The “Little Princess” of pool

NICKNAMED “THE KID” and “The Little Princess,” thirteen-year-old Jean Balukas easily defeated fifty-seven-year old Dorothy Wise, a five-time champion, to win the U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship on this date in 1972.


The Brooklyn native had grown up playing pool against some of the world’s best players, including such legends as Willie Mosconi and Rudolph Wanderone, better known as “Minnesota Fats.” She had won 46 straight matches entering the 1972 Straight Pool Championships.


An all-around athlete who excelled in basketball, softball, bowling, and golf, Balukas would win seven consecutive U.S. Opens in pool and be acclaimed by many as the greatest female pool player of all time.


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