Home | General Information | Hall of Fame Inductees 1966-1968 | 1969-1976 | 1977-1984 | 1985-1991 | 1992-1996 | 1997-2001 | 2002-2007




ABOUT THIS INDUCTEE: Irving Crane was born in Livonia, New York. His love for the game started as a child, when he was given a toy billiard table. Although he played steadily as a teenager, he did not enter tournament play until the age of 23. He won his first world title in 1942. Since then, he has won almost two dozen major championships, including the world crown in 1946, 1955, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, plus the International Roundrobin championship in 1968. Read more.

Acknowledgement: 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.

 




Sang Chun Lee
1954 - 2004
Inducted 2007
Sang Chun Lee discovered his life's own path as a boy in South Korea at the age of 15 when he took an interest in carom billiards. When he immigrated to the United States in 1987, it was his dream "to make 3-cushion billiards beautiful in America." Sang, often times to referred to a "the human walking highlight reel," is single-handedly responsible for the 3-cushion resurgence in the United States (a game that was nearly extinct before he arrived in the states) and for planting the seeds of 3-cushion as a gentleman's sport. His achievements include: 1993 World 3-Cushion Champion; winner of five BWA Worldcup tournaments; 12 consecutive U.S. National 3-Cushion Championships (1990-2001); 10 consecutive Korean National Championships (1978-1987); winner of numerous national and international tournaments in Korea and the United States; a personal high run of 28; and a best game of 50 points in four innings. Sang also opened two billiard rooms in New York City - SL Billiards and New York City's Carom Café, the largest 3-cushion billiard room in the country. Sang died in 2004 at the age of 50. He has left behind him a wake of devoted fans, all who remember him as a true champion that always offered his time, encouragement and vast knowledge to any player that took an interest in carom billiards.


Earl Strickland
1961 - Present
Inducted 2006
Earl Strickland was a dominant player during the 1980s and 1990s, and continues to be so today. He currently holds over 100 tournament titles and has been named “Player of the Year” five times. He won the Akron Open nine times and the US Open 9-Ball Championship five times: 1984, 1987, 1993, 1997 and 2000. He has won the World 9-Ball Championship six times: 1984, ‘88, ‘90, ‘91, ‘94 and 2002. He most recently won the World Pool Masters Trick Shot Challenge in 2003. In addition to his individual championships, he has been a team member on nine winning U.S. Mosconi Cup teams, including 2005, and was captain in two of those years. He has conducted numerous exhibitions at trade shows, Air Force bases and at the Raoping Billiard School in China. Mr. Strickland maintains an active charity schedule, donating exhibition time for programs such as Pool Aid ’95, D.A.R.E., Paralyzed Veterans of America, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Billiard Education Foundation, Children’s Burn Center and others.


Robin Bell Dodson
1956 - Present
Inducted 2005
Robin Bell Dodson began playing pool at the age of 12 and four years later, she won the California Women’s State Championships. After a five-year break from the sport, she returned to billiards in 1984 with a new foundation and fervor for the sport she loved. Robin is known for her steely determination and accurate shot making, which she used to claim 27 professional tournament titles. She finished in the top four on 25 occasions and captured six major titles from 1985-90, including the 1989 National Championships and the 1990 WPA World 9-Ball Championships. In 1991, she won her second WPA World Championship, several additional titles and was named Player of the Year. From 1985-93 she never ranked lower than third in the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) and in 1998, she returned to the winner’s circle at the BCA Twin Cities Classic. That win, along with six added top finishes that year, earned her the No. 8 spot for the season. Aptly nicknamed “Bankroll” for her ability to win the big-money events, she earned $400,000 in career prize monies, including two $20,000 purses in back-to-back wins at the Gordon’s Championships in 1994 and ‘95.


Mike Massey
1947 - Present
Inducted 2005
Mike Massey has been playing pool for 45 years and won his first professional tournament (9-Ball) in 1971. Considered pool’s best trick shot artist for almost 30 years, Mike has given substantial visibility to the sport by traveling the globe to perform exhibitions, teach pool and compete in a variety of disciplines. He holds multiple national and international titles, including the World Artistic Pool Championship in 2000, ‘02 and ’03. He won the National 9-Ball Championship in 1982, the Senior Masters 9-Ball Championship in 1997 and in 1996 he participated on the winning team in the Mosconi Cup. He has won the World Trick Shot Championships in Snooker on two occasions, and he is a repeat champion of ESPN’s Trick Shot Magic, winning in 2000, ‘01, ‘03 and ’04. He’s been in five movies, acting, performing trick shots or serving as a technical advisor, plus did the voice-over commentary on the DVD of the movie The Hustler and recreated the difficult shots performed in the movie and is featured in the documentary. In 2003, he co-wrote Mike Massey’s World of Trick Shots with Phil Capelle, and is a regular contributor to billiard publications.


Ewa Mataya Laurance
1964 - Present
Inducted 2004

Ewa Mataya Laurance is one of the best-known and recognizable stars in billiards. Known as “The Striking Viking”, she began her career in her native Sweden, where she captured the National 9-Ball Championship in 1980. In 1981, she won this title again and also won the 14.1 Championship and the European 14.1 Championship. She won the World Open 9-Ball Championship in 1983 and 1984, and she captained the winning team in the Old Milwaukee Team Cup in 1984. In 1988, Ms. Laurance won the International 9-Ball, the World 8-Ball and the U.S. Open Women’s 9-Ball Championships. She set the Women’s High Run record for Straight Pool in 1988 and has held it (except for 10 minutes in 1992) since then. She also won the 1991 WPBA National, the 1991 Women’s U.S. Open 9-Ball and the 1994 WPA World 9-Ball Championships. Ms. Laurance has made many TV appearances, written four books, received the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America (BBIA) Industry Service award, visited U.S. troops in Bosnia, is the only billiard player ever featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine and currently serves as President of the WPBA.



