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Bowlers Journal Timeline TIMELINE


1970 1


Johnson’s 299.

Rolling for the $25,000 fi rst prize in the Firestone

Tournament of Champions, Don Johnson pursues an addi- tional $25,000 — the bonus for a televised 300 game — by stringing the fi rst 11 strikes. As his 12th shot nears the pins, he goes to his knees... and leaves the 10-pin. The picture of John- son lying face-down on the approach in disappointment becomes the most famous bowling photograph ever. (Photo: Johnson just before he dropped to the approach.)

1971 2

The FIQ at Milwaukee.

International bowling comes to bowling’s

hometown, when the

Federation Internationale des Quilleurs Championships is held in the U.S. for the fi rst time. In another fi rst, the U.S. Postal Service gives the event offi cial government recognition, issuing a fi rst- class stamped envelope, with the single-word caption, “Bowling.”



THE 1960s 1972


Headquarters is consolidated.

The American Bowling Congress and Wom-

en’s International Bowling Congress begin moving into a new $3.6 million, 100,000-sq.-ft. building in Greendale, Wis. Both orga- nizations retain their inde- pendence, yet talk inevitably arises about a possible future merger.


The ‘soaker’ ball is


Journeyman pro Don Mc- Cune suddenly becomes a major force on the PBA Tour, winning six tournaments and earning designation as the Bowler of the Year. McCune had discovered that soaking his plastic ball in chemical solvent gave it grreater gripping power, so it hooked more — a lot more. The secret leaks out, and the age of “chemical bowling” is upon us.

1973 4


Nevada connection begins.

Previously reluctant to stage an event

in a “gambling city,” the WIBC holds its annual tournament at Showboat Lanes in Las Vegas. A

total of 9,644 teams sign up — 50% greater than any previous WIBC event. The record entry convinc- es ABC to revisit its own policy on tournament sites, and the 1977 ABC Tournament is awarded to Reno.

1974 The

era of Earl.

Earl Anthony consolidates his ranking as the world’s top bowler with election as Bowler of the Year. Before his career winds down in the 1980s, Anthony will be named Bowler of the Year six times (a record), be chosen as an All-American 12 times (a record), win 43 PBA titles (a record), and become the fi rst bowler to earn $1 million in prize money.

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July 2013

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