Is Fats a fit?

Cowboy Dennis

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fred bentivegna said:
Is that precious or what, Dennis?

Beard

Freddy,

I love the Fatman Freddy. He made me cry laughing so many times on tv. He has a section in that book about Chicago and Bensingers. I'll write it and post it later.

Dennis
 

oldspurguy

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SJDinPHX said:
Beardman,

I don't understand your unbridled passion, for arguing whether or not, Tevis drew on his "knowing" of Fat's (RW) or simply made up the character.
Rossen (the director) may well have been an influence, as the character of Minnesota Fat's became a key figure in the movie, wheras he was almost a passing character in Tevis' original book. (or his short stories) The story revolved around "Fast Eddie"...remember ?

Your argument ( or ranting) is lost on me, because it is a moot point. Fat's (RW) derived more from "the Hustler" than the movie did from him.
He became a household name, and like Dennis said...people outside of the pool world, still only know two names...Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi.

Had it not been for the movie, as I said 99.999 % of the country would never have heard of Rudolph Wanderone, (AKA NY, Triple Smart etc.) Non-pool player's.. (which sadly make up most of the world)..have never heard of ANYBODY in the BCA, OR the 1P HOF.

Do you think Fat's got cheated out of something ?
If you don't think Tevis/Rossen changed Fats life for the better, you simply are not in touch with reality.

PS And you are right Fred...I consider myself an "insider", and I've never heard of Tom Smith. He sounds like a great guy, somebody should have made a movie about him..;). (but thats OK, until joining 1P.org...I had never heard of Artie either)..:rolleyes: :)
Dick, do you really think that all it took for Fat's to gain his notoriety and success was to jump up and say, "I'm Minnesota Fats from 'The Hustler"?

How far do you think that would have gotten the average Joe? Fat's had talent and charisma in spades. I enjoyed viewing his BCA HOF speech that the Beard has on his site. To say that stealing the persona of Minnesota Fats, in itself, is responsible for his success, is hard to swallow.

In the 70's I went to an exhibition Lou Butera gave in Austin, TX. I asked him his opinion of Fat's. He quickly gave the same opinion that a lot of pros had at the time, I remember him saying, "Fat's only played in one professional tournament and he came in dead last, and I have the newspaper clipping to prove it."

I carried this opinion until many years later, I heard differently from guys like Helfert and Fred B. Sounds like there was some sour grapes from some because of Fat's bragging and the amount of notoriety he achieved.

I have to say I find The Beard's arguments compelling and well stated. I think Fat's did more for pool and one pocket than Tevis, Gleason, etc.

Freddy, no need for the heiroglyphics, your information regarding Fat's level of play is appreciated!!
 
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KindlyOleUncleDave

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When it is all said and done

When it is all said and done

This is one of the best threads I have read in months.

Thank you one and all.
 

SJDinPHX

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oldspurguy said:
Dick, do you really think that all it took for Fat's to gain his notariety and success was to jump up and say, "I'm Minnesota Fats from 'The Hustler"?

How far do you think that would have gotten the average Joe? Fat's had talent and charisma in spades. I enjoyed viewing his BCA HOF speech that the Beard has on his site. To say that stealing the persona of Minnesota Fats, in itself, is responsible for his success, is hard to swallow.

In the 70's I went to an exhibition Lou Butera gave in Austin, TX. I asked him his opinion of Fat's. He quickly gave the same opinion that a lot of pros had at the time, I remember him saying, "Fat's only played in one professional tournament and he came in dead last, and I have the newspaper clipping to prove it."

I carried this opinion until many years later, I heard differently from guys like Helfert and Fred B. Sounds like there was some sour grapes from some because of Fat's bragging and the amount of notariety he achieved.

I have to say I find The Beard's arguments compelling and well stated. I think Fat's did more for pool and one pocket than Tevis, Gleason, etc.

Freddy, no need for the heiroglyphics, your information regarding Fat's level of play is appreciated!!
OSG,

You have grossly mis-stated the intent of my post, I never once said Fats did not have charm, charisma, and a real presence about him, in fact I always lauded those attributes. He was truly one unique individual.

