New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: Drinking

Toots Shor


Toots Shor (Drinking.  Born, Philadelphia, PA, May 6, 1903; died, New York, NY, Jan. 23, 1977.)  A magnificent character who cast a big shadow in the New York sports world for decades, Bernard Shor was basically a saloon keeper who liked his own products very much.  After working in several other local establishments (most notably Leon & Eddie’s on West 52nd St.) when Prohibition ended in 1933, Shor opened his own restaurant at 51 West 51st Street in 1940.  It quickly became a favorite hangout for celebrities and sports figures.  Frank Sinatra, George Raft, Joe DiMaggio, Leo Durocher, and every sportswriter in town hung out there.  So did executives such as Giants owner Horace Stoneham.  B.B.W.A.A. annual chapter meetings and post-B.B.W.A.A. dinner sessions were held there.  Many sports organizations threw press conferences at Shor’s.  Stoneham made his deal to hire Durocher from the Dodgers to manage the Giants in 1948 there.  Shor eventually moved to 33 West 52nd Street and then to 5 East 54th Street as development altered midtown Manhattan.  Construction delays along with tax and health problems eventually brought Shor down, but even then, many latter-day celebrities such as Pat Summerall (q.v.), Howard Cosell (q.v.), and Sonny Werblin (q.v.) were seen there regularly.  Shor was a sometimes pugnacious, generally gregarious, uneducated but kind-hearted and generous man.  He was the subject of many articles and a biography by Bob Considine.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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