Strickland to Be Enshrined in Hall of Fame

Strickland's record was too impressive to deny.

Strickland’s record was too impressive to deny.

At long last, controversial pool superstar Earl Strickland has earned entry into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame, BCA officials announced Tuesday, topping fellow nominees Allen Hopkins and Maurice Daly in the Greatest Player division.

Strickland, 44, appeared on his fifth HOF ballot this year, having been previously nominated in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Strickland has been a dominant player since the 1980s, and in recent years has been known just as much for his mercurial personality as for his skill with a cue. His sometimes-volcanic temper was most recently on view in December at the 2005 Mosconi Cup, where he got into a shouting match with jeering fans in the stands.

Born in 1961, Strickland holds over 100 tournament titles and has been named BD’s “Player of the Year” five times (1984-1985, 1987-1988 and 2000). His rack-running resume includes nine wins at the Akron Open, five at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, and a staggering six titles at the World 9-Ball Championships.

BD will have reaction from Strickland here on Headstring News later today.

Strickland’s induction ceremony will take place on April 6 at the BCA International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo in Houston, Texas.

Laurance, Balabushka Picked for Hall of Fame

374aEwa Laurance, 9-ball goddess and the public face of the billiard industry in the 1990s, and legendary cuemaker George Balabushka will be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame on April 1 during the BCA International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

For the Hall of Fame’s 2004 class, BCA voters chose Laurance over fiery pool superstar Earl Strickland and longtime pro and promoter Allen Hopkins in the Greatest Player category. Balabushka, who died in 1975, won the nod in the Meritorious Service category over American Poolplayers Association founders Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart, and 19th century player-author Maurice Daley.

Laurance is a former world 9-ball champion and current president of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association. Her appearance on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in 1992 triggered a media blitz for pool, and the native Swede then split her time between stumping for the sport and playing championship-level pool.

Balabushka was considered the Stradivarius of cuemakers – an innovator in cue construction, designs and finishes. Already a member of the American Cuemakers Association Hall of Fame, he also was credited with elevating widespread demand for custom cues.