What I said was, had it NOT been for the movie...he would never have gained a PUBLIC persona...ever. He would have only been known and appreciated in pool lore, by pool players, for many years after he was gone.
Fat's was well past his prime in 1961..the movie gave him a new lease on life...Just like the senior tour did for Arnie and Jack...the difference being... EVERYBODY allready knew their names.

For Fat's, there would have been NO "Celebrity Billiards",.. NO TV appearances,.. and very probably NO Billiard product endorsment's, had it not been for the movie.

I further quantified it by saying, stop any man on the street, prior to 1961... and ask him to name one or two pool players. 99.9% of them would have said "Willy Mosconi, or maybe Willie Hoppe". Those were the only names that had ANY recognition in those days.
After the movie..."Minnesita Fat's" (not Rudolph Wanderone, few even knew his real name)... became a household name, whenever anybody mentioned pool.
What a coincidence, huh ?

NOBODY, outside of pool "insiders", had a clue about Ed Kelly, Jersey Red, or Rag's, or Johnny Irish, or any of dozens of other names WE as pool player's, had handed down to us. Even the average guy in the pool room didn't have a clue who was, or who was not, in the BCA or 1P Hall of Fame.

There is a hell of a difference between public notoriety...and being well known by a few thousand hard core pool player's and pool room detectives. If Fat's was not more show, than substance...wouldn't he allready be in the One Pocket HOF ?

There are no sour grapes here OSG...only what we should all know to be the truth.
Fat's was a hell of a salesman, and I agree, few could have "sold" themselves better than he did...AFTER 1961.

PS..I know Jay was a big fan of Fatty, but I think even he might realize the realities...I know Freddy won't...he thinks a bottom feeder like Detroit Whitey, deserved fame and recognition.. :eek:.:eek:.:eek:
 
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lll

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dont know if this will help or not but here's a few questions.
#1 in the years fats was in his prime (i think 1930's 40's 50's) was he considered one of the best?
#2 after his prime you cant argue, icbw, he became a public figure as minnesoata fats. SO,, did he promote the game of one pocket and help expand the player base that played? whether this came along for the ride while he was promoting himself i think is a side issue.
#3 if you answer yes/yes he deserves to be in the hof.imho
#4 if you answer no/yes does he still belong in the hof under promoter teacher criteria?
#5 if you answer no/no then he does not deserve to be in the hof. imho
 

lfigueroa

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oldspurguy said:
I have to say I find The Beard's arguments compelling and well stated. I think Fat's did more for pool and one pocket than Tevis, Gleason, etc

Perhaps, but without Tevis writing the story and character, and Gleason, Newman, Laurie, and Scott and Rossen, producing a compelling movie, Fats would have been a pool footnote.

No doubt, Fats was a great Runyunesque character. But it was the movie, and his TV matches with Mosconi (complete with with Howard Cosell doing the commentary), that made Fats a household name.

Lou Figueroa
 

Cowboy Dennis

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fred bentivegna said:
Tevis wrote a great book. I just dont like the fact that he was vain enough to claim that he invented Fats in his own little brain. Just like the big poolroom in Chicago was named "Bennington's." Another coincidence.

the Beard

.

Fats on "The Hustler":

"But there was no question that the character called "Minnesota Fats" was fashioned after the one and only "New York Fats", who just happened to be me.
Now, I know those novelists always insert a crutch in the front of the book claiming that any simularity between characters living or dead is purely coincidental. That's the usual dodge, but the simularities between me and this "Minnesota Fats" were so glaring and obvious that even the dumbest mooches in the poolrooms knew who the real "Minnesota Fats" happened to be.
Right off, "Cornbread Red", who's no threat to Einstein, started calling me "Fat Minnie"."

Well that settles it for me:D .
 

Cowboy Dennis

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lll said:
dont know if this will help or not but here's a few questions.
#1 in the years fats was in his prime (i think 1930's 40's 50's) was he considered one of the best?

Larry,

I would think that all of the players who could speak about Fats in his prime are now fertilizing daffodils. But here's an assessment by the Fatman himself, speaking to reporters, I don't know what year.

"I'm the greatest money player of all time," I told 'em. "I was great back in the 20's and 30's and I'm still great in this era. I not only robbed 'em all, I've outlasted 'em all."

