The Hustler & the Champ

The Hustler & the Champ

Willie Mosconi, Minnesota Fats, and the Rivalry That Defined Pool

Book - 2007
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The true story of Willie Masconi, Minnesota Fats, and the Great Shoot Out.


Globe Fearon Co
In the tradition of Pulitzer Prize nominated, Positively Fifth Street, here is a riveting account of a high stakes shoot-out between pool’s two most famous personalities.

It was Valentine’s Day, 1978, and Howard Cosell was hosting the long-awaited show-down between the best-ever tournament player, Willie Mosconi, and the game’s most famous hustler, Minnesota Fats. This was The Great Pool Shoot-Out,  one of the most highly rated televised sporting events of the year, exceeding even World Series games and basketball championships. R.A. Dyer, author of the best-selling Hustler Days, which recounts the rise of pool during the 1960s, writes of the acrid, but mutually beneficial rivalry between Fats and Mosconi, and how the televised shoot-outs came to embody that rivalry, which was nothing less than a bitter rift within the soul of American pocket billiards. Fats and Mosconi were born the same year, but were vastly different characters: one stood for artistry, the other for show business; one brought dignity to pool, the other made it fun. They are without a doubt the two most important players ever to hold a cue. This is the ultimate tale of American sportsmanship.


R.A. Dyer is a columnist for Billiards Digest, and lives in Austin, Texas.



Publisher: Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, c2007
ISBN: 1592288839 (alk. paper)
9781592288830 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 794.733092 DYE
Characteristics: x, 309 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Hustler and the champ

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