19th Century Billiards Sleuthing from a Baseball Historian

Two photos. One mystery. The man with the crew cut on the right is Mike Tiernan, a famous 19th Century outfielder. But who is the bearded fellow on the left? Baseball historian Tom Shieber, the man behind the Baseball Researcher blog, recently stumbled across these two photos in the  digital archives of the New York Public Library.  Tiernan was identified as the man in both photos. According to...
Michael Phelan, the Father of American Pool — A Timeline


Michael Phelan, the Father of American Pool — A Timeline


Michael Phelan is considered the father of American pool. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1993. Just below is a timeline that outlines major events in his life. 1819 (April 18th) — Born in Castle Comer, County Kilkenny, Ireland. 1823 — His father John Phelan immigrates to the United States. Here, he begins to operate a number of pool rooms. 1824 —...

In The River: The Weird 1866 Death of Pool Player Louis Fox

This excerpt, below, from an old edition of the New York Times describes the discovery in 1866 of the body of pool player Louis Fox in a Rochester, New York river. But how did Fox’s body get there? According to one very colorful (and perhaps apocryphal) story by sports historian Frank Menke, Fox, shortly before his death, had played a challenge match with John Deery to determine the 1865...