Best African-American one-pocket player outside of Bugs

BackPocket9Ball

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Realizing that the HOF is to some extent a popularity contest, who do some of the old-timers (no offense intended :) ) on this site think was the best one pocket player outside of Bugs? Only two of these players I list below are in the HOF, but I've heard some of the others could play as good or even better. Thoughts? Also, I'm from the east coast, so I'm a little partial; I don't necessarily know all of the players.

-Cecil Tugwell
-Marvin Henderson
-Strawberry Brooks
-Cannonball Chapman
-Billy Palmer
-Busdriver Ronnie
-Henry Patch Eye Basheer
-Country
-Nate (don’t know his last name, but heard he was better than many of the players above; old-timers in DC say he was better than Strawberry)
-anyone else I'm leaving out?
 

JAM

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I know Nate and Jake. :D

I don't know if I'd consider them the best, but they might have had the best when it came to gamble.

Out of the names you have listed, my vote would go for Cecil Tugwell.

Edgar White aka "Shake and Bake" was a strong player. I don't know if he played one-hole, but others on this forum more knowledgeable in this era of pool would know for sure.

I found the article I was looking for about Edgar White a/k/a "Shake and Bake," which appeared in the January 1981 edition of The National Billiard News. Here's some interesting tidbits from the article:

"Shake and Bake" proved to be no chicken when it came to 9-ball. Wearing a short-sleeved blue knit shirt with dark blue letters spelling out the phrase "Shake 'n Bake" emblazoned above the pocket, Edgar White of Detroit walked away with the biggest prize in the second annual World 9-ball Pro-Am last week.

The affable White, sporting a goatee and a smile seemingly as wide as the expanse of the Grand Canyon, defeated "Little Al" Romero of Torrance, California, for $15,500...held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

"A friend of mine, he's deceased now, gave me that nickname about 15 years ago, and it stuck...I was in Arlington, Virginia, in a money game, and I couldn't make a ball. My friend jumped up and yelled out, 'C'mon, shake and bake.' It got me back in stroke, and I ended up winning."

He was machine-like in his precision as he roared back from a 3-0 first set deficit to defeat Romero. White was eight balls from losing the first set, and then performed a complete reversal to capture eight succsesive games and the championship. "I played very, very steady. I played the best I've ever played," White said candidly following the match. "Every time I needed to get out, I got out. Do you know that Al was a 5-1 favorite?," White asked, referring to the betting odds prior to the start of the finals.

There are times in any sporting event that it seems one player has an aura around him that identifies him early on as a winner. Edgar became the audience favorite as he very deftly carved his way through a tournament which saw the likes of players Louis Roberts, Richie Ambrose, Mike Massey, Ed Kelly, Al Romero, Lou Butera, Ronnie Allen, Larry Hubbart, Jim Rempe, Dan Louie, Jimmy Reid, and Mike Sigel. With an infecuous smile and an adominatable spirit, Edgar seemed to be walking two feet off the floor through the three-day event which began on December 1, 1980.


Shake and Bake made the front cover of The National Billiard News, as depicted below. :cool:
 

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JAM

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Other African American great players: Cliff Joyner, Cicero Murphy, Willie Munson, James Evans, Mark Tadd, Brady from North Carolina, John Binion, Joey Barnes, Ike Runnels, Lotsappa, Iceman, Rags Woods, Texas Shorty, Rushout Red, John Chapman (Detroit Slim), et cetera. Don't know how many of these cats played one-pocket.

Of course, pool was segregated for a long time, as was all of the United States, as depicted in this 1939 Tennessee pool room photo.
 

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wincardona

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I know Nate and Jake. :D

I don't know if I'd consider them the best, but they might have had the best when it came to gamble.

Out of the names you have listed, my vote would go for Cecil Tugwell.

Edgar White aka "Shake and Bake" was a strong player. I don't know if he played one-hole, but others on this forum more knowledgeable in this era of pool would know for sure.

I found the article I was looking for about Edgar White a/k/a "Shake and Bake," which appeared in the January 1981 edition of The National Billiard News. Here's some interesting tidbits from the article:

"Shake and Bake" proved to be no chicken when it came to 9-ball. Wearing a short-sleeved blue knit shirt with dark blue letters spelling out the phrase "Shake 'n Bake" emblazoned above the pocket, Edgar White of Detroit walked away with the biggest prize in the second annual World 9-ball Pro-Am last week.

The affable White, sporting a goatee and a smile seemingly as wide as the expanse of the Grand Canyon, defeated "Little Al" Romero of Torrance, California, for $15,500...held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

"A friend of mine, he's deceased now, gave me that nickname about 15 years ago, and it stuck...I was in Arlington, Virginia, in a money game, and I couldn't make a ball. My friend jumped up and yelled out, 'C'mon, shake and bake.' It got me back in stroke, and I ended up winning."

He was machine-like in his precision as he roared back from a 3-0 first set deficit to defeat Romero. White was eight balls from losing the first set, and then performed a complete reversal to capture eight succsesive games and the championship. "I played very, very steady. I played the best I've ever played," White said candidly following the match. "Every time I needed to get out, I got out. Do you know that Al was a 5-1 favorite?," White asked, referring to the betting odds prior to the start of the finals.

