Cornbread Red, Minnesota Fats and a Johnston City Burn

Cornbread Red, Minnesota Fats and a Johnston City Burn

Old-time hustler was part of pool’s most colorful generation. The autobiography of Minnesota Fats, written with Tom Fox, references Cornbread Red. Billy Burge, better known as “Cornbread Red,” was a famed road player, an expert one-pocket player and a colorful wild man. He was a fixture of “The Rack,” a famed pool hall in Detroit, and a backroom denizen of the...
Rare Photo of Ralph Greenleaf’s widow, the Princess Nai Tai Tai

Rare Photo of Ralph Greenleaf’s widow, the Princess Nai Tai Tai

The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, by Tom Fox. My long-time friend Karen Fox recently sent me this lovely photo, above, of Amelia Greenleaf, the then-widow of billiard champion Ralph Greenleaf, chatting with Karen’s late husband, Tom Fox. Greenleaf is remembered now as one of the very best pool players in American history. Tom was a successful newspaper columnist and the co-author of...
One-Pocket Mystery: Who Invented the Hustlers’ Game?

One-Pocket Mystery: Who Invented the Hustlers’ Game?

Here’s a one-pocket mystery. Jack Hill, apparently from Oklahoma, is referenced in Hustler Days as the inventor of one-pocket. But the original source for that information was The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, the book by Minnesota Fats. Fats offers only a few details about Hill, and we have never seen Hill’s name referenced elsewhere. According to Fats, a man by the name of...