_________________________________________________________________________________________ Hall of Fame Inductees: 1985-1991
Jean Balukas "Cue Queen" 1959 - Present Inducted 1985
Jean 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 times.
Lou 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 titles.
Erwin Rudolph 1894 - 1957 Inducted 1987
Erwin 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.)
Andrew D'Alessandro "Andrew Ponzi" 1903 - 1950 Inducted 1988
Andrew 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.
Mike Sigel "Captain Hook" 1953 - Present Inducted 1989
Mike 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.
John Brunswick 1819 - 1886 Inducted 1990
John Brunswick was 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.
Walter Tevis 1928 - 1984 Inducted 1991
Walter 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.