There are times in any sporting event that it seems one player has an aura around him that identifies him early on as a winner. Edgar became the audience favorite as he very deftly carved his way through a tournament which saw the likes of players Louis Roberts, Richie Ambrose, Mike Massey, Ed Kelly, Al Romero, Lou Butera, Ronnie Allen, Larry Hubbart, Jim Rempe, Dan Louie, Jimmy Reid, and Mike Sigel. With an infecuous smile and an adominatable spirit, Edgar seemed to be walking two feet off the floor through the three-day event which began on December 1, 1980.


Shake and Bake made the front cover of The National Billiard News, as depicted below. :cool:
Jenny, Edgar didn't play one pocket his best game was playing 9ball on the bar table, and he was the 6ball under the best playing on the small table. He was also the 6ball under the best playing on a 4-1/2 x 9. Edgar was more of a celebrity player because of his personality, always smiling with that infectious smile, every one liked him but he was only a hair above a short stop player.

Cecil and Marvin along with Chapman were imo the 3 best black one pocket players with Nate closely behind. Nate played Jimmy Fusco regularly getting only 9/8 and it was a war. Matter of fact I would have to put Nate along side of both Cecil, Chapman, and Marvin.

One mans opinion.

Bill Incardona
 

JAM

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Jenny, Edgar didn't play one pocket his best game was playing 9ball on the bar table, and he was the 6ball under the best playing on the small table. He was also the 6ball under the best playing on a 4-1/2 x 9. Edgar was more of a celebrity player because of his personality, always smiling with that infectious smile, every one liked him but he was only a hair above a short stop player.

Cecil and Marvin along with Chapman were imo the 3 best black one pocket players with Nate closely behind. Nate played Jimmy Fusco regularly getting only 9/8 and it was a war. Matter of fact I would have to put Nate along side of both Cecil, Chapman, and Marvin.

One mans opinion.

Bill Incardona
Thanks, Billy, for chiming in. That's great stuff. I enjoy reading these threads. It's creating an archival history of pool, something we don't have. So keep it coming. :)

If Nate is the guy I think he is -- "Black Nate," we used to call him -- I think he has an Uncle Jake that plays strong. Gosh, maybe I have them mixed up, and it's Uncle Nate and Black Jake. Both of them have played poker at my house when I was having "regular" poker games in my basement. It's pretty sad that I can't remember. My memory is fading. :(

Tom-Tom would know, as this is his wheelhouse of the local D.C. area one-hole players.

We have a lot of local one-hole African American players that were strong. Sterling comes to mind. Can't remember his real name, but he'd bet it up high. Owned a chicken wing store on Georgia Avenue in D.C. Reggie, Buck, Strawberry, and, of course, nobody can exclude Bus Driver Ronnie. :cool:
 

fred bentivegna

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Other African American great players: Cliff Joyner, Cicero Murphy, Willie Munson, James Evans, Mark Tadd, Brady from North Carolina, John Binion, Joey Barnes, Ike Runnels, Lotsappa, Iceman, Rags Woods, Texas Shorty, Rushout Red, John Chapman (Detroit Slim), et cetera. Don't know how many of these cats played one-pocket.

Of course, pool was segregated for a long time, as was all of the United States, as depicted in this 1939 Tennessee pool room photo.
Jammy, John Chapman was definitely not Detroit Slim. John was originally from Texas, but played most of his career on the West Side of Chicago. His nickname in Chicago was "Lefty." The nickname given to him by the players in the Le Cue, was Cannonball. Detroit Slim was actually Paul Graham. I never seen him play, well before my time, but from what I heard, by those who knew and played him, was that he was probably the best Black one pocket, and possibly the best all-around Black player ever. This I got mainly from Baby Face Whitlow (also from Detroit), and a player who hung around Bensinger's, a shortstop named Marvin Goodman who told me he got beat by Slim with one of the most outrageous 1pkt spots I have ever heard of; Slim played Marvin 10 or no count on a 5 x 10!

The only game James Evans might have had an edge over Slim was straight pool.

Beard

FYI, I played and gambled with 80% of the above list. Black Nate was Nate Colbert, know him well, he and I played at Tournament billiards in Culver City, CA.
 

JAM

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Jammy, John Chapman was definitely not Detroit Slim. John was originally from Texas, but played most of his career on the West Side of Chicago. His nickname in Chicago was "Lefty." The nickname given to him by the players in the Le Cue, was Cannonball. Detroit Slim was actually Paul Graham. I never seen him play, well before my time, but from what I heard, by those who knew and played him, was that he was probably the best Black one pocket, and possibly the best all-around Black player ever. This I got mainly from Baby Face Whitlow (also from Detroit), and a player who hung around Bensinger's, a shortstop named Marvin Goodman who told me he got beat by Slim with one of the most outrageous 1pkt spots I have ever heard of; Slim played Marvin 10 or no count on a 5 x 10!

The only game James Evans might have had an edge over Slim was straight pool.

