This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Bowlers Journal Timeline TIMELINE

BY J.R. SCHMIDT { } 1960 Air-

conditioning takes hold.

As early as 1940, Bowlers Journal had urged pro- prietors to air-condition their establishments. The technology improved and became cheaper during the 1950s. The start of a new decade sees bowling becoming a year-’round sport, and also sees a nine-fold jump in league play in the South.

1961 1

Therm Gibson’s giant jackpot.

Bowling has its fi rst prime-time network TV

show, hosted by comedy legend Milton Berle, no less. The most memorable moment on “Jackpot Bowl- ing” comes when Therm Gibson strings six strikes to take home the $75,000 pot. In little more than four minutes, he earns more than Mickey Mantle makes playing a whole season in the Yankee outfi eld.


THE 1960s 1961

Willow Grove

Park Lanes redefi nes ‘big center.’

Bowling’s building boom peaks with the opening of the largest-ever U.S. center, 116-lane Willow Grove Park Lanes in sub- urban Philadelphia. The “Taj Mahal of Bowling” is feted in glossy magazines and becomes a minor tourist attraction, but will last barely 20 years.


v. BPAA.

Two of bowling’s major “integers” get involved in a turf war. BPAA won’t allow bowlers from non-member centers to bowl in its tour- naments, and ABC refuses to sanction any tournament that enforces this BPAA el- igibility rule. After fi ve years of legal battles, the two sides learn the virtues of cooperation. But as is usu- ally the case in such family feuds, the big winners are the lawyers.


1961 2

The National

Bowling League debuts... and dies.

A decades-long dream becomes real-

ity as a group of investors launch bowling’s fi rst coast-to-coast intercity league. The NBL has a promising start, but poor attendance and lack of a TV contract drown the venture in a sea of red ink after a single season. It’s the beginning of the end for big-time team bowling.

1962 3

PBA telecasts become a

Saturday institution.

ABC-TV begins weekly, 90-minute broadcasts

of the fi nal matches at 13 PBA Tour events. The show is a success, and “Pro Bowlers Tour” becomes Saturday afternoon must- see TV for three decades, not to mention the most effective promotion ever for getting people out onto the lanes. (Photo: Long-time “PBT” broadcasters Billy Welu and Chris Schenkel, with Don Carter.)

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////// 10

June 2013

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27