George Middleditch Passes Away

JAM

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I know many of this forum's members know George well. I met him for the first time at a Derby City Classic when it was held at Executive West in Louisville, Kentucky. I loved that hotel, with its rocking chairs in the rooms. I was sad to see the DCC leave Executive West. It is probably my favorite pool hotel. I have a lot of memories there. :p

One evening, John Mataya, George, Harry, Ronnie Allen, and a few others decided to go to a nearby OTB horse track. Here we are at the biggest pool mecca on the face of the earth, and this crowd wants to check out the horses, so off we went. Nobody made a big score, but it was fun, I guess. :cool:

What I remember most about George is his laugh. He loved to have a good time. He also struck me as a gentleman, always so polite. He really enjoyed Jimmy Mataya's company.

Well, this news is old news to those who frequent AzBilliards, but I think a thread belongs here on this forum in George's memory.

Steve Booth captured some cool photos of George recently at the 2010 Derby. Here in these photos, it looks like Jimmy and George were in action as partners, maybe playing one-handed: Pool in Action Photos of George.

Bless you, George. RIP.
 

Cowboy Dennis

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Back in the late 70's George came into Cue Corners, a 24 hour poolroom in Romulus, Mich.. I believe it was the only time I've ever seen him. The room was right down the street from Metro Airport so maybe he was in town and on his way to somewhere else, I don't remember right now.

I do remember that he was an extremely nice person and very giving. He started putting on a trick shot exhibition for us guys who were there. He shot so many fantastic shots that we had never seen before that it seemed like he was a magician. I think he shot shots for 1 1/2 - 2 hours and let us all try them and guided us in their execution. He helped us all learn how to do the shots even though most none of us were capable at the time. He had unlimited patience with us and truly enjoyed showing us the secrets of the shots.

This shot blew me away when he shot it. He froze the cueball & 9 ball to each other and to the rail and then shot and made the cueball go into the pocket before the 9 ball (the 9 goes in). I still remember him shooting it.

[CUETABLE]http://pool.bz/P/?@4IbaD4PbaT4dbaD1dbat4kbaT8kaju8kYKo5kWOM1kcYu@[/CUETABLE]

This is another shot he shot so well. My diagram probably isn't perfect but you get the idea. He would shoot the 3 in the corner with tremendous draw and when the cueball hit the siderail it would draw back in a curve and pocket the 9 ball.

[CUETABLE]http://pool.bz/P/?@3CSUy2Iadd2PWly3WSUy4WcQt2kWly3kUIl7kafu6kVnL2kYWM2kVtk2kQGA@[/CUETABLE]

Rest in peace George, you were thought of very highly by the 15 or 20 guys at the room that night.

Dennis
 

fred bentivegna

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Another good guy gone

Another good guy gone

I didnt even know George was that old. We would always have a few drinks and cut up jackpots when he brought Mataya to Derby City.

Later, George
Beard
 

wincardona

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George was a regular at the old Rack And Cue in Detroit, I gambled with him a few times back then, he really hated to lose. George was a guy you didn't want to get on the wrong side of he was very strong and regarded as a tough son of a gun we got along really well and I liked George a lot. He was a top arm wrestler that some say he was never beaten at. George was particularly fond of Mataya, as he was of George, they were the best of friends i'm sure Mataya's taking this very hard, my condolences goes out to him in particular.

As the years past George seemed to mellow out and was either on the road doing trick shot exhibitions, or palling around with Mataya. You would see George and Mataya every year at the DCC tournament they were inseparable. Every year there George and Mataya would always get into some sort of a disagreement and George would threaten to leave but he never did and they would always end up leaving together, they were very close friends.:)

George and I always talked whenever we saw one another. There were many times at the DCC George would pull me aside and cry to me about how his buddy Mataya was getting into some sort of trouble, either arguing with some one or going off gambling in some crazy pool game. Jimmy had to gamble in spite of his absence from the game.

I'll always remember George as a great guy who was very sociable and tough....and Mataya's body guard...Rest in peace George, you will be sorely missed.:(

Billy I.
 

crystal cue

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George Middleditch 5/15/36-9/14/11

George Middleditch 5/15/36-9/14/11

Thanks for posting this Jam.

