• December 25, 2014

Book filled with great bowling trivia, anecdotes

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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:30 am

Bowling is a great sport with a lot of history and amusing tales of the early years of the sport. There is a great book written by Howard Stallings entitled “The Big Book of Bowling” that has some of the stories and history behind the game. I’d like to comment on a few, with all credit going to Mr. Stallings.

Did you know the oldest continually operating athletic sporting goods company in the U.S. is Brunswick Corporation? Founded in 1845, they added a line of bowling equipment in 1884, and in 1914 introduced the hard-rubber, high-tech Mineralite ball.

How many times have you traveled to a tournament only to find the center not very well maintained. Well imagine the Cleveland armory, where the 1904 ABC was held in the dead of winter. It was so badly heated and the roof leaked and formed ice on the lanes from the melting snow. The bowlers were so cold they had to bowl in heavy winter clothing.

Bowling had a cast of characters in the early days. Hall of Famer Johnny Crimmins donned a black, hooded mask and bowled pro-wrestler style as the Masked Marvel from the 1920s through the 1940s.

In 1953, Allen Wells of Charleston, W.Va., bowled a perfect game without seeing the pins. As a special promotion, a curtain was hung across the lane to obscure the bowler’s view and Wells shot the perfecto.

There are many records, some good, some not so good, in Stallings’ book. For example — the record for the most gutter balls in one game is held by Richard Caplette for 19 consecutive in the ditch. Ed Lubanski had to withdraw from a Niagara Falls tournament when his ball rolled off his hotel bed and broke his toe. Mike Kappa of Racine, Wis., holds the title for the worst score ever in league play. He bowled a 2 in 1981.

So the next time you roll one in the gutter or bowl a bad score, you can tell everyone you don’t hold the record.


There has been this big emphasis on bowling and the Olympics and I don’t see why we need the Olympics when we already bowl all over the world against all the countries that compete in our sport.

Team USA is currently in Cyprus, and prior to that was in Sicily and Sardinia. Teams from 47 countries are competing in the inaugural World Tenpin Bowling Association World Singles Championships. Representing Team USA will be Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Kelly Kulick and Shannon O’Keefe.

We have tried for too long to get bowling into the Olympics to no avail. Maybe it’s time we realize it’s not going to happen and move on.


Don’t forget the Harvest Bowl on Saturday. This is an adult/youth tournament with a raffle and bake sale, with proceeds going toward team entries in the local youth city tournament held in February.

Entries close at midnight Oct. 21  for the Open Tournament. The event will be held on Nov. 3-4 and 10-11, with the team event at Hallmark Lanes and doubles and singles at Killeen Bowlerama.

More information on upcoming events can be found in the association newsletter at www.bowlkilleenforthood.org.


The Southwest Region of the PBA Tour has Nathan Bohr as the current points leader with 50,000. He also tops the earnings list with $14,625.

Dino Castillo leads in the average list with 223.29, followed closely by Mike Scroggins (222.56) and Bohn 219.88).

Players winning the animal pattern tournaments and earning a spot in the World Series of Bowling are Kevin Mitchell (Viper), Mike Scroggins (Cheetah), Chris Barnes (Chameleon), and Dino Castillo (Scorpion).


Both Killeen Bowlerama and Hallmark Lanes are posting individual league scores on Facebook. As I wrote before, honor scores (300 games and 800 series) I will include in my column. There are simply too many high scores being shot with today’s equipment and lane conditions.

See you on the lanes.

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