Player Profile

Willie Mosconi

NameDate of Birth Country
Willie Mosconi27-06-1913United States

Name             :         Willie Mosconi

William Joseph Mosconi  (June 27, 1913 – September 17, 1993), generally known as Willie Mosconi, was an American professional pool (pocket billiards) player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between the years of 1941 and 1957, he won the World Straight Pool Championship an unmatched fifteen times. For most of the 20th century, his name was essentially synonymous with pool in North America – he was nicknamed "Mr. Pocket Billiards" – and he was among the first Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame inductees. Mosconi pioneered and regularly employed numerous trick shots, set many records, and helped to popularize pool as a national recreation activity.
Early life
Willie's father Joseph Mosconi owned a pool hall that the family lived above. Joseph Mosconi was strongly opposed to Willie playing pocket billiards, preferring he become a Vaudeville performer. He tried to keep his young son away from the game by hiding the billiard balls, but Willie improvised by practicing with small potatoes from his mother's kitchen and an old broomstick. 
The young Mosconi was a prodigy and his father soon realized that his son's talent could help earn money for their growing family. His father began advertising challenge matches, and though Willie had to stand on a box in order to reach the table, he beat experienced players many years his senior. 
In 1919, an exhibition match was arranged between six-year-old Mosconi and the reigning World Champion, Ralph Greenleaf. The hall was packed, and though Greenleaf won that match, Mosconi played well enough to draw considerable attention and launch his professional career. 
Tournaments and exhibitions
In 1924, at the age of 11, Mosconi was the juvenile straight pool champion and was regularly holding trick shot exhibitions. By the early 1930s, Mosconi had taken a brief hiatus from the game, but returned a few years later in the hopes of earning some money. 
In 1933, Mosconi competed in the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) World Straight Pool Championship. He nearly won the title but lost in the final to Erwin Rudolph. 
His performance garnered the attention of the president of Brunswick Corporation who immediately hired the young phenom. That same year, Mosconi embarked on a hectic cross-country exhibition tour promoting Brunswick products. Mosconi was joined by his idol and then World Champion Ralph Greenleaf, who was at the top of his game. In the end the scoreline read 57 wins for Greenleaf and a close 50 for the 20-year-old Mosconi. 
From 1940 to 1941, a round-robin tournament series was sponsored by billiard halls, with eight invitational players. Mosconi was sponsored by a hall in New York City called McGirr's. He dominated this series, and ran 125 balls from the break five times when only two other players in history had ever done the same. 
In 1944, Mosconi enlisted in the United States Army, having already spent several years working within the defense industry. When World War II ended, he returned to a successful tournament career and renewed his affiliation with Brunswick. 
After suffering a stroke in 1956, Mosconi slowed down on his tournament appearances in order to recover. He returned to the game at nearly 100% by 1957, when he once again won the BCA World Championship. 

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