Memorable Matches: Duke vs. Hoskins

The championship match of the 1998 Greater Rochester Open came down to Norm Duke, the top seed, and Steve Hoskins, the #2 seed. Hoskins, a powerful cranker, had thrown a lot of strikes in the semi-final match against Tim Criss, shooting 224, and appeared to be locked-in. Hoskins was the defending champion of the event, and he actually bowled a 300 in the same bowling alley on the TV finals of another bowling event that year. So, during the 1998 Greater Rochester Open, whenever Hoskins started a game with a strike, there was electricity in the air with the possibility Hoskins would attain perfection in consecutive years. The crowd was going nuts whenever Hoskins threw the ball, especially so if he struck.

Dressed all in black, Hoskins started the final match with the first 3 strikes in a row and it seemed as though it was going to be his day, Continue reading

Opinion: Bowling Hall of Fame needs to be more selective

There are many great bowlers in the professional bowling hall of fame. Walter Ray Williams, Jr. has 47 titles, eight majors, and was bowler of the year seven times spanning three decades. Earl Anthony won 41 titles, 10 majors, was bowler of the year six times and set the benchmark for definition of greatest bowler of all time for years. Mark Roth won 34 titles, and while he only won a single major, he influenced bowling generations to come with his power style. Pete Weber has 37 titles, 10 majors, and has consistently come through in the clutch throughout his career. Norm Duke has 37 titles, six majors, was bowler of the year twice, is the youngest to have ever won a pro tournament, has won the career grand slam, bowled a 300 game on live TV, and won three majors in one season. Mike Aulby won 29 titles and eight majors,  was the first to complete the grand slam of majors, and he also bowled a 300 game on TV. Dick Weber won 30 titles and four majors and, along with Don Carter, was a large part of bowling’s success in the early years and why the tour became popular. There are many others as well.

Recently, however, many bowlers have been inducted into the Hall, and the criteria seems to be having won 10 titles. The 10 titles appears to be the most important factor, more than major titles and more than Continue reading

Spare Thoughts: My first taste of professional bowling

I’ll never forget walking into the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada (“the biggest little city in the world”) for my first time. It was June, 1999, and my parents took me out of fifth grade early on the last day of school to start our trek towards our first professional bowling tournament, one last birthday present for me.

When we entered the stadium with the iconic silver globe at the entrance, radiant with the setting sun, I was in awe. Large bronze statues beckon you on the first floor, and then you go up an escalator to the second floor, Continue reading