Is Fats a fit?

SJDinPHX

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fred bentivegna said:
You used the right guy to talk about how much bullsh*t and self promotion Fats did. Mcgoorty was originally from Chicago so his story is known to us peoples. His book is filled with as much unadultered horse dung as the stables at Churchill Downs. Ask Grady what a wonderful reference point Danny McGoorty was, and much you could rely on his word. The only thing he told the truth about was that he was a drunken lout.

the Beard
No wonder I felt such a bonding to Danny....PLUS, he was Irish. :D (another Chicago escapee to California ?) :eek:

PS Actually Fred, he was born in S.F. His family moved to Chicago when he was a just a kid. They went backwards.
You have to admit, the opening few pages of his book (dealing with Chicago cops) is a riot, isn't it ?
 
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fred bentivegna

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Im taking real steam

Im taking real steam

SJDinPHX said:
You seem to want to hang it all out there and say he beat "everybody he ever played", when you KNOW he was getting weight, from a half drunk Richie Florence, and almost every other top player he ever matched up with.

There you go again, using that shitty ploy of accusing me of what I never, never, said to make a jerk off argument seem somehow plausable. Am I making these posts in Chinese where you need an interpreter that might misread to you what I said? Where did I ever, ever say he beat everybody he played? Then you use a quote from that shitheel McGoorty, where he says Fats would beat people by making them bet too much. You and McGoorty quoted that as if that was something bad to do.
"A half drunk Richie Florence." Was Richie half drunk the whole THIRTY (30) DAYS they played, and wasnt smart enough to sober up before he blew the whole $40,000 giving Fatty 8 to 7? Yeah, Richie spotted him. It must have been a terrific game for Richie since Ronnie Allen didnt take 50 cents of Richies bet.

I would REALLY question the circumstances surrounding him beating Squirrell, EVEN...at any time during the 60's. It's not a question of believing YOU, although you have admitedly been known to shade the truth.(or maybe omit extenuating circumstances, if it better suits your agenda)

And there you go again, again. Just about calling me a dunce or a f*ckin liar, and couching it in that con, "It's not a question of believing YOU." Well, who is it a question of? Who said it? I did. I said what I said -- do you want to bet against it? Am I to suffer some sort of penalty from everybody because I happen to have EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND the stories, and matches that you might have HEARD ABOUT?


What is your point ??? Is it because his roots are in Illinois ? Sorry Fred...but, your not wanting to play Fat's does not make him a shoo-in for the 1P HOF..:D:D:D <---note smiley faces

Why dont you address what I said about Strawberry and Weenie Beanie? Two of our resident HOF'rs.

Lets give it a rest Fred, you have your take on Fat's ..and myself and quite a few others, have ours.
Yeah, lets give it a rest, but you close with another rhetoric trick, you concede my take on things, then you add your take, which would be fair --- but then you close with "quite a few others," to outnumber me. No names of course.


the Beard
 

SJDinPHX

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fred bentivegna said:
Yeah, lets give it a rest, but you close with another rhetoric trick, you concede my take on things, then you add your take, which would be fair --- but then you close with "quite a few others," to outnumber me. No names of course.


the Beard
Obviously, you've chosen to take this beyond "a difference of opinion" and make a federal case out of it. Unless you choose to ignore the gist of this thread... I would say the "others" I refer to, comprise about half the responders thus far. (you do read the other posts don't you ?)

The jury is still out on Fat's skills, or lack thereof...we have just chosen to re-convene it, in what I thought could be a friendly discourse. It is NOT a new subject you know. It has been brought up many, many times before, and the concensus is usually (by those who know) that Fatty talked a MUCH better game than he actually played.

I should have known better than to take an opposing viewpoint to yours. even though most of my slings and arrows, are "tongue in cheek"
You however, feel the need to get personal, if ANYONE challenges ANYTHING you say.

It must be a great feeling to be perfect, in all your player evaluations and recollections. Just once, can't we have a healthy argument...without your need to make YOURSELF an indisputable source of logic ?

Have you EVER admitted you just might possibly be mistaken ?


San <---has a weakness for hard-headed old P---ks... so he still wuvs you, but I guess I'll just have to learn to accept your word...as the "Gospool".

PS..The OP (Doc) asked a simple question...can't it even be discussed without bitterness and animosity ?
 
