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Put English On It! (Welker Cochran) - B-B-C 1934Welker Cochran (October 7, 1897 – July 26, 1960) was born in Des Moines,Iowa, but moved to Manson early. He began playing billiards at the age of 11.His father took him  along on a trip to Chicago.While there he played a game of billiards with his son, the 18.2 balkline variety. Among those watching was Lansing Perkins, a billiard instructor, who sought the opportunity to coach the young comer.The change meant rigid training, constant practice, little chance to play simply for relaxation.
 
Cochran’s rugged climb through such famous rivals as Hoppe Jake Schaefer, jr., and the others, reached its crest for the first time in 1921. He was 24 and took the third place in World’s 18.2 balkline tournament.He won his first world title in 18.2(47/2) in 1927.Cochran won the International tournament winning five games and losing one,getting a grand average of 54,15.The other players finished as follows:Hagenlacher 4-2,Jake Schaefer 4-2,E.Horemans 3-3,Felix Grange 3-2,W.Hoppe 2-4,Kinrey Matsuyama 0-5. Cochran’s stay as world champion was interrupted the following season when Edward Horemans moved to the top. Jake Schaefer, Jr., succeeded Horemans and the Iowan was unable to regain the throne until 1934.
 
At 18.1 balkline Cochran won the 1930 championship and had a high run of 353 in a 1927 exhibition.
 
Welker Cochran's son
The popularity of balkline faded in the late 1920s and early 1930s, causing Cochran(left:Cochran with his son) to switch to three-cushion, in which he won his first world title in 1933.He also won the championships of 1933,35,36,44,45.The same year  Cochran set a new world record by achieving a game average of 3 making 60 points in 20 innings in a match he won against Willie Hoppe. He retired from serious competition in 1946 due to arthritis, but did make a comeback attempt in 1954.He died on July 26, 1960 in Belmont,California.Cochran was inducted posthumously into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 1967.
 
“… Welker Cochran, a brilliant performer, forced Hoppe to his utmost in every match they played,” says Frank menke’s “New Encyclopedia of Sports.”