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Steve in Florida in 1968 with Lewis 'Lefty' Goff

Steve finished second to Goff at this

tournament held at Dale Mabry Billiards

this photo courtesy Doc Cramer

Recalling Steve Cook

By Ken Cook


Steve 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.


Steve 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.


Steve 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.


He 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.

Steve 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.

His 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.

Steve 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 to!


Best wishes,

Todd Reicher

Airway Billiards, Dayton, Ohio

Steve 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.

Ken Cook


Steve won the 1991 Legends of One Pocket, Philadelphia Style


Steve at the US Open in the mid-70's


All photos courtesy of Ken Cook, and are used here with his permission.

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