Vintage Videos #1
INDEX & LINKS TO VIDEOS:
1. Remembering The Fatman by Randi Givens
2. Mort Luby interviews Minnesota Fats
3. Fats interview with Luby, part ll
4. Mosconi Interview with Mort Luby p.1
5. Mosconi Interview with Mort Luby p.2
6. Fats Hall of Fame speech part 1
7. Fats Hall of Fame speech part 2
8. Fats Hall of Fame speech part 3
9. Mort Luby interviews Irving Crane
10. Crane interview with Mort Luby part ll
11. Dorothy Wise Interview part 1
12. Dorothy Wise Interview part 2
13. Lou Butera interview part 1
14. Lou Butera interview part 2
15. Cowboy Jimmy Moore instruction
16. Cowboy Jimmy Moore trick shots
17. Cowboy Jimmy Moore interview p.1
18. Cowboy Jimmy Moore interview p.2
19. Cowboy Jimmy Moore interview p.3
20. Cowboy Jimmy Moore interview p.4
21. Cowboy Jimmy Moore interview p.5
Surfing Internet pool forums I came across a string of posts saying that Minnesota
Fats (Rudolph Wonderone aka New York Fats) was a “B” player. For many years
stories have gone around claiming that Fatty couldn’t beat his way out of a wet paper
bag. However, such fanciful rumors do not conform to my memories of seeing the
Fatman in action in Johnston City in the early 60s.
Three in the side:
I don’t know if this was one of Fatty’s pet banks, but I saw him make it
six times in a row warming up.
Fats made the bank above to win a $5,000 one pocket match with “Handsome Danny”
Jones who happened to be the US Snooker Champion at the time.
Fatty’s next customer was World One Pocket Champion Marshall “Squirrel” Carpenter.
Fatty put Squirrel in the ditch by running three racks of one pocket in a row. Tell
me how a “B” player can run 3 consecutive racks of one pocket? People who demean
Fats never played him and probably never saw him play for big bucks.
Fats had enough speed to finish 4th in the World One Pocket Tournament in 1961.
Considering the field and the fact that Fats was almost 50 years old at the time, this
was quite an accomplishment. Despite an abundance of top players in attendance
in Johnston City, no one treated him like a “B” player. Even the best players were
wary about matching up with the Fatman. Fats was dangerous and everyone there
Squirrel told me “Fats was a very streaky player. When Fatty got on a roll he could
beat anyone. His best game was 3 Cushion, then banks and then one pocket.” When
Fats went into high gear, he became an unbeatable one-pocket-playing-machine
that made confetti out of everyone who challenged him.
The day after Bill ‘Weenie Beanie’ Staton won the 1972 Stardust Open, Fats beat
him so badly playing even up that Beanie couldn’t breathe. Staton was in dead stroke
when the match started having just defeated the top one pocket players in the world,
but that didn’t save him from a brutal beating. Fats ran the last three racks, eight and
out, to finish the session and Beanie could barely stand up. At an age when most
elite players can no longer win in professional competition, Fatty was still depriving
top players of their bankrolls.
Learning that Fats studied under 1928 World Balkline Champion, Eric Hagenlacher,
for a couple of years as a youth, should dispel thoughts that Fats was a “B” player.
Balkline demands very high levels of cue ball and object ball control to play at all
and Fats was a “good” billiard player. There is no better training to produce a
professional pool player than learning to play balkline with some authority. Fats took Hagenlacher’s teaching to heart and became a professional level player in his teens.
Unlike Willie Mosconi who apparently thought of pool as a “job,” Fats genuinely enjoyed competing against tough players. He loved outplaying and outsmarting elite players. Fats viewed pool as a game of wits and few opponents ever out maneuvered him.
Fatty had a huge round Humpty Dumpty body that looked like a ping–pong ball on toothpicks. According to the freight scales in Johnston City, Fats weighed in at 325 pounds.
One thing no one disputes is Fatty’s appetite. He was barred from every smorgasbord and “all you can eat” joint on the planet. The owner of the cafeteria in West Frankfort, stopped Fats before he got a tray saying, “If I let you in, you’ll eat me out of business.” That was no exaggeration because Fats could eat two complete turkeys with the fixings at one sitting.
Fatty was the most energetic fat man I ever saw. He moved like a ballet dancer pirouetting from shot to shot. He floated around the table like a ballroom dancer light as a feather firing in ball after ball. Onlookers were often deceived by Fats babble, which was designed to lure players who should never play him into big money games. To casual observers, Fats boasting, bragging and tall tale telling were amusing, but more serious analysts recognized a deeper more insidious aspect of his chattering. After convincing victims to get down for some serious cash, Fatty’s talk turned to undermining opposition confidence. What seemed entertaining at first took on a sinister tone that eroded self-assurance. On top of the words, Fats dismayed opponents by running rack after rack.
The fact that so many people think that Fats couldn’t play may be a tribute to his ability as a con man or maybe the Fatman fooled people because of the erroneous notion that fat people are congenitally incompetent. The Minnesota Fats was one of my heroes and I miss him.