April 1, 2004
20 Greatest American Pool Checkers Players
Of All Times
(Written by Charles ‘Pecan’ Thompson)
Charles "Little Charles" McDuffie, is one of my surprise picks. While his APCA record, that I have researched, shows only two appearances in the tournament-1981 winning the Masters, and 1982 finishing 6th in the Top Masters; he was tough.
A friend of mine, Clarence "Dude" Dew, and I used to make frequent trips to St. Louis, Missouri, to battle Mr. McDuffie, and another very good APCA Top Master, George Cobbs. And battle we did -- with the matches seesawing back-and-forth on many occasions. But in our final visit, I was ’mugged’ (5 successive loses) by Mr. McDuffie. I haven't returned to St. Louis since-at least to play Mr. McDuffie.
What is even more impressive about Mr. McDuffie’s game, is the fact that he defeated our own 2nd ranked player, Mr. Victor "Vic" Krafft, the 1971 APCA CO-champion, in a marathon match. (Mr. Krafft would eventually lose to Ollie "Shot Gun" Howard in a 14 games-playoff match in Chicago for the APCA title of 1971). Some swore that, at one point, "Little Charles" beat "Vic" eight straight games. But Victor said it was not so. However, "Vic" did admit that the ’straights’ were substantial. Additionally, my good friend, Eugene "Hamp" Hampton of Indianapolis, Indiana-a Master in his own right, and a close friend of George Ramsey, told me that he personally drove "Little George" from Indianapolis to St. Louis to play Mr. McDuffie. According to Mr. Hampton, "Little George" was embarrassed after losing to Mr. McDuffie in some all night sessions.
While Mr. McDuffie’s APCA tournament appearances were limited, his outside matches, and his ultimate defeat of some of the American Pool Checkers' highest rated players, along with my personal observation of his game, would merit my selecting him on my 20 All Time Greatest list.
And so the name of Charles "Little Charles" McDuffie will be placed at #17.
#17. Charles "Little Charles" McDuffie - St. Louis, Missouri
#18. Tony Rivers- Bronx, New York
#19. George Robinson - Toledo, Ohio
#20. Clyde "King Row" Black - New York, New York