"Greenleaf: Pool's Greatest Champion"

evergruven

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What is the secret/technique in doing this masse'? He makes it look so darn easy!
I have trouble with this one!
thanks, Whitey

I thought the same, whitey ^_^
I'm sure ralph was talented physically, but I'm wondering if using an old cue had something to do with it?
different weight/balance compared to our stuff today- bigger tip, as mentioned above- ?
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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I thought the same, whitey ^_^
I'm sure ralph was talented physically, but I'm wondering if using an old cue had something to do with it?
different weight/balance compared to our stuff today- bigger tip, as mentioned above- ?
I am sorry, I should of stated it was Rudolph that did the masse'.
But, yes, Greenleaf has such a wonderful free stroke, it is as if the cb ball floats to the next position. That footage is the most I have seen of Greenleaf.
The cues at that time were naturally balanced, because they were rosewood lamented into hard rock maple butts with a large butt 1-3/8" to 1-7/16. The thickness of the heavy butt wood would give it a natural balance. A 57" cue should have a 17" balance point, a 58" cue a 18" balance point and so on. My original Tad is that way, as is the cues of the golden era.
I have always felt that a larger tip/shaft dia. was more accurate than smaller dia., but does not get as much english/spin. I always played with an 11mm but I got to shoot with my shooting partner's 13-1/2mm and I felt that way.
Once your stroke improves the more you stay on center/closer to center, for now you are getting the juice through the stroke and also through it derives the power with less force.
Greenleaf's stroke is so beautiful, it is like a snake charmer putting you to sleep. I do not believe I have ever seen a stroke so free and relaxed as that.
I have to feel for Greenleaf, he went from being a tremendously highly paid Broadway performer, money$$$$$, to seeing his once widely celebrated sport wane.
Whitey
 

evergruven

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I am sorry, I should of stated it was Rudolph that did the masse'.
But, yes, Greenleaf has such a wonderful free stroke, it is as if the cb ball floats to the next position. That footage is the most I have seen of Greenleaf.
The cues at that time were naturally balanced, because they were rosewood lamented into hard rock maple butts with a large butt 1-3/8" to 1-7/16. The thickness of the heavy butt wood would give it a natural balance. A 57" cue should have a 17" balance point, a 58" cue a 18" balance point and so on. My original Tad is that way, as is the cues of the golden era.
I have always felt that a larger tip/shaft dia. was more accurate than smaller dia., but does not get as much english/spin. I always played with an 11mm but I got to shoot with my shooting partner's 13-1/2mm and I felt that way.
Once your stroke improves the more you stay on center/closer to center, for now you are getting the juice through the stroke and also through it derives the power with less force.
Greenleaf's stroke is so beautiful, it is like a snake charmer putting you to sleep. I do not believe I have ever seen a stroke so free and relaxed as that.
I have to feel for Greenleaf, he went from being a tremendously highly paid Broadway performer, money$$$$$, to seeing his once widely celebrated sport wane.
Whitey

thanks whitey, nice info.
weren't almost all the pool players back then using a closed bridge?
personally, I've been experimenting with more forward-balanced cues
but I use an open bridge a lot..the forward weight keeps the cue down
plus my head might reach ralph's armpits, so I can't grip the cue far back
right now I'm using 11.5, but I like the idea of going a little bigger
try and find a sweet spot between the accuracy and spin you mentioned
pool's popularity may have waned during ralph's playing days
but at least he was around for the good ones..hope he felt as much
 

gulfportdoc

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What is the secret/technique in doing this masse'? He makes it look so darn easy!
I have trouble with this one!
thanks, Whitey
I would say confidence and follow-through. Notice he pretty much follows through right to the cloth.
'Course in Greenleaf's case one could also add talent...:) Notice that he practically one strokes it, almost like a straight in to a side pocket.
 

baby huey

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Steve, the "Wing Shot" is a two railer out to the middle of the table. It usually involves a cut shot into a corner pocket with outside english and goes short rail, long rail to its destination again aroung the center of the table between the sides. Very common in 14.1 and rotation games. Its hard to control as most players come up short or too long for their next ball. He stopped the cueball on a dime or so I'm told.
 

P00lh0li0

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I see nobody mentioned that our very own Steve Booth was mentioned in one of the footnotes with his Patcheye interview.

Greenleaf used to have someone put a large coin on the table and have the cueball hit it after pocketing a ball. Apparently he was the only one to do it consistently.
 

RedCard

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I see nobody mentioned that our very own Steve Booth was mentioned in one of the footnotes with his Patcheye interview.

Greenleaf used to have someone put a large coin on the table and have the cueball hit it after pocketing a ball. Apparently he was the only one to do it consistently.
Page 83, I missed that. Thanks.
 

jay helfert

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he was tall!


Great videos! I've been around Pool forever and never seen these before. By far the most I've ever seen of Greenleaf shooting. Loved the full masse shot that Rudolf shoots in the match! Misses and all I like watching Ralph shoot the trick shots, many still being used today by exhibition players. Ralph is fairly tall, a good six feet. Like Doc said, he's got that short little jabby stroke and kind of an awkward looking stance. In Pool, it's not how you look, but what the results are. Noticed also that he and Rudolf don't waste any time when they are at the table. Very cool, thanks.
 
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jay helfert

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It looks for all the world like Ralph actually shot his way out of jail once.

