Joseph (Joe) Balsis (born 1921, Minersville, Pennsylvania, died 1995), nicknamed "the Meatman", was an American professional pool player, who was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame in 1982.[1]

Joe Balsis
Minersville, Pennsylvania
Nickname"The Meatman"
Ranking info


Early lifeEdit

Joe grew up playing in the billiard room of his father, John, whose business was in the sale of meat. At an early, Balsis was deemed skilled enough by age 11 to play exhibition matches against professional players including Andrew Ponzi and Erwin Rudolph.[2][3] When in his teens, he won four consecutive annual junior titles, then left the game and joined the Coast Guard as a boat machinist for several years during pool's temporary decline. In 1944, he took up competition again, winning the Armed Services Champion title.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Balsis rejoined the game in 1964 Balsis, where he began to compete professionally. The following year, he won the 1965 Billiard Room Proprietors Association Tournament. In 1966 he won the 1966 World All-Around Championship held in Johnston City, Illinois. Balsis would then win back-to-back titles at both the 1968 and 1969 Jansco Brothers' Stardust Open "All-Around" championship.[1] Between 1965 and 1975 Balsis reached the final of the U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship on five occasions, where he would win twice (1968 & 1974).[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame Inductees, 1977-84" Archived 2006-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, Billiards Congress of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; accessed February 2, 2007
  2. ^ "The Frail Gray Man with the Strong Pool Cue". Vault. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Pool's Joe "Meatman" Balsis in HOF 1982 - Pool & Billiard Magazine". Pool & Billiard Magazine. Archived from the original on 20 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.