Beard

FYI, I played and gambled with 80% of the above list. Black Nate was Nate Colbert, know him well, he and I played at Tournament billiards in Culver City, CA.
Now everyone can see why you are such a valuable resource, Freddy. Thanks for the info! :)

I have a list of pool players from everywhere, all different eras, so I will correct my database, thanks to you and Billy. You two are the best! Pure gold! :cool:

We have a "Black Nate" here in our area, and he gambles high. Him and his uncle. I wish Tom-Tom would chime in to see if its the same guy. I thought they lived in Frederick, MD at one time.
 

Scrzbill

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Pool is color blind. Look who is at the top of the game now. The Chinese. It was the Americans, then the Filipinos and so on. I don't even think the discussion about the color of shin is germane to one pocket or pool. I've played Billy Palmer many times and all I see is one very tough straight shooting, good banking, knowledgable, opponent.
Why separate the races? We all bleed red.
 

BackPocket9Ball

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Now everyone can see why you are such a valuable resource, Freddy. Thanks for the info! :)

I have a list of pool players from everywhere, all different eras, so I will correct my database, thanks to you and Billy. You two are the best! Pure gold! :cool:

We have a "Black Nate" here in our area, and he gambles high. Him and his uncle. I wish Tom-Tom would chime in to see if its the same guy. I thought they lived in Frederick, MD at one time.
I matched up with Bus Driver at USA Billiards in laurel, md about 8 years ago. Bus Driver told me about Nate and then I met Nate at DCC less than a year later. Black Nate and Nate Colbert are one and the same.
 

BackPocket9Ball

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Pool is color blind. Look who is at the top of the game now. The Chinese. It was the Americans, then the Filipinos and so on. I don't even think the discussion about the color of shin is germane to one pocket or pool. I've played Billy Palmer many times and all I see is one very tough straight shooting, good banking, knowledgable, opponent.
Why separate the races? We all bleed red.
This post was not meant to be racist in any way. Asking who the best black players were is no different from asking who the best philippino player is or who the best junior player is or who the best wheelchair player is. In my opinion at least.
 

JAM

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I matched up with Bus Driver at USA Billiards in laurel, md about 8 years ago. Bus Driver told me about Nate and then I met Nate at DCC less than a year later. Black Nate and Nate Colbert are one and the same.
Ah, I feel better that my memory is still intact. :) Thanks!

Another player worthy of mention is Black Brandon. He knows how to match up and will bet it as high as anyone wants to go. ;) He's a good score if you can get him down, but if he puts you in a trap, well, you're going to lose a big chunk of cheese. :eek:

Brandon always called me "Jennie Jones" after that TV show host. LOL I have his photo, but he likes to fly under the radar, so I won't post it. It's a cute one of him and Alex Pagulayan at the DCC. :D
 

BackPocket9Ball

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Jammy, John Chapman was definitely not Detroit Slim. John was originally from Texas, but played most of his career on the West Side of Chicago. His nickname in Chicago was "Lefty." The nickname given to him by the players in the Le Cue, was Cannonball. Detroit Slim was actually Paul Graham. I never seen him play, well before my time, but from what I heard, by those who knew and played him, was that he was probably the best Black one pocket, and possibly the best all-around Black player ever. This I got mainly from Baby Face Whitlow (also from Detroit), and a player who hung around Bensinger's, a shortstop named Marvin Goodman who told me he got beat by Slim with one of the most outrageous 1pkt spots I have ever heard of; Slim played Marvin 10 or no count on a 5 x 10!

The only game James Evans might have had an edge over Slim was straight pool.

Beard

FYI, I played and gambled with 80% of the above list. Black Nate was Nate Colbert, know him well, he and I played at Tournament billiards in Culver City, CA.
Eddie Robin's Winning One Pocket book tells a story of Detroit Slim breaking even after 5 days with Johnny Irish in late 40s and giving Baby Face 9-7 and beating him badly at it.
 

Cowboy Dennis

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Dennis

Dennis

Pool is color blind. Look who is at the top of the game now. The Chinese. It was the Americans, then the Filipinos and so on. I don't even think the discussion about the color of shin is germane to one pocket or pool. I've played Billy Palmer many times and all I see is one very tough straight shooting, good banking, knowledgable, opponent.
Why separate the races? We all bleed red.
This post was not meant to be racist in any way. Asking who the best black players were is no different from asking who the best philippino player is or who the best junior player is or who the best wheelchair player is. In my opinion at least.
BP9Ball,

Your post was not racist in any way.

Your post is no different than a person wondering who was the best Mexican player or the best Puerto Rican player or the best One-Handed player.

P.S. Pool is not colorblind. Although "green" is the only color that matters inside a poolroom, as soon as a player walks out of the poolroom it's a different story.

Dennis
 
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Scrzbill

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Green

Green

I never said anyone was a racist or implied that anyone is a racist. We all all pool players. I only suggest that we take race out of the equation when considering greatness of pool players.
Green is the color, Dennis and I agree for the first time.
 

P00lh0li0

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Where would Monster John fit into this group? I don't know anything about him other than what I've read here.
 

#Cruncher

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Cliff Joyner had a pretty good run for a solid 10 years as being the best one pocket player in the world behind Efren.
 
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