Larry Johnson

  • The One Pocket Hall of Fame

    Is pleased to honor

    Larry ‘Boston Shorty’ Johnson

    For his Outstanding Contribution to the Legacy of The Game of One Pocket
  • Name: Larry Johnson
    NicknameBoston Shorty
    From: Boston, MA
    Born: July 20, 1929
    Died: Dec 10, 2000
    Elected Year: 2004

Shorty is one of the few players ever to win world titles at both pocket and three cushion billiards, which is one reason he was honored with election into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1999.

* As a tournament player, Shorty won more of the Jansco Brother’s One Pocket events than any other player:

  •   1965 Johnston City One Pocket
  •   1966 Stardust Hotel One Pocket
  •   1967 Johnston City One Pocket
  •   1968 Johnston City One Pocket
  •   1972 Johnston City One Pocket

* As an After Hours Player, Shorty was a frequent road player who thrived on action at all cue games. Although he spent several stretches of time in the pool and billiard strongholds of New York City and Chicago, he always returned to his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

At just 5′-2, Shorty developed excellent position skills to avoid having to stretch beyond his limited reach. Never fond of the mechanical bridge, he preferred to arrange his after hours play under terms that permitted him to leave the floor and climb onto the table.

As a teenager Larry set up pins at the local bowling alley. One of the fringe benefits was the use of the pool table. In his off time he would practice for hours at a time. Soon he was making balls with ease.

He was a natural. He got better with each passing month. Knowing how good he was he started making the rounds of the local poolrooms, playing for cash. His mother thought he was in school but he was knocking in balls by the hundreds. He would eat his packed lunch right there in the pool hall.

In 1949, after a hitch in the army, Larry went to work in a shoe factory and a book binding company. It was then he decided to become a professional pool player. He knew he could make more money playing pool. What he didn’t know was that he would become one of the best billiardists in the country. After many tours and road trips, Larry was a seasoned pro. The money was flowing, tournaments, challenge matches or just pick up games.

Then came JOHNSTON CITY, the World Hustler’s All Around. Larry fit right in, cool, confident and talented. In the finals he played Harold Worst and Luther Lassiter. These matches were televised by ABC Sports. Millions of people found out about a guy called “Boston Shorty”. He would also be one of very few men to win major titles in 8 ball, 9 ball, one pocket, straight pool and billiards. – Ray Dessel

  • Featured in the National Billiard News
    following a three-cushion victory

  • Shorty, host Mike Xiarhos and Ray Desell on the occasion of Shorty’s induction into the New England Pool and Billiards Hall of Fame in 1994