Irving Crane

~written by Stuart Jack Mattana, guest writer

My favorite-ever pool player is Irving Crane.

Though known for his conservative play, in my estimation, he had the perfect combination of patience and aggressiveness at the table. A straight pool legend, Irving is remembered by many for his stellar defensive play, and yet, many forget that he is among a very small group that ever ran over 300 balls on a 5 x 10 table. Irving didn’t pocket the balls as well as Lassiter, and his position play was not quite on a par with that of Mosconi, but he managed the table with as much elegance as any player of his or any other era, and showed great imagination in his play.

Best of all, Irving Crane was a truly refined gentleman at and away from the table. He presented himself and conducted himself in a very polished manner, and was a fine role model for his fellow professionals and for all aspiring pool professionals. Of the modern era players, I would single out Nick Varner and Ralf Souquet as two players who have carried themselves in a comparable manner.

Irving’s technical excellence and fundamental soundness helped him maintain world class level performance up to the age of seventy. Of today’s older players, at least for me, only Jose Parica comes close to having duplicated Irving’s prolific run of sustained excellence.

For his appearance, his demeanor, and his patient yet powerful play, Irving Crane was always a player worth being around. He was good for pool and for the image of pool.

Stuart Jack Mattana (a.k.a., SJM)


~ by g2 on February 15, 2010.

5 Responses to “Irving Crane”

  1. […] guest writer on confessions of ‘G’ squared Stu delivers a powerful tribute to the late, great "Irving Crane."  A dear friend of the 14.1 genius, Stu pays homage to his friend’s talent and elegance […]

  2. I once had coffee and cookies with Mr. Irving Crane and Mrs. Althea Crane in their home in Rochester, NY. I will never forget it.

  3. Welcome to PoolSynergy, thanks for contributing. Hope this won’t be your only article.

    I think it’s fascinating how different players can accentuate or emphasize one aspect of their game and put their personal stamp on something that seems so impersonal. I also love how one can win with so many different approaches.

  4. Just read your article (enjoyed reading it) and I think I have a very old Book of this guy….will look for it later…

  5. Jack, a fine tribute. Thanks for spreading the word about “The Deacon,” a man who won titles during four different decades.

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