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androd

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Could he play

Could he play

SJD, Come on Dick you know FATS could play, I watched you play him every night for about 3 or 4 days straight.
Rod.
 

SJDinPHX

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androd said:
SJD, Come on Dick you know FATS could play, I watched you play him every night for about 3 or 4 days straight.
Rod.

Rod,

I thought you might have been there, ('67 wasn't it ?) What was the game Rod, I honestly don't recall. I know we played even the exhibition match, race to 3 which I lost hill,hill (Seigel put up a grand to the winner for that)...I alluded to that in Robbin's book
I know I gave him weight for bigger cash the next few nights.
That was neither of our primes. He was over the hill and I was under it. ;)

I admit I was a little unnerved by his playing too the crowd, (like he always did) during the exhibition. I liked it better when it thinned out to just the regulars. I liked our 2nd and 3rd play much better.
 
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Cowboy Dennis

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In Fats' Own Words

In Fats' Own Words

From "The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies", in his own words:

"I hung around Broadway making a fabulous living on one-pocket wagers and the proposition pool. The way I put the high run and out to one-pocket was so brutal that after a while I couldn't get an even proposition anywhere. I had to spot a ball and then two balls just to get the action , but the odds didn't matter, because I'd run ten and out, ten and out, like forever. Talk about high runs, I must have run a thousand straight in one-pocket a hundred times. It got so that everybody on Broadway thought I invented the game, but I always told them the way it was- Jack Hill invented it down in Oklahoma, only the Fat Man was the one who refined it."

You gotta love the way he talked and bullshitted. Number one of all time.

Dennis
 

beatle

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everyone loved fats. the fact is when he played his best he was a ball or two under the best in the world. but sometime even the best in the world are a ball or two under the best in the world.
oh, not really everyone loved fats. the best players usually didnt. you see fats always seemed to have lots of cash and played high on his own. while the big names, not all but an awful lot were getting staked after begging for it and were simply jealous of him. plus the suckers waited in line for his action.
he drew the crowds and got all the attention now is the time to give him his do.

plus when the feds busted johnson city he got his say and saved the day.
 

lfigueroa

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SJDinPHX said:
You must have a high dollar edition of the book Lou. It's on page 131-132 in my cheapo paperback.

McGoorty, hardcover, first edition :)

I'm kinda surprised no one has cited "The Hustler and The Champ" yet.

"Wanderone was a fine pocket-billiards player, a skilled professional who easily fleeced farmers and sailors. But Wanderone never possessed the skill of pool's most celebrated champions. He could ape it, certainly, like all tricksters he could claim the prowess of others as his own. 'I played them all, and I beat them all!' he would crow. But this was a lie. Wanderone never competed in Mosconi's world-tournament level, never competed against Ponzi and Greenleaf and Joe 'Meatman' Balsis in structured competition, and maybe it was because he lacked the skill to do so. But this was not true of all hustlers. An example was John 'Rags' Fitzpatrick, remembered as perhaps the finest one-pocket player ever."

TH&TC, page 120

Lou Figueroa
 

SJDinPHX

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Fat's was OK in my book...

Fat's was OK in my book...

beatle said:
everyone loved fats. the fact is when he played his best he was a ball or two under the best in the world. but sometime even the best in the world are a ball or two under the best in the world.
oh, not really everyone loved fats. the best players usually didnt. you see fats always seemed to have lots of cash and played high on his own. while the big names, not all but an awful lot were getting staked after begging for it and were simply jealous of him. plus the suckers waited in line for his action. he drew the crowds and got all the attention now is the time to give him his do. plus when the feds busted johnson city he got his say and saved the day.
Beatle and Fred,

I don't think anybody really dis-liked Fats, you accepted him for what he was, and most people did.... Nobody "loves" everyone.

As Ive stated in everyone of my posts, he was a very unique, colorful, and likable character, the kind Damon Runyon loved to write about.

His demeanor was much like two of our most prominent posters here on 1p.org (care to hazard a guess) The only thing difference was, he accomplished all his fame and legend...DESPITE being a very abrasive, boastful, and self-centered individual... Not many can accomplish that.

If Fred does not wish to believe that the movie brought him a national prominence, he would never have enjoyed...well, thats Fred's take on it...but I think he knows, in his heart.. he's wrong.