George Balabushka
1912 - 1975
Inducted 2004

Cue maker George Balabushka was born in Russia on December 9, 1912. He arrived in the U.S. in 1924 and began designing and building children’s wooden toys and educational materials, which gave him an intimate knowledge of the properties of various woods. After 30 years as a woodworker and Straight Pool player, he began making pool cues. He was an innovator in cue construction, finishes and designs. Mr. Balabushka was quickly recognized as the premier cue maker of his era, inspiring other cue makers and elevating the demand for custom cues. He was the first to be inducted into the American Cuemakers Association (ACA) Hall of Fame in 1993. Because of their playability, design and rarity, Balabushka cues have become legendary and highly collectible. A Balabushka cue was featured as an object of admiration in the book and movie The Color of Money. Mr. Balabushka died in 1975 at the of age 62.



Edwin Kelly
1938 - Present
Inducted 2003

Edwin Kelly was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on May 17, 1938. He learned to play billiards by watching the locals and practicing 12 hours a day. If he ever saw a shot that he hadn’t seen before, he’d stop the game and insist that his opponent show him how it was done. Mr. Kelly entered the 1963 Johnston City World All-Around, placing second to Luther “Wimpy” Lassiter. Excerpts of their final match were shown on national television. But road trips were still necessary to supplement a player’s income, and he traveled with Eddie Taylor, Alvin Clarence "Titanic" Thompson and Ronnie Allen. He was crowned the World 9-Ball Champion in 1965, and in 1966, he won the 9-Ball and One Pocket divisions of the Johnson City World All-Around Championships. In 1969, he won the L.A. Open World Pocket Billiard (14.1) Championship and in 1971, he won the One Pocket title and All-Around World Championship title. Over the years, Mr. Kelly became friends with Fred Astaire and James Caan, and he knew Peter Falk and Richard Conte, Hollywood stars who frequented the West Coast events. With his dapper attire, movie star looks and brash confidence, he fit in perfectly with the elite movie crowd. This lifestyle and his “smooth” play earned him the nickname “Champagne Eddie”.



Efren Reyes
1954 - Present
Inducted 2003

Eren Reyes was born in Pampanga, Philippines, on August 26, 1954. At the age of five, he went to live with his uncle who owned a pool room in Manila. He picked up the nickname “Bata”, which means “The Kid” in his native language. Young Efren worked as a billiard attendant, sleeping on the pool table so he could play as soon as he woke up. He taught himself the “simple” shots such as English, draw, follow-through and position by watching the good players. But his secret may be found in what he learned from the weaker players, who sometimes made unintentional, but brilliant shots. This ability to make the “impossible shot” earned him the nickname of "The Magician". Mr. Reyes is a Gold Medal winner in the Asian Games (9-Ball) and Southeast Asian Games (Snooker). In 2001, he won the richest first prize in pool history ($163,172) in the Tokyo 9-Ball Championship. He is also a champion at Rotation and Balkline. His many wins include the 1995 Pro Tour Championship, 1995 PBT World 8-Ball, 1999 Derby City One-Pocket, 1999 ESPN Ultimate Challenge, 1999 WPA World 9-Ball Championship, 2000 Camel Pro 8-Ball, 2001 Masters 9-Ball, 2002 Challenge of Champions and 2003 Mid-Atlantic 9-Ball Championship. He led his country’s team to victory in the World Team Billiards event.



Loree Jon Jones
1965 - Present
Inducted 2002

Loree Jon Jones began playing billiards at age four at her home in Garwood, New Jersey. Recognizing her talent, her father built wooden boxes around the table so she would be the correct height for him to teach her the sport. Her father was her instructor, and her mother became her daily practice partner. She ran her first rack of balls at age 5. At age 11, she became a pro player with the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) and known as “Queen of the Hill”. At age 15, she won the World 9-Ball tournament, becoming the youngest player, male or female, ever to win a world title, a feat recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. From 1987 to 1993, she won 18 tournaments, including her third WPBA National Championship. When she won the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Championship, she had held every title possible in women’s professional pocket billiards. Her greatest victories are eight World championships, three National championships and three U.S. Open championships. At the time of her induction, she held over 50 titles, and over the course of her career, Ms. Jones was recognized five times as “Player of the Year” by Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest.



Jim Rempe
1947 - Present
Inducted 2002

Jim Rempe was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and began to play billiards at age six. “My goal, ever since I was a small child, was to be the best pool player in the world,” he once remarked. At age 13, he renewed his interest in billiards, playing up to 10 hours a day. To further his skill, he frequently went to New York to watch the top pros. After high school, he traveled across the country for three years, improving his game by playing all the best players. He turned professional at age 22. He played so much better than anyone else, he became known by his nickname, “King James”. From 1972 until 1978, he won more championships than any other player in the world. In total, he has won nearly 100 major championships and 11 world titles. Included on his long list of top finishes are the World One-Pocket Championship, the World 9-Ball Championship, the World Straight Pool Championship, All-Around Champion of the World and the Mizerak Senior Tour . Also known as “The Ambassador of Pool”, he has traveled the world sharing his secrets on billiards. An international star and the first major player to bring modern pool to Europe and the Orient, Mr. Rempe has loyal subjects on every continent.

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