View attachment 436991
The Eufaula Kid (Glen Womack I believe) was from there and Ralph probably stopped by to meet up with him. A little tidbit about Eufaula. His daughter lived in Bakersfield where I had my first poolroom in the 1970's. One day I come in and there is almost no one in there. It was early in the day and we had just opened. I went about my business and could hear the distinctive click of the balls on the back table where an older man was practicing. It was definitely not the sound a banger makes when hitting balls. I kept hearing this sound of balls being hit cleanly and it really got my attention. I look back to the table in the very back of the room and see this guy getting down and shooting, walking around and making the next shot. I could see that he was a player, and now I was interested. I was probably hoping to get a game when I approached him. I stood and watched him shoot from a distance and could see that he knew what he was doing. My curiousity got the best of me and I walked over and told him he played pretty good. We started talking and he told me who he was and why he was in town. He'd come out from Oklahoma to see his daughter and her family. We chatted awhile and then I had to get back to work. Maybe a year or two later he came in again. I regret that I didn't spend more time talking with him. One thing I do remember though was that his style of play (stance, stroke, how he moved around the table) reminded me a lot of my friend Ronnie Allen, who was also from Oklahoma. I know Eufaula was a great One Pocket player in his prime so I suspect he had an influence on Ronnie, maybe a big influence.
 

gulfportdoc

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Great videos! I've been around Pool forever and never seen these before. By far the most I've ever seen of Greenleaf shooting. Loved the full masse shot that Rudolf shoots in the match! Misses and all I like watching Ralph shoot the trick shots, many still being used today by exhibition players. Ralph is fairly tall, a good six feet. Like Doc said, he's got that short little jabby stroke and kind of an awkward looking stance. In Pool, it's not how you look, but what the results are. Noticed also that he and Rudolf don't waste any time when they are at the table. Very cool, thanks.
He grips the cue at about --or ahead of-- the balance point, which is much further up than most players grip the cue, with the exception of slip-strokers. Because he grips so far forward, his cue rather see-saws. which must take some variation on the grip depending upon where he wants to strike the cue ball.

But notice that he definitely gets through the CB with a nice follow through. Even a guy like Allen Hopkins, who appears to have a jab stroke, pushes right through the CB. He simply has a short back swing. IMO the follow through is the most important part of the stroke, irrespective of the length of back swing.
 

Dennis "Whitey" Young

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I believe the old guard players such as Hueston, Taberski, Greenleaf, Rudolph, Benny Allen, Geo. Kelly, and Ponzi, gave the new guard of Caras, Mosconi, and Crane all they could handle when they first entered the world championships in '33. I do believe Mosconi did come close to winning, but it was Caras in '36, that broke through, and again in '38 & '39. After '37 which Greenleaf won, he was all but done. Ponzi in '40. Mosconi would not win the championship until '41, 8 yrs. after entering his first championship, and then Rudolph beat him to become the new champion in '41, and Crane won in '42, 9 yrs. later.

in '29 Greenleaf, and probably in the world championships in Detroit, had a high avg. 11.02 on a 5 x10. This is huge, for in '67 or '68 I forget, but I went to the world championship in Norwalk and at that time the avg. ball run for men leading up to this tournament was around 5 balls, women were less than 3 balls.
Those old guard guys could play!
Whitey
 
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jay helfert

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Greenleaf died in 1950 at fifty years old. The decades of alcohol abuse had taken it's toll on him. By the time I came along 12 or 13 years later, the old timers still talked about Greenleaf, even more than Mosconi. They all had a reverence for Greenleaf and a disdain for Mosconi. I picked up on that pretty quickly.
 

Keith E.

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Greenleaf died in 1950 at fifty years old. The decades of alcohol abuse had taken it's toll on him. By the time I came along 12 or 13 years later, the old timers still talked about Greenleaf, even more than Mosconi. They all had a reverence for Greenleaf and a disdain for Mosconi. I picked up on that pretty quickly.

Jay,

First off, sorry for going off topic. What seemed to be their main problem with Mosconi?

Thanks,
Keith
 

jay helfert

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Jay,

First off, sorry for going off topic. What seemed to be their main problem with Mosconi?

Thanks,
Keith
I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but he was not well liked by many of the other players. I don't want to speculate on all the reasons why but I have a good idea why.
 

gulfportdoc

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I suspect one of the reasons that most didn't like Mosconi was that he was an ill-tempered, arrogant pr*ck. Likely some of the players were resentful that he got a valuable deal with Brunswick, then turned around and belittled anyone who tried to make a living gambling at pool. Mosconi even admitted that he didn't like pool, but played it simply for a living. Whereas Greenleaf was a very likable guy, loved pool (and billiards), and would talk about it or play anyone.
 

Jimmy B

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When I talked to someone who knew him pretty well and competed with him, they reported that he was also chinchy as hell and if you ever went for a meal or something, forget about him picking up a tab... I realize that's hearsay...
 

RabbiHippie

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I see nobody mentioned that our very own Steve Booth was mentioned in one of the footnotes with his Patcheye interview.

Greenleaf used to have someone put a large coin on the table and have the cueball hit it after pocketing a ball. Apparently he was the only one to do it consistently.
That interview with Patcheye was excellent. Just to add on to the commendations for Steve in both getting the interview and letting it go its own direction. A lot of insight beyond pool.
 

NH Steve

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That interview with Patcheye was excellent. Just to add on to the commendations for Steve in both getting the interview and letting it go its own direction. A lot of insight beyond pool.
Yes, he was my most interesting interview I would have to say. He was a deeply thoughtful man, unexpected to that extent in the pool world in my naivete anyway.
 

RabbiHippie

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There was one quote from the Patcheye interview that has stuck with me where he said something like "I know what an accomplishment is." It was a single statement that spoke volumes.

Getting back on topic, I read once that Greenleaf used inside English on a high percentage of shots. Someone earlier observed how the cue ball seemed to float from shot to shot, something CJ Wiley has remarked on as well when discussing his TOI method. I also wonder how much a factor the different composition of the balls used back then might have been in accounting for some of the unique attributes in his style of play.

Were they using clay balls in the 20s and 30s?
 
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