I met George about 10 years ago and got to spend the better part of a weekend with him when he came to my hometown to put on a trick shot exhibition,I ran into him 6 or 8 times since than at various tournaments around michigan,whenever we would meet I always had questions for him,from Welker Cochran to Efren and he answered all the questions and then some and never once made me feel like I was wasting his time.

He usually had 1 or 2 of his students that he took under his wing at these tournaments,and he really wanted them to good,he reminded me of my old basketball coach when he was talking to them inbetween matches:)
in my eyes he was good for pool and he deserves some recognition for that.
CC
 

Fast Lenny

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Cool video of the man, entertaining. :)

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cn-70y4Wx4[/ame]
 

oldroller

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Derby

Derby

a few years back it was really warm for that time of year(60s)The week before I had been ice fishing in Michigan.I sat between George & Ronnie Allen at the bar.Man what stories I heard!!
 

NH Steve

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George had a 'presence' in the late nite action at Derby City a few times when I was there. The first time I remember was in 2004 when John Mataya and Rachel Abbink played One Pocket -- no coaching allowed -- and the money escalated pretty fast. George was right in the middle of that. John Mataya is not the pool player Jimmy is, but had a pocket full cash. I think Grady was in with Rachel. This was at the Executive West. Most of the money was on the rail as I recall. I did take a few snapshots but I was not really a photographer then. I don't actually see George in these, but he was there for sure. They eventually moved the match to the tv table because the action room was too packed.
 

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NH Steve

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Then in 2009 George came to DCC with Jimmy Mataya (maybe not together, that I do not know) and Jimmy got into some one-handed action with Timmy Heath, which was very entertaining.



 

JAM

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Very cool pool pics. I can see Jimmy Mataya and John's girlfriend sitting behind John when they moved the game to another room in the third photo of the first three. In fact, I can't swear to it, but on the extreme right-hand side of that photo, I think that's George taking a sip of a beer. You can see his glasses and his hand with the beer.

Also, there's the Greek in the second photo of the first three. What ever happened to him? I don't hear about him much anymore.
 

philip guagliardo

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hi

hi

I haven't been doing much internet lately and was just shocked when I read George has passed on !! I met George through my good friend Jimmy Mataya at the derby classic a couple of years ago and had a great time shooting the bull with him and the only thing I regret was not knowing him earlier in life because I enjoyed meeting him so much that it bothers me that I didn't know him sooner , but at least I got to spend a couples nights meeting a truly nice guy who loved pool !

My deepest condolences to George's family and friends .

He was a special guy

Philip Guagliardo
 

NH Steve

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JAM said:
Very cool pool pics. I can see Jimmy Mataya and John's girlfriend sitting behind John when they moved the game to another room in the third photo of the first three. In fact, I can't swear to it, but on the extreme right-hand side of that photo, I think that's George taking a sip of a beer. You can see his glasses and his hand with the beer.

Also, there's the Greek in the second photo of the first three. What ever happened to him? I don't hear about him much anymore.
JAM, I think that is George way over at the edge of the photo too. Unfortunately I do not think I have more/larger/unedited versions of these photos because I took these prior to the existence of OnePocket.org and wasn't as careful about this sort of thing back then. Even more recently, I have had a supposedly expert local computer technician dump some files when he was doing some cleanup on one of my computers -- grrr.
 

jay helfert

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George was a great guy and maybe the best exhibition player of his era. He was shooting big time stroke shots before Mike Massey came along. George used to travel the country with his beautiful wife, towing a trailer with his own pool table in it. Damn I forgot his nickname now. Someone help me, it was on the side of his trailer.
 

BIBLEMAN

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Toledo Joe Thomas re: Middleditch

Toledo Joe Thomas re: Middleditch

I spoke with Toledo Joe and he had this to say about George Middleditch—

"I knew George Middleditch for more than 50 years and played him numerous times. He was always a great credit to the game. I'm going to miss him. It's a very sad day losing an old friend."
Toledo Joe Thomas


Posted by BIBLEMAN for Joe Thomas
 
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