Gotta love that Fatman.
 

androd

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Cowboy Dennis said:
Larry,

I would think that all of the players who could speak about Fats in his prime are now fertilizing daffodils. But here's an assessment by the Fatman himself, speaking to reporters, I don't know what year.

"I'm the greatest money player of all time," I told 'em. "I was great back in the 20's and 30's and I'm still great in this era. I not only robbed 'em all, I've outlasted 'em all."

Gotta love that Fatman.
Eddie Taylor told his wife, I just been paid the greatest compliment ever "Fats said in an interview that we broke even" thats the first time Fats didn't "Beat every living human."
Rod. < Fats had gotten old at the time.:p :D
 

fred bentivegna

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And if....

And if....

lfigueroa said:
Perhaps, but without Tevis writing the story and character, and Gleason, Newman, Laurie, and Scott and Rossen, producing a compelling movie, Fats would have been a pool footnote.

No doubt, Fats was a great Runyunesque character. But it was the movie, and his TV matches with Mosconi (complete with with Howard Cosell doing the commentary), that made Fats a household name.

Lou Figueroa
...and but for not my mother and father, I wouldnt have been born. ....If my uncle hadnt been born with balls he would have been my aunt...
Fats got famous thru The Hustler, but he didnt need any help when it came to being a fabulous personality that could light up a whole town.

the Beard
 

lfigueroa

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fred bentivegna said:
...and but for not my mother and father, I wouldnt have been born. ....If my uncle hadnt been born with balls he would have been my aunt...
Fats got famous thru The Hustler, but he didnt need any help when it came to being a fabulous personality that could light up a whole town.

the Beard

"No doubt, Fats was a great Runyunesque character" = "being a fabulous personality"

Lou Figueroa
Freddy is so touchy on this subject
he doesn't even realize when someone
is agreeing with him :)
 

NH Steve

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Dick, I don't think the facts bear out your contention that Fats was made a star by the movie. The movie contributed his name, as well as the environment of media hype that fueled the pool boom in the 60's but it was the Johnston City media coverage that "discovered" Fats, and he took it from there. If you are saying Fats would have been nothing without the movie, you would also have to say that pool in general would have been nothing in the 60's without the movie. That would pretty near have to wipe out Johnston City, as well as the whole action boom that swept the country in the 60's -- and out with that would go a certain player from San Jose, who would have found no great action scene to thrive in himself for those years, if not for the movie, and most likely would have gone to a day job a whole lot sooner than he did :)
 

Skin

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This is the sports page obit for Fats at the NYT in 1996.

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/19/sports/minnesota-fats-a-real-hustler-with-a-pool-cue-is-dead.html?pagewanted=1

I can't say how well-reseaerched it was. The reporter's only two primary sources appear to be Fats' wives, which belies perhaps a lack of enthusiasm for the subject. He does repeat that Tevis always denied that Walderone was the inspiration for his character and Walderone was little known until he claimed to be the real Minnesota Fats. I don't understand why Tevis's denial is not good enough for everyone. It is straight from the horse's mouth.

The point I want to make, however, is that IF Fats was playing one-pocket in the 40s, then he was among the first generation of players and maybe ought to be recognized for that. He certainly played competently. Could he be considered a kind of founder of the game like Lingo, Big Nose Roberts, &tc., for example? I don't know.

At any rate, the history of the game is somewhat murky and on that count I think Steve deserves extra big kudos for what he has done to ferret out the stories/facts from the HOF players in the fascinating interviews at this site. In fact, I would suggest that the next book to be written on 1p ought to be an objective history of the game. I can think of nobody better situated for that than Steve.

Skin
 

Skin

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lfigueroa said:
lol. You know, I appreciate you being such a fan of mine that you like to constantly come up behind my posts and *try* and dazzle us all with your professorial airs at my expense, but frankly, you remind me of the guy in the bar scene in "Good Will Hunting." You know, the pompous ass trying to impress the girls who gets smacked down by the guy who doesn't have the degree, but is actually the smarter of the two ;-)

Lou Figueroa
hopes Steve
isn't walking the aisles
with his ruler :)
Lou, I have been on the internet longer than you and obviously have been to rougher sites than you. I never have had the stomach for guys who come into a site and start kicking other posters in the shins by taking advantage of their lack of formal education, or who think they can fly above the crowd on pretense rather than substance. That's what got my attention on you. Nothing more.

