Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tribute to Underground Legend Gene Nagy

Just reading a touching tribute to the great Gene Nagy, written by NYC Grind website founder Jerry Tarantola. Tarantola rightly describes Nagy as "one of pool’s greatest underground legends," an expert player who once ran 430 balls successively. Nagy also mentored such legends as Jeanette Lee and Fran Crimi. He died in 2006.

I get letters from time to time from readers looking for more information about Nagy. There's not much out there, although I've come across a fascinating chapter about Nagy and fellow legend Jersey Red in the 1979 book Billiards, by John Grissim. Apparently the author ran his tape recorder for an entire one-pocket session between the two legends, and then jotted down shot diagrams as the session proceeded. As a result, the passage reads more like a movie script than a book chapter.

I reproduced a short excerpt from this chapter (along with a shot diagram) in an earlier post on this blog. You can find it here. Grissim's book is out of print, but it also pops up for sale on the Internet from time to time. And again, check out Tarantola's tribute to his friend and mentor. You can find it here.

-- R.A. Dyer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was watching a TV program where pool was being played. I though of Eugene Nagy, a friend of mine when I was at school at P.S. 102, in Elmhurst, Queens. I only learned about his being a pool player many years later. At P.S. 102 he played trumpet in the talent shows. Back when kids roamed the streets of NYC, I was able to walk from my house to his, many blocks away, while I was in the first or second grade. He may have been my best friend when I was about 9 years old. I never thought of him as an athlete, but apparently I was wrong.