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Old 11-01-2009, 12:48 PM
gulfportdoc's Avatar
gulfportdoc gulfportdoc is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Gulfport, Mississippi
Posts: 9,264
Default Is Fats a fit?

There's been a lot of talk, mostly favorable, about whether or not Rudolph Wanderone should be considered for the 1P Hall of Fame.

In my particular case, during the late 60's and 70's I assumed "Fats" was a joke. I knew he'd stolen the Walter Tevis character's name, had capitalized on it, and made big money because of it. He reportedly was a source of anger and embarrassment to Tevis, and later to his widow. One wonders if Wanderone was ever in any way grateful to the Tevis's.

I saw a few of his TV shows. And while they were entertaining, Fats' play was terrible. Of course by then, Fats had gotten older. His incessant banter was the draw, and he was an expert at that. For that reason, he seemed like a good fit for the BCA HOF, simply because their hall leans toward the commercial success of pool-- not necessarily toward the excellence of their inductees.

Nevertheless, I started hearing rumors that the guy could actually play, and that he'd been a feared back room player, up through his middle years. He'd beaten RA and Kelly, albeit with a little weight. Recently on this site, Jay Helfert, Beard, and others have attested to his high level play. Others, such as Diliberto, have continued to denigrate Fats.

It occurred to me that there is possibly a "resentment factor" in regards Fats. That he has received way too much attention over the years, whereas much more deserving players have remained unheralded in the shadows. There may be some truth to that.

Still, presumably without Fats' influence, our beloved game may not have been brought into modern times. Reportedly he was a big influence in the Jansco's inclusion of 1P at Johnson City. Without Johnson City, 1P may have withered away.

Because of this, and because of his legendary back room 1P prowess, my personal opinion is that Fats, despite having been an insufferable windbag, deserves to be strongly considered for HOF.

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