William Joseph Mosconi lived with his family above his father’s pool hall in Philadelphia. His father wanted him to become a Vaudeville performer but recognized his son was a prodigy and advertised challenge matches for young Willie, who was so short he had to stand on a box to shoot. By age 11 Willie Mosconi was the juvenile straight pool champion and the Brunswick Corporation sent him on a cross-country exhibition tour to promote its products. In 1948, he published the classic book Willie Mosconi on Pocket Billiards, sharing his insights into the finer points of shot-making. In 1954, Willie set the world record by running 526 consecutive balls in a straight pool exhibition. Two years later he suffered a stroke but returned to the game in 1957 and once again won the BCA World Championship.
Movie Consultant form motion picture: The Hustler
Mosconi was the technical advisor on the 1961 film starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. Mosconi taught Newman how to walk, talk and shoot like a real pool player. Newman had never picked up a stick before the movie, but Mosconi’s instruction helped hide Newman’s inexperience. Gleason was already skilled at billiards and Mosconi recommended Gleason for the fictional character role of “Minnesota Fats.” Mosconi can be seen in the film as a stakes holder in the first match-up in which Gleason can be heard saying “Willie, hang on to that’ when the match commences.
This Willie Mosconi history mug is part of our Athletes series.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.
- Shipping charges are lower when buying multiple mugs.