He was a devout animal lover, which I share with him, and IMHO was his greatest attribute. His skill as a top player, was always in doubt, his "smart's" were NOT...But, as you say...he always seemed to stay in money, and that brought a lot of resentment from his peers...(I was not a peer)

If Freddy will let me say, what I've been trying to say all along...Fat's deserves a "special" award. A "Lifeime Achievement" award, if you will, (like they bestow rarely, at the Oscars)...not simply an "action" or HOF designation. But one that would singularly display his contribution to the history, and the lore of our game. Wouldn't that be befitting Steve ?

NO ONE would be more deserving of that, than Rudolph Wanderone.

SJD

PS..If anyone construes this as back peddling, they haven't really read and absorbed all my posts on the subject of Fat's. I never said he couldn't play a lick, I just said he was a few balls under his "self acclaimed" skill level. ;)
 
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Cowboy Dennis

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lfigueroa said:
McGoorty, hardcover, first edition :)

I'm kinda surprised no one has cited "The Hustler and The Champ" yet.

"Wanderone was a fine pocket-billiards player, a skilled professional who easily fleeced farmers and sailors. But Wanderone never possessed the skill of pool's most celebrated champions. He could ape it, certainly, like all tricksters he could claim the prowess of others as his own. 'I played them all, and I beat them all!' he would crow. But this was a lie. Wanderone never competed in Mosconi's world-tournament level, never competed against Ponzi and Greenleaf and Joe 'Meatman' Balsis in structured competition, and maybe it was because he lacked the skill to do so. But this was not true of all hustlers. An example was John 'Rags' Fitzpatrick, remembered as perhaps the finest one-pocket player ever."

TH&TC, page 120

Lou Figueroa

Half of this is probably bullshit but what the hell. Again, from The Bank Shot:


"Me and Willie are about the same age, and back in our younger days we played every game on the table together, only every match was for the cash, which meant I was the automatic winner. Willie Mosconi is a tremendous poolplayer; in fact, I rate him second only to Greenleaf among the all-time tournament stars. But when it came to playing for the cash, I was in a class by myself. So every time I played Willie for the gold in Philadelphia, I whacked him out clean."

"I whacked out all the fun players in one-pocket, I mean every last one of them. I played Andrew Ponzi, who really liked to wager on his ability, two days and two nights in Vineland, New Jersey, and I busted him flatter than a praline. We played one-pocket even for 48 straight hours in Vineland. Ponzi would run 8 & out and I would run 8 & out, but in the end I stuck him up like he was a two year old baby, even though he was a tremendous player and world champion like three times."

Gotta love the Fat Man's bullshit.
 

Cowboy Dennis

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SJDinPHX said:
Beatle, Rod, and Fred
His demeanor was much like two of our most prominent posters here on 1p.org (care to hazard a guess)
Dick,

I think you underestimate the Fatman's abilities. He could give anybody 10-6 and play 6 ahead in the BS department and leave them begging for their mommies. He could talk forever about himself and how great he was. And I loved listening to everything he ever said. I only saw him "live" once but I saw him on TV many times. I only wish I could have been around him in his prime.

And I only compare him to one of our most prominent posters, not two. But he'd whack that one out for the gold, anytime, anywhere, in the BS department. The primary difference being that I don't really think he ever believed all his BS. He knew it was a show and that people loved that stuff.

When I was 18 yrs. old you could ask anybody to name a poolplayer and they would say Mosconi or Minnesota Fats. They were the only two players people knew of. Did Fats do his job or what?

Deek
 

androd

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SJDinPHX said:
He should have kissed him, instead of suing him. But I guess that was a necessary step to gaining that notariety.

He is definately worthy of a "lifetime award" of some sort...maybe even a "special" award of some kind, due to the colorful character that he always was.
By the way, did the case go to trail or was it settled first ?

gulfportdoc said:
"New York Fats" was an exceedingly clever con man who stole the persona of "Minnestoa Fats" from Walter Tevis.
Doc, I think con man is a little unfair. He was a hustler, pool and short cards and a promoter, but I've been around a lot of con men and that wasn't him. I agree with Fred, Tevis stole his persona and should have been sued. maybe you know the answer, was the case settled and if so why?
Rod.
 

