Florida in 1968 with Lewis
Steve finished second to Goff at this
tournament held at Dale Mabry Billiards
photo courtesy Doc Cramer
led a normal life as a young boy until he was five years old. He
then developed a pain in his right leg, which was caused by a bone
deterioration in his right hip. He was not allowed to walk on that
leg until it healed, which took patience and determination. After
five years, at the age of ten he started walking, but could not
play running sports.
won several golf tournaments locally and won the national putter
golf tournament at age fifteen. He won the Lima City table tennis
championship, and was an excellent bowler.
was introduced to a pool table when he was fourteen and immediately
fell in love with the game. He progressively lost interest in other
sports and used all of his spare time playing pool, and started
leaving on weekends to play better players. When Steve was nineteen,
Danny Jones came to town for an exhibition match with Steve. We
asked Danny if Steve could go to the Stardust tournament, which
was coming soon, which was approved and Steve finished 23 rd . Steve
then moved to Springfield, Ohio and managed a poolroom.
then moved to Florida where he met Lefty Goff. Steve and Lefty managed
Dale Mabry Billiards in Tampa in 1968 until it closed several years
later. There were some good players in Florida and with the encouragement
of Lefty, Steve's game improved. Steve then worked at the Varsity
Billiard Room in Tampa as the manager and house pro into the 1990's.
won the Stardust All Around tournament in 1970 at the age of twenty-three,
and won many other tournaments along the way. In the words of Allen
Hopkins, "Steve Cook was probably the best One-Pocket player in
the world from 1976 until the mid- 1980's." He won the "Legends
of One-Pocket" in Philadelphia in 1991 and the Los Angeles Open
in 1992, and won many smaller events along the way.
mother suffered a stroke in 1996 so he came home to Lima, Ohio
the next year. He then played in events around the mid-western
states with an occasional trip to Vegas and larger tournaments.
Steve had the patience and liked the artistic play and strategy
it took to play the game.
always treated others with respect, and never spoke an unkind
word to anyone else or about anyone else. This example serves
as something for the rest of us in the pool world to aspire
Billiards, Dayton, Ohio
is dearly missed by family and friends and was a pleasure to know.
He is survived by his sister Lynne, two nieces Corinne and Breanne Frank, and grand-nephew Jacob. His mother and I were proud to be his parents.
won the 1991 Legends of One Pocket, Philadelphia Style
at the US Open in the mid-70's
photos courtesy of Ken Cook, and are used here with his permission.
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