Arthur "Babe" Cranfield

Billiards

Enshrined: 1987

Born: 1915

Died: 2004

Arthur “Babe” Cranfield ranks among the best billiard players in U.S. history. He received an early start in the sport as his father owned and operated several billiard establishments which enabled Cranfield to develop his talent. As a child, he learned to shoot left-handed in his father's New York City billiard hall. During this time, Cranfield earned his nickname by following around a pool hall regular: Babe Ruth.

Cranfield attended Cornell University to study agricultural techniques but cut his studies short to accept an offer to tour the country and perform in billiard exhibitions. Cranfield won many titles during his career and has the distinction of being the only billiard player in history to win the 1931 U.S. Junior Championship at the age of 15, the U.S. Amateur Championship three consecutive times (1938, 1939, 1940), and the World's Professional Championship in 1964. Cranfield performed in more than 2,500 exhibitions and made numerous network television appearances before retiring in 1951.

Cranfield was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1997. He also wrote two books, “The Straight Pool Bible” and “Essential Pool”, with long-time friend Lawrence Moy.

Career Highlights:

1931: Won the Eastern State Junior Billiards Champion in Chicago, Ill. at the age of 15.

1932-33: World’s Junior Billiards Champion.

1938: Wins first of three United States Men’s Amateur Billiards Championships (1938, 1939, 1940).

1945: Winner of All-Service Billiards Championship, Philadelphia. Eastern Regional Professional Billiards Champion, 18 different states.

1955: Voted as Syracuse’s Athlete of the Year.

1964: World Professional Billiards Champion


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