Morton Goldberg

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Morton Goldberg (December 17, 1916 – February 22, 1996), nicknamed "Boston Shorty", was an American professional pool player. Born in Rochester, New York,[1] Goldberg beat such famous pool players as Minnesota Fats, Irving Crane, and Willie Mosconi. Standing only five feet two inches, Goldberg overcame his lack of height by becoming extremely adept at using a mechanical bridge. Goldberg joined the US Army in 1942 when he was 25 years old. At the time of his enlistment, he was the New York State billiard champion, a title he had held for several years, having defeated some of the top players, including Willie Mosconi, Jimmy Caras, Ralph Greenleaf, Irving Crane, and Irwin Rudolph.[2]

For much of his service time, he was stationed in Boston. When he wasn't cooking for the troops, he played pool. It was in Boston that Pfc. Goldberg met Willie Hoppe, the world's champion billiard player, for a second time (Goldberg had lost to Hoppe at an exhibition in Poughkeepsie in 1939). The two provided a brilliant exhibition of billiard skill, held at Fort Heath. The match was one between champions, both expert in the game, and the remarkable precision shown by both players brought gasps of amazement from the huge crowd of onlookers. Goldberg lost the game, 9 to 14, but his playing was so brilliant against tall, long-armed Willie Hoppe that the soldiers of the post gave Goldberg the nickname, "Boston Shorty".[2]


  1. ^ New York Tourist Attractions Hometown Offbeat New York City Travel Maps
  2. ^ a b Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery (1997). The Friends of Mount Hope Newsletter, Volume 17, Number 1. "Boston Shorty, a.k.a. Morton Goldberg (1916-1996): One of the Greatest Pool Players" by Richard O. Reisem.