World Pool Series founder Darren Appleton Elected to the BCA Hall of Fame, along with Tom Rossman.
*Article courtesy of Billiards Digest magazine
Darren Appleton was already 30 years old when he made the move from English 8-Ball to American Pool, and soon thereafter from Yorkshire, England, to the United States. But in 11 short years, the doggedly determined former boxer made an indelible mark on the game, winning three world championships in three different disciplines and nearly a dozen more major titles. For his efforts, Appleton has been elected into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, the BCA announced.
Appleton, 41, who will enter pool’s most prestigious hall in the Greatest Players wing, is joined in the Class of 2017 by trick shot impresario and enthusiastic pool ambassador Tom Rossman. Rossman, 69, was elected into the Meritorious Service category. Voting was conducted by the United States Media Association.
“It’s amazing to know that I’m in the BCA Hall of Fame,” Appleton said. “I can’t really put it into words. There is no bigger honor for a pool player. This is the pinnacle and biggest honor of my career. It’s really amazing to know I’m in the BCA Hall of Fame. I can’t really put it into words. To be playing American pool full time for only 11 years and achieve this recognition is incredible. “There is no bigger honour for a pool player. It’s been a difficult year for me personally, so this is the kind of news I really needed. I’m very thankful.”
“I’m humbled and honored to be elected into the BCA Hall of Fame,” Rossman concurred. “The Hall of Fame designation is extra special in so many ways. When a person connects with his or her dreams, visions, blessings and passions in a heartfelt manner, he or she may truly rack up a victory in the game and, more importantly, in life.”
After a decade during which he was the world’s top-ranked English 8-Ball player seven times, Appleton made his move to American Pool in 2006. After honing his skills in the Philippines over the course of the next two years, Appleton shocked the pool world by winning the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World 10-Ball Championship in 2009. Over the next five years, Appleton would add the WPA World 9-Ball Championship (2010), the World Pool Masters (2009), World Games gold medal (2013) and back-to-back U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships (2010, ’11), International Challenge of Champions (2011, ’12) and World Tournament of 14.1 (2013, ’14) titles to his collection. In 2015, Appleton won his third WPA world title when he captured the Chinese Pool World Championship.
Rossman has been one of pool’s leading trick shot experts, teachers and ambassadors for nearly 40 years. He is considered the founding father of the “Artistic Pool” movement, and is credited with getting the discipline accepted by the WPA. Rossman logs tens of thousands of miles each year putting on exhibitions and teaching junior players and new enthusiasts.
Appleton was named on a whopping 87 percent of the ballots in Hall of Fame voting, easily outdistancing Women’s Professional Billiards Association champion Gerda Hofstatter. Hofstatter was named on 47 percent of the ballots. Vivian Villarreal, Jeremy Jones and Shannon Daulton were also on the ballot. Rossman was recommended by the Meritorious Service Committee, and was confirmed with 90 percent approval by the Hall of Fame Board.
Appleton and Rossman, the 69th and 70th members of the BCA Hall of Fame, will be formally inducted during ceremonies later in the year.