but he occasionally used a synthetic as well. Also no rubber bumper on the Rambow, as opposed to the Bushka, which had the standard KU bumper used by George.

Willie used the Balabushka when he played in the senior tournaments in Atlantic City in 1982 and 1983. He also used it in an exhibition when he partnered with Mizerak, Hopkins, and Fats in the early 80s, about the same time period. As far as I know, that's the last that Balabushka was seen, as he also used the Rambow later when he played Jimmy Caras in an exhibition match in Horsham, PA, as well as this basement event. Willie called the Rambow his favorite cue. I think the Bushka would have been my favorite, but those were Willie's words.

All the best,
WW
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Actually, Willie was using his Rambow for that event, not the Balabushka. Maybe a bit hard to see, but look for shorter ferrules, brass joint with thinner joint rings, and no nickel rings inside the rings. Also look for the shots that show a shorter buttplate used by Rambow, than the standard one and a half inch delrin used by Balabushka. I suspect the material used by Rambow was ivory, but he occasionally used a synthetic as well. Also no rubber bumper on the Rambow, as opposed to the Bushka, which had the standard KU bumper used by George.

Willie used the Balabushka when he played in the senior tournaments in Atlantic City in 1982 and 1983. He also used it in an exhibition when he partnered with Mizerak, Hopkins, and Fats in the early 80s, about the same time period. As far as I know, that's the last that Balabushka was seen, as he also used the Rambow later when he played Jimmy Caras in an exhibition match in Horsham, PA, as well as this basement event. Willie called the Rambow his favorite cue. I think the Bushka would have been my favorite, but those were Willie's words.

All the best,
WW
Yes, I see that now, the inlays on the bottom of the cue threw me off- but it is the Rambow
 
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