Call it a weakness for the underdog on my part, but now I am done. Happy living.

Skin
 

lll

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lll said:
dont know if this will help or not but here's a few questions.
#1 in the years fats was in his prime (i think 1930's 40's 50's) was he considered one of the best?
#2 after his prime you cant argue, icbw, he became a public figure as minnesoata fats. SO,, did he promote the game of one pocket and help expand the player base that played? whether this came along for the ride while he was promoting himself i think is a side issue.
#3 if you answer yes/yes he deserves to be in the hof.imho
#4 if you answer no/yes does he still belong in the hof under promoter teacher criteria?
#5 if you answer no/no then he does not deserve to be in the hof. imho
would some of you answer question #1 and #2
 

lfigueroa

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Skin said:
Lou, I have been on the internet longer than you and obviously have been to rougher sites than you. I never have had the stomach for guys who come into a site and start kicking other posters in the shins by taking advantage of their lack of formal education, or who think they can fly above the crowd on pretense rather than substance. That's what got my attention on you. Nothing more.

Call it a weakness for the underdog on my part, but now I am done. Happy living.

Skin

I would say neither of your first assertions are necessarily true, since I know you don't know my full history, and no one knows yours -- AND you don't have the balls to post who you are, preferring instead to be an anonymous sniping little Internet bitch :)

As far as I've been able to tell, you are just another big ol' professorial wind bag full of pretense and with a distinct taste for inappropriate off-topic intellectual posturing (Hegel?!). Soooooo, in the end, you have stood up for no one -- not even your imaginary underdogs, who, by the way, have been laughing quite a bit lately behind your back :) All you've demonstrated with your stalking of me is to reveal yourself to be a self-centered bore and I pity anyone who has ever had the misfortune to be one of your luckless students. As repeatedly demonstrated here, your academic judgement and ethics are more than suspect.

As far as my stomach is concerned... I have none for anonymous trolls such as you. You are, and will always remain in my book: A Pussy.

You've had you say and now I've had mine.
Happy living and have a nice day ;-)

Lou Figueroa
my apologies to Steve...
Had a few things I needed
to get off my chest
 

wincardona

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The Greatest

The Greatest

Fat's best game was one pocket, when he gambled he played one pocket, when he boasted it was about one pocket. How good was he?? You have to give him the benefit of the doubt, the whole world thought he was the best. Only the top players disagreed, and when it comes down to it, don't you have to side with the world?:D
 

SJDinPHX

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wincardona said:
Fat's best game was one pocket, when he gambled he played one pocket, when he boasted it was about one pocket. How good was he?? You have to give him the benefit of the doubt, the whole world thought he was the best. Only the top players disagreed, and when it comes down to it, don't you have to side with the world?:D
No Bill, I don't...MOST of the world doesn't even know how to spell "One Pocket"....I'm going with the top players on this one myself.

Fats had a lot going for him...but a top notch, unbeatable... never lost to anybody... one pocket player, was only HIS opinion !!!

The link Skin furnished in post #93, mirrors my exact sentiments regarding Fatty. The author of that byline, may, or may not, have ever even been in a pool room...but that gives even more credence to his evaluation of what Fat's derived from the movie "The Hustler". The "relative obscurity" statement, pretty much says it all.

A couple of generations of pool addicts, may have loved his wit, his blustering... and most of all..his colorful persona...but NOBODY else had ever even heard of him. Thats what I meant by "notariety"...before 1961...99.9% of the world, had ever heard of "Triple smart, NY, or Minnesota Fats...and certainly NOT Rudolph Wanderone Jr....Where is the argument ???
 
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wincardona

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SJDinPHX said:
No Bill, I don't...Most of the world doesn't even know how to spell "one Pocket"....I'm going with the top players myself.

Fats had a lot going for him...but a top notch, unbeatable one pocket player, was only HIS opinion !!!
Was it fast Eddie that said "even if you beat me i'm still the best";)
 

Cowboy Dennis

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wincardona said:
Was it fast Eddie that said "even if you beat me i'm still the best";)

Bad idea to use that quote Bill (in defending something). That's how George C. Scott(Burt Gordon) knew he was a loser.
 
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