Ruth McGinnis – America’s First Queen of Pocket Billiards

Ruth McGinnis – America’s First Queen of Pocket Billiards

Ruth McGinnis was America’s first great female pool professional. Rebecca Batley/Guest Contributor In her skirt, blouse and smart midi heels, Ruth McGinnis did not look like your typical pool shark. Playing pool in a skirt is not the easiest of things to do — it does not allow the player to ‘sprawl’ over the table, nor to lean too far over.  Neither was the early twentieth...
Marshall “Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter dead at 92

Marshall “Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter dead at 92

Legendary OnePocket player Helped Organize First Johnston City Tournament. Legendary one-pocket player Marshall Carpenter, better known to the pool world as The Tuscaloosa Squirrel, passed away April 5 in his namesake hometown. He was 92. Marshall “The Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter, right, with Wimpy Lassiter in Johnston City, Illinois, 1963. Born Feb. 9, 1928, Carpenter was the...
Guest Post:  Black Widow Makes Cue Sports History in Japan

Guest Post: Black Widow Makes Cue Sports History in Japan

Fan favorite Jeanette Lee was among those Americans who competed in the first World Games to feature the cue sports. By Dean Mullen/Guest Contributor Jeanette Lee photo courtesy KiYoung Kim, WikiCommons Hall of fame player Jeanette Lee — better known to fans as The Black Widow — claimed multiple titles during the 1990s, eventually rose to the top of the rankings that decade and in ‘98 was...
The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

Brooklyn’s Cisero Murphy smashed through professional pool’s color line. Cisero Murphy, shown in the video that you can find here, was the first African-American pool player to ever win a World or U.S. National billiard title. Murphy also was a trailblazer for equal access, having to overcome race prejudice to gain the right to compete at the very top echelon of pool. A native...
Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna’s Parting Gift for Pool Fans

Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna’s Parting Gift for Pool Fans

Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna “The ‘Encyclopedia’ of Pool Hustlers was the final hilarious work by pool writer Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna. He published the 325-page tome in 2013 and then passed away too soon in June of the following year. He sent me a signed copy, which I still cherish. The book (apparently out of print but you can still find it...
Guest Post: Fast-Shooting Lou Butera Gunned ’em Down

Guest Post: Fast-Shooting Lou Butera Gunned ’em Down

Lou Butera got his “Machine Gun” nickname for his quick shooting style. By Jack Smiles/Guest Contributor Lou Butera photo courtesy of the Greater Pittston Historical Society Sam Butera opened a billiard parlor on South Main Street in Pittston, Pennsylvania, in 1937 the same year his son Lou Butera, later to be known as Machine Gun, was born. At 10 Lou was famous around the...