By Dennis Clark
Fans of the sport of bowling will have to travel farther — a lot farther in fact — in the near future to visit the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.
Back in June, the museum’s board of directors voted to sell the small, but valuable piece of properly housing their facility to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The area will become part of the long-awaited Ballpark Village development in conjunction with the new Busch Stadium.
Bowling artifacts and exhibits telling the tale of bowling’s estimated 7,000-year history have been housed next to the old Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis for nearly 25 years.
Discussions had been underway the past couple of years in an effort to move the museum to a new location within the “village”, but instead they accepted an offer to share a building in Arlington, Texas, with two other bowling institutions.
According to a St. Louis Post Dispatch story, “The move is a potential boon for Ballpark Village, the proposed entertainment district on the site of the old Busch Stadium. The project has been mired in delays, with the city acknowledging it probably won’t be open for business when the Major League Baseball All-Star game comes to St. Louis in July 2009.
In Texas, the museum will share a campus devoted to bowling — with the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the sport’s governing body, the United States Bowling Congress, which is moving from Wisconsin.
Selling to the Cardinals brings to a conclusion a long-standing relationship between the museum and the team, whose new ballpark is across the street from the bowling hall. For years, the museum doubled as a Hall of Fame for the Cardinals as well, housing championship trophies and other franchise mementos.
According to the Post Dispatch story in June, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said “the team has been in negotiations to buy the museum land for more than two years. The writing was on the wall back when the [new] ballpark was a pipe dream.”
It is believed the two-year negotiations may have taken a negative turn when City Hall suggested the possibility of eminent domain be used to acquire the site.
Also taking a hit since the new Busch Stadium opened is Ballpark Village itself. According to this story, it “has done little besides collect standing water.”
The International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1984. St. Louis winning out from 31 other cities back to build the $7 million three-story structure. It had about 27,000 visitors last year.
Some of its contents included an alabaster replica of a set of bowling pins and ball found in a child’s grave in Egypt dating to 5200 B.C.; replicas of early American bowling lanes (complete with spittoons); a bowling shirt display; and three halls of fame: the American Bowling Congress (ABC), the Professional Bowlers’ Association (PBA), and the Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC).
I was glad to be able to visit the facility a number of times over the years during my many trips to watch the Cardinals play. Progress or not, it won’t be the same to think of bowling’s mecca being in Texas.
• If you missed the memo, the Professional Bowlers Tour is no longer called the Denny’s PBA Tour. The new name is the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. Make a note of it.
Lumber Liquidators recently signed a three-year, multi-million dollar deal to become the new title sponsor of the PBA Tour.
Whatever it’s official name, PBA Tour fans can sit back enjoy the first televised finals of the season with the PBA World Championship (1 p.m. EDT, ESPN) at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.
This year’s winter tour comes to the state of Indiana twice. The Lake County Indiana Golden Anniversary Championship will be in Hammond (Nov. 4-9), while the Etonic Marathon Championship comes to Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis (Feb. 23-Mar. 1).
• The sweet 16 exempt-bowler field is set for the 2008-09 PBA Women’s Series, beginning its season with the Pepsi Viper Championship Women’s Series in Omaha, Neb., running from Oct. 29-Nov. 2.
The 16 exempt women bowlers this year are Diandra Asbaty, Missy Bellinder, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Joy Esterson, Michelle Feldman, Clara Guerrero, Brenda Mack, Adrienne Miller, Tennelle Milligan, Stefanie Nation, Shannon O’Keefe, Jen Petrick, Shannon Pluhowsky, Trisha Reid, Jodi Woessner and Shalin Zulkifli.
The PBA Women’s Series features seven events, with the championship match of each event being televised live on ESPN as part of the regular PBA Tour telecast. Women’s finals telecasts will be Nov. 2, Nov. 16, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Jan. 18
The 16 exempt-bowler field was determined at the 2008 PBA Women’s Tour Trials, which were held in conjunction with the 2008 Women’s U.S. Open in August. The top 12 women advanced through the PBA Women’s Tour Trials, while the four winners of last season’s events received automatic berths.
This remains the only opportunity for women to bowl on Tour since the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) folded in 2003. Each PBA Women’s Series event, will feature a $51,100 prize fund, including a $10,000 top prize.
• Locally, one of the hot bowlers early this season is Austin Marsh, who had a 299 game and an 837 three-game series recently in the Russ Fisher Truck Parts League at the Terre Haute Bowling Center. Marsh is averaging an incredible 248 in that league and 241 in the Affordable Awards Mixed League.
