In 1989, Bruce Barthelette was a new League Operator just getting started in his area. He was out promoting the Connecticut APA when he met 28 year old Chris Duff from Manchester, Conn. Chris was born with Spina Bifida, but that’s not what stood out about him.
Chris is an all-around good guy. Win or lose, he handles himself with respect for both the opponent and the game. During his time in the League, Chris was a Team Captain and a Co-Captain. He went to Las Vegas for both the 8-Ball and 9-Ball National Team Championship events. Chris achieved a skill level 6 in 8-Ball and skill level 7 in 9-Ball. He has participated in many local events and, in turn, is a well-known and respected player throughout the League.
Unfortunately, Chris had to quit playing pool because of his Spina Bifida. He recently announced this devastating news via a Facebook post:
“I knew it would happen sooner or later, but this year my back finally gave out and I had to end my favorite hobby of shooting pool in the APA. I want to thank Bruce Barthelette for showing up one night in Hanky Panky’s. It literally changed my life. I’ve always been a very competitive person, but growing up handicapped I could never compete physically with any sport until I could get on a pool table. I’ve met a lot of great friends, either as teammates or my competition. I want to thank all my teammates past and present for putting up with me. I’ve played with and against the best players ever to come out of Connecticut. Who would have ever thought I would be playing in a National Championship in Las Vegas?! Hopefully someday I can get back into it. Thanks again Bruce, it was a great 25 years.”
“I want to thank Chris; it’s players like him that have made our Connecticut APA successful,” Barthelette said. “I hope that we can get him back at the pool table sometime in the future. We’ll miss him while he’s gone.”