De Oro is largely forgotten these days, probably because his spectacular career occurred before living memory and because his exploits were overshadowed by the very colorful Ralph Greenleaf,


If you’ve been following along lately, you know we’ve had on-gain off-again discussions here about the greatest pool players in American history. Some years back we even conducted a poll on the issue.  Willie Mosconi and Ralph Greenleaf received the most votes, which prompted a run-off. But throughout this discussion there’s been one important player who almost entirely escaped notice. That player is Alfredo de Oro, pictured above.

De Oro is largely forgotten these days, probably because his spectacular career occurred before living memory and because his exploits were overshadowed by the very colorful Ralph Greenleaf, who followed close on his heels. But de Oro was among the first inductees into the Billiard Congress Hall of Fame. He also mounted a championship career that would rival that of Greenleaf or any of the other lions.

De Oro played both three-cushion and pocket billiards — and excelled at both. According to his short bio in the BCA’s Official Rules and Record Book, de Oro first gained the pocket billiards crown in 1887 and then went on to win it 31 more times. I’ll say it again: He won it 31 more times. By contrast, both Greenleaf and Mosconi won the pocket billiard title fewer than 30 times apiece. Not only that, but de Oro also held the three-cushion title ten times between 1908 and 1919. Harold Worst also excelled at both sports, but not with de Oro’s dominance.

De Oro was born in Manzanilla, Cuba on April 28, 1863. That’s a copy of his passport, on the right. (It’s incredible what you can find online.) De Oro’s first public appearance as a professional was in the fourth US National Fifteen-ball Championship, held in New York, February, 1887. By my calculation, he would have been 23 years old. He died in 1948, two years before Ralph Greenleaf’s death.

You can read more about Alfredo De Oro, here.

— R.A. Dyer

Unisex Ruth McGinnis hoodie

SKU 00007
$36.50
In stock
1
Product Details
Warm up with Ruth McGinnis, the first Queen of Pocket Billiards, in this soft and comfy unisex hoodie. The fleece fabric makes it a great partner all year round, be it a summer evening on the beach, or a Christmas dinner in a mountain cabin. Due to Covid-19 delays, please allow extra time for shipment. All net proceeds support guest Pool History writers and artists. • 52% airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 48% poly fleece* • Hood • Side seamed • Retail fit *Heather Colors: 60% airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 40% poly fleece The male model is wearing size M. He's 6.0 feet (183 cm) tall, chest circumference 42.5" (108 cm), waist circumference 33.5" (85 cm). The female model is wearing a size M. She's 5.8 feet (178 cm) tall, chest circumference 34.6" (88 cm), waist circumference 27.1" (69 cm) and hip circumference 37.7" (96 cm).

Size guide

  S M L XL 2XL
Chest to Fit (inches) 34-37 38-41 42-45 46-49 50-53
Body Length (inches) 26 ⅜ 27 ½ 28 ⅝ 29 ¾ 30 ⅞
Chest Width (inches) 19 ½ 21 ½ 23 ½ 25 ½ 27 ½
Save this product for later