Other high average bowlers at the THBC include Bryan Barton (232), Mike Rogers (231), Scott Johnson (229), Luke Ruble (222), Phil Cooper (221), Bryan Salmond (220), Brian Taylor (214), Mandy Wilkins (213), Vicki Rich (211) and Shane Mullenix (208)
Also doing well are “senior” THBC bowlers Herb Gosnell (210), Rob Klemaszewski (203) and Richard Stephens (202).
Once again, this is a column for the local bowlers, so please, please send me high scores, tournament results, news, story idea etc. Send any of the aforementioned as indicated below.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
Vigo County Bowling Leagues
Terre Haute Bowling Center
Guarantee Roofing — High games: Brad Fyfe 278, Applied Book Keeping 1,152. High series: Harold Costello 711, Applied Book Keeping 3,183.
Nancy’s Song Bird Karaoke — High games: Carol Davis 235, Affordable Awards 949. High series: Davis 600, Affordable Awards 2,597.
Russ Fisher Truck Parts — High games: Austin Marsh 299, Team 3 1,136. High series: Marsh 832, Team 3 3,266.
Wednesday Prime Timers — High games: Richard Stephens 258, Phyllis Phegley 175. High series: Stephens 664, Carolyn Hall 465.
Wabash Valley Christian — High games: Chris Strain 259, Candy Rooksberry 199, Central Christian 661. High series: Strain 565, Rooksberry 464, Central Christian 1,853.
Premeir Homes Mixed — High games: Brian Taylor 256, Vicki Rich 248, Stuckeys 854. High series: Phil Cooper 663, Rich 663, Team 1 2,409.
THBC Monday Prime Timers — High games: Rob Klemaszewski 270, Jean Shirley 216. High series: Klemaszewski 744, Patricia Stewart 573.
ANG Mixed — High games: Shane Mullenix 268, Joyce Weaver 190, Big Dogs 728. High series: Mullenix 733, Weaver 489, Big Dogs 2,023.
Chandler Construction — High games: William Stewart 212, Pat Stewart 210, Lucky Strikes 715. High series: Robert Kiefner 561, Misty Chandler 554, Lucky Strikes 2,103.
THBC Seniors — High games: Austin Dowell 237, Mack Pepper 208. High series: Cameron Bolinger 609, Pepper 518.
THBC Juniors — High games: Tanner Tuberosa 221, Ashley Ray 132. High series: Tuberosa 564, Ray 376.
THBC Preps — High games: Dylan Davis 205, Emily Hazelrigg 156. High series: Michael Rogers 415, Hazelrigg 459.
THBC Bantams — High games: Aiden Fellows 116, Rachael Goekler 98. High series: Fellows 281, Goekler 231.
Thursday Youth — High games: Wade Sons 212, Maria Walton 86. High series: Sons 593, Walton 248.
Affordable Awards Mixed — High games: Matt Wilkins 279, Mandy Wilkins 278, Lang’s Body Shop 857. High series: Mat. Wilkins 760, Man. Wilkins 660, Logan’s Rib-Eye 2,482.
Sunday Mixed — High games: Chad Klopfenstein 288. High series: Troy Williams 781, Mysti Fisher 726, Jim Shepherd 703.
Wims Monday Mixed — High games: Jim Sullivan 279, Ladonna Singleton 221, Kris Tuberosa 215. High series: Sullivan 815, Kelly Chesshir 713, Tuberosa 565.
Archie’s Tuesday Men’s — High games: Chad Klopfenstein 290, John McWilliams 279, Wayne Loudermilk 278. High series: Scott Hill 772, Loudermilk 754.
Smith Trucking Wednesday Men — High games: Mike Fisher Sr. 290, Jason Hiddle 289, High series: Fisher Sr. 758, Hiddle 719, Dave Walker 716, Darrell Davis 711, Davis Steep 701, Mysti Fisher 674.
Pizza Works Thursday Mixed — High games: Jim Shepherd 279. High series: Shepherd 736.
Joe and Gore Thursday Night Men — High series: Greg Thompson 660, Jason John 652, Kenny Bosc 638, Bill Alumbaugh III 637.
Affordable Awards — Lois Hollingsworth 258, Casey Coffee Shop 940. High series: Melinda Clark 618, Casey Coffee Shop 2,528.