gulfportdoc

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fred bentivegna said:
Just to qualify myself, and defer to San Man's unfounded point that I havent given Tevis his due, I read the book within minutes of its publication. I also read the precursor to the book, the article he wrote for Playboy magazine. Once I got the book I read it cover to cover. As soon as I got to the last page and finished that, I flipped back to the first page and started all over. I have read that book a minimum of five times. To say, Doc, that the character in the book didnt resemble Fats in the slightest is a remark that I wont let stand. How many great, FAT, big money pool hustlers were there in the US at that time? How many of them had a nervous tic? How many of them played in Bensingers (Benningtons)? Lets see, how many pool players were as "dainty and meticulous" around the table as the book Fats? Certainly not me, or 90% of the pool players that I know. Most of us are slobs around the table, if nobodys looking, I might spit on the floor. How about the "light on the feet?" All the fat people I know are light on their feet, right? Let's next check on "coiffed," like the expensively coiffed Fats in the book. Anybody ever see Fatty with a hair out of place, or a dirty or rumpled shirt, or anything other than expensive shoes, shirt and slacks? Apparently you didnt spend much time around Fats, Doc. Finally, and this is really a tough one to get past, how many of them were named "Fats?"

Now to the "Tevis never heard of him." Here below is a link to a Sports Illustrated story about hustlers that mentions New York Fats in an article dated March 1961, seven months BEFORE the first Johnston City tourn. Tevis also knew, and had been to Bensingers as is evidenced by his description of the room in the book. But the strongest case to be made, and no one has even asked me about it, was his knowledge of that shit little pool room on State Street where he writes about the Tom Smith character. I name the date, the place, and the guy, and everybody just blows right past that. This is getting to be like talking to my ex wife. Ignore, deny, and change to subject.
So Tevis knew about an obscure Tom Smith, but Minnesota Fats came to him in a literary apparition. Just because most of you never heard of Tom Smith aint an argument. There are plenty of people still around that did.
I did a little more research on the subject of Tevis writing The Hustler. It was written in 1956 while Tevis was both attending Univ. of Kentucky and working at the Kentucky Highway Department. Here is a quote from Tevis regarding the story:

It was written in Bud Guthrie's graduate creative writing class and was called "The Best in the Country". [published in "Esquire"] I've published 13 short stories about pool players in various national magazines and then I published the novel. I stole the title for "The Hustler" from a story I had published in "Playboy", also called "The Hustler", but not really resembling the novel.

I don't know where Tevis could possibly have either met or heard of Wanderone in the early or mid 1950's living in Lexington, KY while working and attending UK .

All the references made regarding Johnson City are not applicable. The Hustler pre-dated Johnson City by 6 years.

The nickname "Fats" was common in pre-war America. I'm surprised that "Omaha Fats" didn't try to cash in on the novel.;) He certainly had the gift of gab; and he was reportedly able to out-talk Wanderone. Fats Waller was a famous jazz pianist. There were several famous "Fats". Just as the nicknames "Slim", "Tiny", etc. were popular.

As you know, prior to the 1960's most everyone dressed well. I recall going to baseball games in the 50's, where it was typical for guys to wear jackets and ties. Sharp dressers were common, as were well shined shoes, and slicked back hair. People had better manners, and had more class.

Wanderone simply stole the Minnesota Fats name to make his own fame and fortune, just as Clifford Irving tried to pull off a grand hoax with the Howard Hughes tale. Wanderone got away with it, Irving didn't.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with one-pocket. If Wanderone deserves to be included, it should be based upon his 1P prowess, or his exceptional promotion of 1P.

Doc
 

NH Steve

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gulfportdoc said:
I did a little more research on the subject of Tevis writing The Hustler. It was written in 1956 while Tevis was both attending Univ. of Kentucky and working at the Kentucky Highway Department. Here is a quote from Tevis regarding the story:

It was written in Bud Guthrie's graduate creative writing class and was called "The Best in the Country". [published in "Esquire"] I've published 13 short stories about pool players in various national magazines and then I published the novel. I stole the title for "The Hustler" from a story I had published in "Playboy", also called "The Hustler", but not really resembling the novel.

I don't know where Tevis could possibly have either met or heard of Wanderone in the early or mid 1950's living in Lexington, KY while working and attending UK .

All the references made regarding Johnson City are not applicable. The Hustler pre-dated Johnson City by 6 years.

