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, here is ammo for both sides of the argument, from TH&TC, pages 200-201:
"He (Fats) made this startling claim (being MF) despite never having set foot in Minnesota. Neither was Wanderone a particularly good dresser, and he certainly had none of Gleason's haughty grace."
"Walter Tevis said Fats was a work of fiction -- that he was as real as Donald Duck -- and that if the character resembled anybody, it would be dignified Willie Mosconi."
But further down, on the same page is this:
"The terrible irony, of course, was that Willie Mosconi himself was an unwitting party to what may have been a monstrous deception. In an interview with the Long Beach Independent-Press-Telegram, Mosconi said the Fats character 'was patterned after a real live pool hustler known as New York Fats.' He would regret those words for the rest of his life."