Jim Rempe & Frank Stellman Inducted into the 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame
by Charlie Williams
New York City – „King James“ Rempe and Frank „Sailor“ Stellman will be this year’s Straight Pool Hall of Fame inductees. Both men are still alive and well, and are due to appear in New York City for the first time in a long, long, while. Rempe made a huge impact on the pro pool scene from the 1970’s through the early 2000’s, while Stellman influenced numerous top players in the mid-west with his 14.1 teachings over a span of 60 years. Fans and players can attend the once in a lifetime special event at 7:00pm on August 6th, 2014 at Steinway Billiards Cafe during the 74th World Tournament of 14.1. It will be a star studded gala with billiard super stars such as Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, John Schmidt, Stephan Cohen, Johnny Archer, Darren Appleton & many more with Charlie Williams as the event MC. The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 is sponsored by ANDY CLOTH, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club, Realrealcool.com, Pool & Billiard Magazine , Aramith Balls, and George Beckman Kinetic Sculptures. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel, and Dr. Greg Diehl Plastic Surgery. Dr. Michael Fedak and Dragon Promotions are pleased to bring the 4th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame and the 74th production of the oldest billiard event in the world on August 4th-9th, 2014.
„Straight pool is my favorite pool discipline. It’s a game where knowledge is very important and makes the difference between good players and the best players“, explained Rempe about his love for 14.1. “ I know not many players can say this, but I really look back at my life and see that I did not have a misspent youth. I took my dad’s advice on finding something I love and make a living doing it. Pool is the greatest game ever.“
Of the 4 nominees including Nick Varner, Lou Butera and Allen Hopkins, Jim Rempe won 40% of the votes submitted by fans via social media, polls, and emails. King James was born in 1947 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Rempe began playing pool at the age of 6 and he turned pro at the age of 22, winning 98 major championships, and taking 11 world titles, including the World Nine-ball Championship, the World One-pocket Championship, and the All-Around World Championship. Rempe won 3 US 14.1 Masters Championships (later changed to the US Open 14.1), 1973 NY State 14.1, the US Open 9-Ball, and 4 World 9-Ball titles. He accumulated 23 tournament wins between 1972 and 1978, more than any other pool player in the world, thus acquiring the nickname „King James“.
„When I decided to become serious about pool five years ago, I looked up Jim Rempe to learn the game from a true professional. I thought that I would spend a couple of hours with him that afternoon. His enthusiasm for pool was so infectious that before we knew it, eight hours had gone by. He has become a good friend and mentor, and he teaches the game as well as he plays it. His pedigree speaks for itself, and he belongs in the halls of fame of all of the pool disciplines. Congrats, Jimmy!“, said Dr. Gregory Diehl of Diehl Plastic Surgery.
In the Unsung Hero category, Frank Stellman won 80% of the votes and had many vocal supporters lobbying for this mid-western legend. Frank „Sailor“ Stellman is from Racine, Wisconsin and was born in 1927. He was a guru who taught and influenced many 14.1 players and groomed dozens of 100 ball runners. He also organized Wisconsin’s first state 9-Ball tournaments for men and women, and he was the technical host for a weekly TV pool show. He has given numerous pool seminars usually free of charge. This was Frank’s second year on the 14.1 HOF ballot.
„Wow. This is something I really never expected in my life. I helped players learn the game not for any recognition or money, but only because I felt it was the right thing to do. It’s quite an honor and I’m going to do my absolute best to get to New York City! It’s all up to my doctor to give me the green light!“ The 87 year old Stellman has diabetes and faces amputation of his foot, but still manages to get to the poolroom to watch and advise players. He recently was transported to Red Shoes Billiards to watch the World 14.1 Qualifier in Chicago.
„This induction is going to a very, very deserving man. Frank to me is like Yoda, not well known but so full of wisdom and knowledge. He influenced myself as well as so many top notch players. Guys like Dallas West, Jimmy Mataya, and Jeff Carter would always defer to Sailor’s final word about any shot on the pool table. That’s the kind of reverence he had. And he did it for no money. For him it was about the love of the game. That’s why he never competed. He was close friends with Willie Mosconi, and one whom Mosconi considered a peer“, said an enthusiastic Mark Wilson, a student of Stellman’s as well as a renown teacher now himself. More notably, Mark is the current Captain of the USA Mosconi Cup Team. „No one could be more happier than myself on hearing the news of his induction. For me, this further legitimizes the Straight Pool Hall of Fame.“
„Every year the Straight Pool Hall of Fame sells out with over a hundred people attending. It’s a classy, entertaining, and emotional celebration of the greats of the sport“, says Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
Past inductees include live inductions of Ray Martin, Jerome Keough, Jack Colavita, Danny Diliberto, Oliver Ortmann, Gene Nagy. Group inductions by decades include 14.1 Hall of Famer legends Ralph Greenleaf, Frank Taberski, Erwin Rudolph, Jimmy Caras, Andrew Ponzi, Thomas Hueston, Alfredo de Oro.
Fans can buy tickets in advance for $55 by going to http://worldstraightpool.com/tickets.html . The dinner includes a 5 course meal and beverages as well as seating next to the stars of billiards. For $141 you can also join the Elite Members of the 141 Club on the same link.
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