The nickname "Fats" was common in pre-war America. I'm surprised that "Omaha Fats" didn't try to cash in on the novel.;) He certainly had the gift of gab; and he was reportedly able to out-talk Wanderone. Fats Waller was a famous jazz pianist. There were several famous "Fats". Just as the nicknames "Slim", "Tiny", etc. were popular.

As you know, prior to the 1960's most everyone dressed well. I recall going to baseball games in the 50's, where it was typical for guys to wear jackets and ties. Sharp dressers were common, as were well shined shoes, and slicked back hair. People had better manners, and had more class.

Wanderone simply stole the Minnesota Fats name to make his own fame and fortune, just as Clifford Irving tried to pull off a grand hoax with the Howard Hughes tale. Wanderone got away with it, Irving didn't.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with one-pocket. If Wanderone deserves to be included, it should be based upon his 1P prowess, or his exceptional promotion of 1P.

Doc
I don't think your comparison with Irving, or your "got away with it" comment are quite right. The movie (right before Johnston City), and the resurgent media interest in pool discovered Fats, and Fats the genuine character was ready for the attention and he seized it and ran with it. 50 years later and Fast Eddie wannabe's are still trying; meanwhile, Fats was up to the task, and then some -- even beyond the world of pool.
 

SJDinPHX

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NH Steve said:
I don't think your comparison with Irving, or your "got away with it" comment are quite right. The movie (right before Johnston City), and the resurgent media interest in pool discovered Fats, and Fats the genuine character was ready for the attention and he seized it and ran with it. 50 years later and Fast Eddie wannabe's are still trying; meanwhile, Fats was up to the task, and then some -- even beyond the world of pool.
Steve,

Your take on all this stuff may be a little skewed. You have fallen under Fatty's (and Beards) spell.

You were NOT there, and you are relying on 3rd or 4th party recollections.

Fat's to his credit, did "seize the moment"... much like the women who spilled hot coffee on herself, and sued McDonalds (and won) for large $$$.

That made him a hero, in the eyes of the pool world...including ME...But, does that make it right ?

Even if Tevis did (or did not) remember a "Fat guy", who was a great pool hustler. That is a moot point.

He was just telling a story, and a pretty damn good one...I doubt if he cared who were the principles, or where they came from.

Even if he did...so what. The only one who made an issue out of it...was Fat's, which was in keeping with his view of himself..."who else could it be but ME" ?

I never said he wasn't "triple smart".I did however say...If it not were Tevis' efforts at telling a very classic story (which became the best thing that ever happened to pool) and an award winning movie, I still maintain, that Fat's would still be unknown to 99.999 % of the population.

You can argue that fact, until you are blue in the face...but you cannot change it. Thats what it was. !!!
 

demonrho

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It’s kind of interesting to think that Robert Rossen, the guy who adapted the book, wrote the screenplay, and directed the movie “The Hustler”, may have actually seen Rudolf Wanderone (Fats) in action way before Walter Tevis would ever have had a chance to. Rossen grew up on the lower east side in NYC and hustled a little pool himself (besides doing a little prizefighting) in the 1920s. Wanderone would have been hustling pool in NYC at roughly the same time. Walter Tevis wasn’t born till the end of the 1920s and grew up in San Francisco.
 

Fast Lenny

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I like Dick's point about having an Honorary Award or something for the promotion of 1 pocket or something like that. I nominate Steve Booth for this award because without him there would be no HOF for 1 pocket and bank pool players. :)
 

lll

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Fast Lenny said:
I like Dick's point about having an Honorary Award or something for the promotion of 1 pocket or something like that. I nominate Steve Booth for this award because without him there would be no HOF for 1 pocket and bank pool players. :)
i second that nomination for steve booth and consideration should be given to fats for this award also. seems to me up until now there has not been much disagreement or controversy over the deservedness of the current members of the hall of fame. there have been several other people nominated so far this year that also there seems to be a concensus about their skill and deservedness to be in the HOF(i.e. clem, sjd, for example ). before we nominate controversial figures we should be sure to get in the ones there is more of a concensus of their worthiness. just my 2 cents.
 
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NH Steve

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Thanks guys, and I promise to accept your nomination and second once I've reached the twenty year career threshold. I figure I'm up to 5- 1/2 years as a significant presence on the national scene at this point...but I appreciate the thought :)
 
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