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George Snellenberger---One of the Best of All Times!!!

5621 Views 29 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  320090T
Came across this pic of George Snellenberger and my father, Ted Philipbar---
George, a true legend in our sport, and one of the most fiercest competitors of all time! State and National HOF inductee.
A Gentleman and great shot---read the history about him and another great- Dan Orlich...

Smile Muscle Dress shirt Sleeve Gesture
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Perazzi MX2000 34” unsingle 0.031/34” Wilkinson o/u with a prosoft
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He was IL state a few weeks ago helping the squad hustlers and score runners. I imagine jacque will also hang it up when George passes. Hopefully that’s not for a long time.
 

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George is a great champion, and a truly fine gentleman.
He was extremely kind and helpful to me when I was on the Michigan Trapshooting Association BoD 2001 - 2007.
Sadly, his advice to me a few months ago was, "Don't get old."

George supervising target setting at the MTA in 2002
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Sweeping up at the MTA Volunteer Day in 2006
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George shooting with Tom Ruble at the 2006 Great Lakes Grand
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I used to follow my Dad down the line in the early 60s, before I was old enough to shoot, I would often watch him and his squad...I was mesmorized at about 9 yrs old. My Dad took me to all the big shoots, and I was lucky enough to meet and pal around with some of the best as a 10 yr old (but never shooting wise)

The thing I remember about George- and those who are still around from the 60s can comment and tell me if I'm forgetting the exact format:

As I remember as a kid, George pretty much same upright style as posted here...
Always led off.
The scorer/hand puller never said "Dead And..." or shooters change positions.
George managed the format of the squad...
When each block of 5 targets came, GEORGE, not the scores would say loudly
"Slide Down"!

I liked it so much and thought it was so cool, I would say that as a puller when 12yrs old at our ATA shoots at my Dad and my trap range (Taconic Trap) and later as a young dud I would try to emulate George by leading off and yelling "Slide Down"!

Ah yes, good ole memories---IT DON'T GET ANY BETTER N THAT! hahahahahaha
 

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See him at Mason often, sometimes Williams County GC. Pull up his history at shootata, he's got well over 1/2 million registered; Amazing.
 

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Guns Magazine, January, 1962:
"One of the most dramatic events of the 62nd Grand was the special Champion of Champions tournament, limited to state and provincial champions. Eight of the 33 entrants posted perfect hundreds. The first extra hundred in the shoot-off left three men still in the running: Ohmer Webb, Dan Orlich, and George Snellenberger. During the shoot-off, George Snellenberger's mother had died, and his wife kept the news from him in the hope that the championship could be decided before he knew. When darkness came, the three were still deadlocked, and discussing when to continue the shoot·off. While a tearful wife broke the news to a great competitor, two true sportsmen agreed that they would hold the shoot-off until George could return. A strict application of the rules would have eliminated Snellenberger by default. When George returned Friday, the shoot began once more, and Webb fell in the first Tony Biagi 25. Then Orlich and Snellenberger began an exhibition of precision shooting which led to 500 perfect targets by Saturday. ATA officials then broke tradition by declaring the two worthy co·champions. Snellenberger actually broke 1,000 straight targets on his way to the hard-won co-championship. He broke 200 in the Indiana state shoot, 200 in a shootoff, 100 in the Champion of Champions event at Vandalia, plus 500 more in the shoot-off with Orlich."
 

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I am probably on post three in the picture with Tom and George. Have shoot thousands of targets with him over the years. I love talking with this legend. I have had the privilege of just listening to George and Dave Berlet tell war stories about the good ole days of trapshooting. I can tell many stories about George. I got one that I want to share that I just love. About 10 years ago I was in Florida at the Silver Dollar during the Southern Grand. George hitched a ride from Michigan with someone. Anyhow George and I are shooting with three other folks. None of them knew George (can you believe it). Anyhow George broke out a new barrel (used but new to him) to shoot on his ole TM1. He wanted to try this 32inch instead of his normal 34inch Kerry Allor barrel. Any how, George broke around 90 that morning with that barrel. I told the three strangers that he will not be shooting that barrel in the afternoon. Sure enough when we got ready to shoot the second hundred, i noticed George had is old standard barrel. Yep, you guessed it. Another 100 straight. What a wonderful man and what a privilege it has been for many years to be able to shoot with this man and call him a friend.

Who remembers? It's only been a couple of years ago he won the PA non resident singles championship with a 200 straight. Was the only one broke that day.

Also, he always has a deck of cards, a pocket full of change and looking for a gin game. You might as well empty your pocket out. He plays gin as wells as he used to shoot. You cannot beat him!!!!!!
 

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I dont think I ever had pleasure to meet or see Mr. Snellemberger or Mr. Orlich. But an Grand 'O Shooter I have shot with in his later years was Claude (Gene) Felix from TucsonAZ. Great Stories, Pleasuer to shoot with. And talking to him about the Great Old Days when one could make a living by shooting. His wife was always cashier at Tucson Club. RIP Claude
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To me ...

This was the greatest shootoff of all times in ATA history (JMO, don't want anyone to pull their toe nails out if you disagree)

Top picks for me would be:

Orlich vs Snellenberger
Harrison vs Bartholow
Little vs Ohye
Brian Whalen vs ? ---slipped my mind for a moment-Bobby Griffith, you know who...who is it I'm forgetting..
was that with Little?

Who can add some other great shootoffs---without looking it up ( Easy info to find ) I don't know off hand...

Betcha some great ones could be added, do you know:

Some possible names , even record setting, I just don't remember off hand:

Little
Ohye (Kay and Debbie)
Stafford
Barnhart
Bailey
Bonillas

You add more, lots more are great , historical shootoffs- lets hear your picks....
 

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Great man, great shooter. If you never had the chance of meeting and talking with him you have missed a great opportunity. He's one of the last of the greats left from the "Glory Days" of the sport. Glad someone mentioned the shoot off back in the 60s when He and Dan Orlich were declared co champions after a long shoot off. Officially they say the ATA called a halt but in reality he and Big Dan just said "we quit" and that ended it. You can read about it in the book "The Road to Yesterday" by the late Dick Baldwin.
 
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