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Hall of Fame Inductees, 1997-2001
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Hall of Fame Inductees: 1997-2001

Arther Cranfield

1915 - 2004
Inducted 1997 

Arthur Cranfield, the only person ever to win the National Junior, National Amateur and World Professional pocket billiard titles was born in 1915 to a Syracuse, New York room owner.  He was giving exhibitions by the age of 10, when it was predicted he would eventually beat Ralph Greenleaf.  He won the New York City and National Junior titles at age 15, breaking previous high run records, and was the National Amateur champion in 1938 and 1940.  He traveled frequently to give exhibitions for the National Billiard Program. He interrupted his promising career to enlist in the Army Air Corps in 1942. After the war, "Babe" appeared frequently in World Tournament ranks.  He took the world straight pool title from Luther Lassiter in 1964, making him the first left-handed champion since Alfredo de Oro.  Always known for being a gentleman, Babe spent his professional life as a music executive but always found time to promote the game of pocket billiards.  

Ruth McGinnis

1910 - 1974
Inducted 1997


Ruth McGinnis, who was born in 1910, began playing pool at age 7. At 14, she had defeated both Flower Sisters, then world champions at straight pool.  She was acclaimed the world women's champion for the years 1932-1940 and during that time she lost only 29 out of 1,532 exhibition matches.  She entered the New York State pocket championship (until then restricted to men) in 1942 and was invited to compete for the world title in 1948. Her high runs were 85 on a 10' table and 128 on a 9' table.  She had a tournament high run of 125 and was inducted into the WPBA Hall of Fame in 1976.  She promoted billiards by touring extensively with Willie Mosconi and appearing in several short films about pocket billiards.  Her career outside of pool was as a teacher of special children.  The best female player in the country from 1924 through 1960, Ruth died in 1974 in Honesdale, PA.

Larry Johnson

"Boston Shorty"
1929 - 2000
Inducted 1999

Larry Johnson studied the techniques and shots of Boston's best.  By age 20, he could beat the players he studied.  Unfortunately, his skill prospered during lean times for pool (the 40's and 50's), and so, the record books don't fully credit the skills of many of the players of that era.  But, Boston Shorty was simply one of the very best. Johnson was not only a top 9-Baller, but among the cream of the crop at Rotation, 1-Pocket, Straight Pool, 3-Cushion Billiards, 8-Ball, Cribbage, Cowboy and more.  During the famed Johnson City and Las Vegas events of the early 1960's, Johnson captured World All-Around Champion in the last staging of both events, and later collected many other titles. Johnson mastered all games early in his career and played at that speed for four decades.

Cecil "Buddy" Hall
"The Rifleman"
1945 - Present
Inducted 2000


Cecil P. "Buddy" Hall, also known as "The Rifleman" for his straight shooting, is the first Hall of Fame Inductee of the millennium and the 39th inductee since the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame was created in 1966.  Mr. Hall was born in 1945 in Metropolis, IL and has been recognized as a championship player for three decades, garnering over 50 professional titles. Titles include the Caesar's Tahoe 9-Ball Championship (1982 & '84); the International 9?Ball Classic ('91); Challenge of Champions ('92); and the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship ('91 & '98). Hall has also won three of the ten richest top prizes in pool, and many consider him to be one of the most fundamentally solid 9?Ball players of all time.  He has been selected as Player of the Year in 1982, 1991, and 1998, and Senior Tour Player of the Year in 1998.  Rags to Rifleman, a biography of his life and career, was published in 1995.

Robert Byrne
1930 - 2016
Inducted 2001


Robert Byrne, elected to the Hall of Fame in the Meritorious Service category, is the most prolific billiard writer in history. More than 350,000 copies of Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards have been sold since publication in 1978.  Next came Byrne's Treasury of Trick Shots, (1982), which not only contained more shots than all previous works on the subject combined, but traced their origins.  Two more instructional books followed in 1990 and 1996, Byrne's Advanced Technique, and Byrne's Wonderful World. He wrote the first biography of a billiard player, McGoorty¸ in 1972, and compiled the first anthology of billiard fiction, Byrne's Book of Great Pool Stories, in 1995.  His billiard works, which have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese and his six instructional video recordings make him the best-known instructor in the world. An accomplished three-cushion player, he won both the National Senior and the National Athletic Club titles in 1999. Byrne is a civil engineer by training and has authored 21 books, including seven novels, one of which, Thrill, became NBC's Monday Night Movie in May 1996.

Raymond Ceulemans
"Mister 100"
1937 - Present
Inducted 2001


Raymond Ceulemans of Rijmenan, Belgium, is the greatest all-around carom player the world has ever seen.  He won his first European championship in three-cushion in 1962, and except for 1972 when he didn't compete, won the title 21 times in a row. In 1963, he won his first world championship and proceeded to win 17 out of the next 18 world tournaments that he entered.  He is an all-around performer in carom games, holding at various times world titles in straight-rail, 47/1, balkline, Pentathlon and cushion caroms. His more than 100 major titles gave rise to his nickname "Mr. 100," which is also the title of his textbook explaining his three-cushion system, written in English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.  He is a national hero in Belgium and one of the most famous sportsmen in Europe.  Whenever he walks into a billiard room in Europe, the U.S., Japan or Latin America, he receives a well-deserved round of applause.  Known everywhere as an ambassador of billiards, he has done as much as any person in the last hundred years to elevate the game to new standards of professionalism and sportsmanship.


Hall of Fame Inductees: 2011-2018 I 2002-2010 I 1997-2001  I 1992-1996  I 1985-1991 I 1977-1984 I 1969-1976 I 1966-1968


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