THIS INDUCTEE: Cisero
Murphy. Born to a Brooklyn, New York family in 1937,
James Cisero Murphy was the first and only African-American ever
to win a world or U.S. national billiard title. He started by taking
the New York City championship at age 16. While in his 20's he won
the Eastern States 14.1 Championship six straight times against
top competition, but because of his race was not invited to compete
in world title events until 1965, when he won the Burbank World
Invitational 14.1 tournament, beating Joe Balsis, Jimmy Moore and
Luther Lassiter. Read more.
The following information listed in this section of The8Knights
is credited to the Billiard Congress of America. Check out their
official site at http://www.bca-pool.com.
1959 - Present
Balukas is the second woman inducted into
the BCA Hall of Fame. She was born in Brooklyn, New
York, and is the Hall's youngest member. An excellent
all-around athlete, Jean competed in her first BCA U.S.
Open when she was nine years old, finishing seventh.
She won her first BCA crown when she was 12. Since then
Jean has collected seven BCA U.S. Open 14.1 titles,
six World Open titles and countless 9-ball and straight
pool crowns. She has been named Player of the Year five
1938 - Present
Butera was born
in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He learned to play at his
father's pool room in the small coal-mining town. After
watching BCA Hall of Famer Erwin Rudolph in an exhibition,
14-year-old Lou decided to devote his life to pool.
He was runner-up to Irving Crane in the 1972 World Championship
in Los Angeles. In 1973 he defeated Crane in the finals
of the same event to win his first World Championship.
Nicknamed "Machine Gun Lou" for his rapid fire style,
Lou recorded a 150-ball run against Allen Hopkins in
just 21 minutes in 1973. Butera has since won numerous
1894 - 1957
Rudolph was born in Cleveland. Rudolph did
not participate in his first world 14.1 championship
until he was 24 years old. Five years later, in 1926,
Rudolph gained national acclaim by ending Ralph Greenleaf's
six-year reign as world champion. Rudolph's win over
Greenleaf came in a challenge match. After losing his
world title to Thomas Hueston, Rudolph regained the
crown by winning the 1933 world championship. He won
his third world title in 1933, and, at age 47, captured
his fourth and final world crown by defeating a young
Irving Crane in the finals of the 1941 world championship
in Philadelphia. At the time of his death in 1957, he
held the record for fastest game in a world tournament,
scoring 125 points in just 32 minutes. (The record has
since been eclipsed.)
1903 - 1950
Ponzi was born Andrew D'Alessandro in Philadelphia.
He acquired the name Ponzi after a witness to his cue
prowess compared the likelihood of beating D'Alessandro
with beating the infamous "Ponzi Scheme," an early version
of the pyramid game. A dazzling offensive player, Ponzi
competed in the game's Golden Era, the 1930s and 1940s,
against the likes of Mosconi, Crane, Caras, Rudolph
and Greenleaf. Despite that stiff competition, Ponzi
captured World 14.1 titles in 1934, 1940 and 1943.
1953 - Present
Sigel, at 35, became the youngest male elected
to the BCA Hall of Fame. Born in Rochester, N.Y. Sigel
began playing pool at 13, and turned professional when
he was 20. A natural right-hander who shoots left-handed,
Sigel won his first major tournament, the U.S. Open
9-Ball Championship, in 1975. His career blossomed quickly,
and Sigel was perhaps the game's dominant player in
the 1980s. He amassed 38 major 14.1 and 9-ball championships
in that decade. Sigel has won three World 14.1 crowns
(1979, 1981 and 1985) and one World 9-Ball title (1985)
as well as numerous national titles.
1819 - 1886
a Swiss immigrant woodworker who founded what has become
the Brunswick Corporation, the largest pool table manufacturer
in this country. Producing his first billiard table
in 1845, Brunswick went on to develop an American market
for billiard equipment. He is credited with the rapid
growth of billiards in the late 19th century.
1928 - 1984
Tevis is best
remembered as the author of two popular novels about
pool, The Hustler and The Color of Money.
Both books were made into enormously successful movies
starring Paul Newman. The Hustler documented
pool culture in the United States in the late 1950s
and The Color of Money followed up on the same
theme 25 years later. Both movies were directly responsible
for igniting strong uptrends in pocket billiards during
the years immediately following their releases.
Tevis wrote numerous short stories and several other
novels including The Man Who Fell To Earth (a
science fiction thriller) and The Queen's Gambit
(a portrait of a female chess master). He was a Milton
scholar and held two masters degrees (from the University
of Kentucky and the Writers' Workshop at the University
of Iowa). He taught creative writing at Ohio University
from 1965 to 1978. His works have been translated into
many languages and are popular all over the world.
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