Women’s Pro Billiard Tour to Induct James J. Bakula to WPBA Hall of Fame

The Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) will induct Milwaukee, Wisconsin native James J. Bakula into the WPBA Hall of Fame in a special ceremony on November 11, 2009. The ceremony will take place prior to the WPBA National Championships at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Jim Bakula will be inducted into the WPBA Hall of Fame under the Meritorious Service category.

Jim Bakula was a key factor contributing to the explosive growth of women's professional billiards in the 1980s and 90s. Named General Manager of Brunswick's Billiards Division in March 1983, he immediately became involved in sponsoring events and pushed for women's divisions in events traditionally only open to men players. Named Billiard Congress of America president in 1990, he further appealed to the BCA to support the WPBA through grant funding, allowing them to form an office and subsequently create the Women's Pro Billiard Tour.

Bakula signed BCA and WPBA Hall of Fame player Ewa Mataya Laurance as the Brunswick pro player representative in 1988, and continued in his support of the women with events including the Brunswick Munich Masters, Brunswick Swedish Challenge Cup, Brunswick World Open, the U.S. Open, the WPBA Nationals, and dozens of other world and national major titles up until his retirement in 1996. In 1995 he was given the BCA President's Award.

Hall of Famer and Former WPBA president Vicki Paski said, “Whenever we (WPBA) needed help, Jim was the first person we called. And Jim always said, ‘yes.'”