Bowling Newsletter


July 10 2010 Bowling Newsletter

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I Have To Re-focus
For the past couple of weeks, regardless of what I do or try, I cannot keep my mind on my bowling. This even includes my practice sessions and attempting to get help from my bowling coach.

Bill Vint | PBA Media Relations
Professional Bowlers Association | 719 Second Avenue, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98104

PBA Spare Shots

Don’t forget: the final rounds of the GEICO PBA Team Shootout to determine the first PBA Manufacturers’ Cup winner will air Sunday on ESPN, starting at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. After five qualifying rounds, Brunswick has clinched the top spot for the stepladder final with a 4-1 record while Storm Products, Ebonite International and 900 Global all have 2-3 records.

Johnny Petraglia Jr. has followed in his Hall-of-Fame father’s footsteps, joining the Brunswick family recently as an Area Sales Manager-Capital Equipment. His job took him to Las Vegas for International Bowl Expo. What happened in Vegas – in this case – need not stay in Vegas. In John Jr.’s own words:

“As far back as I can remember, people have been asking me the same question: ‘Isn't it hard being the son of a hall of fame athlete?’ I must admit there have been times when the pressure of the last name has gotten the best of me, but for the most part, I have been able to withstand it.

“As the years roll on, however, I will also tell you that I would not trade in my family, or family name, for anything else in this world. Every once in a while, something happens that reminds me of just
how special my father is. A prime example would be the capacity crowd that gathered to watch my father and me bowl against each other in match play at this year's Mark Roth GEICO PBA Plastic Ball Championship in Babylon, NY.

“You want to talk about an eye opener? I cannot even begin to tell you the last time I saw that many people in a bowling center at 9 a.m.!

“Recently, another occurrence reinforced the fact that I have one of the greatest ambassadors the sport of bowling has ever seen as my father.

“I attended Bowl Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center this past week, and after two grueling flights, found myself waiting in line for a cab to go to the Orleans. I was holding my credit card in my left hand, because it was important to specify that you were paying by card rather than cash. A gentleman by the name of Sean happened to notice the card, and advised me to hop in his taxi, seeing as how his cab had credit card capabilities.

“As the ride began, Sean asked me if I was visiting Las Vegas for business or pleasure. Although it’s hard to avoid pleasure in Vegas, I explained that I was traveling on business, and proceeded to tell him that I worked with a bowling corporation by the name of Brunswick.

“He quickly responded: ‘Brunswick!? Well, of course I know about Brunswick. I used to watch bowling when I was a kid!’ He started to laugh and discuss the greats of the past, such as Dick Weber, Don Carter, and Carmen Salvino, just to name a few. And then, he stated his all-time favorite bowler to
watch as he was growing up. I bet you can guess what name he said.

“I tried as hard as I possibly could to stay modest, but eventually my ego got the best of me, and I told him my full name. The cab almost came to a screeching hault. Sean was in absolute awe, and could not believe that he was driving the son of one of the greatest bowlers in PBA history to his hotel. I cannot begin to tell you what a feeling it is to know that somewhere across the United States, there are people such as Sean who have grown up loving my father for his talent on the lanes, as well as his contributions and soft spoken demeanor off the lanes.

“The cab fare from McCarran Airport to the Orleans totaled approximately $23 plus the $2 airport fee. As I was about to swipe my card, Sean turned around and said: ‘Absolutely not, Johnny, this one is on me.’ I couldn't believe it. In this day and age, with our struggling economy, this gentleman had the heart to give me a free ride.

“People like Sean are what makes this world a truly wonderful place, and I truly believe that he treats every person the exact same way that steps into that car. Before he left, I made sure to give him an exceptional tip, took his phone number, and thanked him once again for his service.

“It’s moments like those mentioned above that make me realize how blessed I really am. Sure, people will talk about you if you come from a well-known family, I believe it’s just the nature of the beast. But when you have a father who everybody genuinely views as a legend in the sport of bowling,
and a true class act off the lanes, we all know the truth in the end.

“Will I ever win 14 PBA titles? A Triple Crown? Bowl a televised 300 for $100,000? Be inducted into the PBA, USBC, Italian American, and Staten Island Hall of Fames? Probably not. But one thing is for sure: My father has, and I am damn proud of it. People like that cab driver in Vegas reinforce that day in and day out, and it never gets old.”

After a 2009-10 Tour season in which 12-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour titlist Danny Wiseman only competed in a few stops because of personal reasons, he returned to the winner’s circle recently by winning the PBA East Region’s Forest Hill Lanes Open in Forest Hill, Md., on June 27.

Wiseman missed most of the season after his mother Dorothy suffered a brain aneurism that resulted in a coma and a five-month hospital stay. Happily she has made a recovery that has exceeded the expectations of her doctors, Wiseman said, and he is now in a better frame of mind to continue bowling.

“I didn’t pick up a ball for about three months and wasn’t really thinking about bowling,” Wiseman said. “My priorities changed but thankfully everything turned out much better than anyone could have expected.”

Wiseman won his seventh regional title by topping a field of 118 players that included fellow Tour players Patrick Allen, Bill O’Neill, Mike Fagan and Ryan Ciminelli among others. He had a 12-4 match play record and averaged 212 for the tournament.

“Winning definitely relit the competitive fire and it felt good to beat some of the younger guys,” Wiseman said. “I still have more work to do to get into tour playing shape but I’m planning to bowl some more regionals and continue practicing to get ready for when the season starts.”

Fan voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, July 10, for the 2010 ESPY Awards, so visit ESPN to cast your ballot today. Use the scroll-down list to locate the “Best Bowler” category and click on the image of your favorite player to vote.

Candidates are PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J.; U.S. Open champion Bill O’Neill of Southampton, Pa., and 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla.

The ESPY winners will be announced during the 17th annual ESPYs, televised live on ESPN at 9 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, July 14. Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers will host the gala from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Ludy Villani of Niagara Falls, N.Y., one of the original 33 charter members of the Professional Bowlers Association, died June 24. He was 98. Villani, according to his wife Irene, “always wore his PBA patch proudly and had wonderful memories of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The 1964 Niagara Falls Bowling Hall of Fame inductee cashed in three professional events – the 1959 All Star for $50, the inaugural PBA event in 1959 in Albany, N.Y., for $150, and the 1960 ABC Masters for $35 – for $285 in career earnings.

Kelly Kulick won’t win an “eagle” but she acquitted herself nicely in the USBC Open Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in June. Kulick posted a 654 series in team event, 650 in doubles and 682 in singles for a 1,986 all-events total…Corey Kistner, Tournament Director-PBA Tours, will be the guest on “Phantom Radio” on Wednesday, July 14. Kistner and “The Phantom” (former PBA Lane Maintenance Supervisor) Lenny Nicholson will discuss the PBA Senior Tour as it enters its final three events of the season, along with PBA’s Xtra Frame online video streaming service. Go to Foundation Dot Com 300 website and click on “Phantom Radio”…Bobby Hall II is about to embark upon his first season as a Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour exempt player, but the 14-year PBA member is already making an impact. The Danville, N.C., resident is helping conduct a two-day benefit at High Point (N.C.) Bowling Center to teach kids how to bowl while raising money for the Baptist Children’s Home.

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Clyde Higa, Bowling Editor

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