Herman Rambow "Stradivari" 1881 - 1967 Inducted 1969
Called the Stradivari of his trade by those who know, Herman Rambow crafted custom cues for the greatest players in billiards over the course of a 65-year career. Captains of industry and celebrities of the entertainment world also beat a path to his door to have the privilege of paying from $50 to $300 for one of his perfectly-balanced "Rambow Specials." It was Herman who perfected the jointed cue by inserting a countersunk screw in the recessed butt end, making an extra-sturdy connection. Only death at age 86 stopped the craftsman from his labor of love. To billiard cognoscenti the world over, there will never be another Rambow.
Harold Worst 1929 - 1966 Inducted 1970
Harold Worst of Grand Rapids, Michigan was only 19 years old when he played the great Willie Hoppe, winner of 51 major billiard championships, in a demonstration game in Detroit in 1949. Hoppe soon took an interest in Worst's playing potential, and under his guidance, Worst won the world title for three-cushion billiards in Argentina in 1954, the youngest player to compete in world competition. He successfully defended this title for many years. Equally skilled at pocket billiards, Worst dominated play to win the All-Around titles in both the 1965 Johnston City, IL and 1965 Stardust Open championships.
John Wesley Hyatt 1837 - 1920 Inducted 1971
John Wesley Hyatt, known as the father of the American plastic industry, was an inventor rather than a player, but his invention of the celluloid plastic billiard ball in 1868 revolutionized the billiard industry. Hyatt began his search for a suitable synthetic billiard ball material when a New York billiards firm offered a $10,000 prize for a substitute for ivory. Hyatt's earlier attempts involved shellacking a paper pulp sphere and a ball made of layers of cloth.
Frank Taberski "The Snail" 1889 - 1941 Inducted 1975
Frank Taberski grew up in Schenectady, N.Y. At the age of 26, he attended a pocket billiard championship in New York City, and came home convinced he played as well as the champions. The next year, he entered and placed third behind Johnny Layton. From then on, he was almost invincible. In those days, 450 point challenge matches were the means of competition; the prize a ruby and diamond studded gold medal with the proviso that any one who won 10 consecutive challenge matches could keep it. Alfredo DeOro had come closest with five straight defenses. By 1918 Taberski had accomplished the impossible and the medal was his.
Johnny Layton "The Diamond King" 1887 - 1956 Inducted 1976
Johnny Layton was born in 1887 in Sedalia, Mo., won the world's three-cushion championship 12 times, defeating such champions as Willie Hoppe, Welker Cochran, Jake Schaefer, Jr. and Augie Kieckhefer in the 1920s and 1930s. Layton recorded the high three-cushion game mark of 50 points in 23 innings, a record which still stands today. He was credited with originating the method of using the diamond system, using table markers to indicate direction of ball rebounds, a style that he perfected through the application of his highly developed mathematical mind.