Friday, March 12, 2010

Bowling History Captured on Video

I've been watching bowling since the late 1950's, and I started bowling not long after that. I've seen a lot of great bowling on TV and in person, and I've bowled a few decent games and series myself. And as I keep posting to this blog and working to take my own game to a higher level before it's too late, I find myself becoming more and more interested in the history of this wonderful sport.

So, I was delighted to find the six videos below on YouTube. They are from a program titled Bowling, the Perfect Game--Classic Moments in Bowling History hosted by Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr that aired in 1991. Somehow, I managed to miss it, but through the magic of YouTube, you and I are able to see it now. And it's definitely a case of better late than never. Or better again and again than only once.

The program covers the entire history of modern tenpin bowling in America going back to even before the founding of the American Bowling Congress in 1895 and features rare footage of early stars and styles. It covers the history of bowling lanes, surface coatings, pinsetters, and bowling balls. It shows highlights from televised bowling matches and tournaments. And it teaches things about the history of the sport that you probably didn't know unless you're a REAL old-timer or bowling history fanatic.

For instance, I never knew that long before Jack Biondolillo bowled the first 300 on the PBA telecasts on ABC in 1967, Ed Lubanski bowled two consecutive 300's on TV sometime in what appears to have been the 1950's. There's footage of that in the program (see video #2). I also didn't know that bowling balls had only two holes and that people bowled with just their thumb and middle finger until sometime around the late 40's or early 50's.

This program, via the six videos below, is a priceless treasure trove of information and viewing pleasure for the bowling fan, so take your shoes off, kick back, and enjoy.

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