Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Videos of Pool Champ Harold Worst in 1965

Check out the cool videos of Harold Worst playing in Johnston City, circa 1965, which was about a year before Worst died of cancer. You can find the video on a blog maintained by Freddy "The Beard" Bentivegna. Just click here. Worst is playing Larry "Boston" Shorty in the footage. The Beard also has posted a Jim McKay interview with Worst.

A bit of quick biographical information: Worst was born on Sept. 29, 1929, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1949, according to The Grand Rapids Press, "Worst had followed in Hoppe's steps as a 'boy wonder,' having set a record for youth when at the age of 21 he became the youngest player in history to qualify for world championship play." He placed second in that year's national tournament and then fourth in the world meet. In 1954 he won the world three-cushion title during a tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He then went on to amass a great winning record through the first half of the 1960s and might have surpassed Luther Lassiter as that decade's dominant player had Worst not died of cancer in 1966 at the age of 37. Worst was at the top of this game when he got sick. He remained unconquered as the world's three-cushion champion.

You can read more about Worst in a column I wrote earlier for Billiards Digest. The coding is a bit messed up, but it's still available online here. On the top of this post I've inserted an image of the front page of the Grand Rapids Press that features coverage of Worst. Forgive the dark stains. I think I spilled some wine on my hard copy. You can find the home page of the great Freddy the Beard here.

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