Willie Mosconi: played professional Billiards at age 6.
William Joseph Mosconi, nicknamed “Mr. Pocket Billiards” was a American professional pocket billiards (pool) player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Willie’s father owned a pool hall where he wasn’t allowed to play, but Willie improvised by practicing with small potatoes from his mother’s kitchen and an old broomstick. His father soon realized that his son was a child prodigy 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 Willie and the reigning World Champion, Ralph Greenleaf. The hall was packed, and though Greenleaf won that match, Willie played very well launching his career in professional billiards. In 1924, at the tender age of eleven, Willie was the juvenile straight pool champion and was regularly holding trick shot exhibitions.
Between the years of 1941 and 1957, he won the BCA World Championship of pool an unmatched fifteen times. Mosconi pioneered and employed numerous trick shots, set many records, and helped to popularize the game of billiards. He still holds the officially recognized straight pool high run record of 526 consecutive balls.