The Bowling Chronicles

Collected Writings of Dr. Jake

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About the Book

Millions of people bowl yet few know much about bowling’s rich history. For more than 25 years, J.R. “Dr. Jake” Schmidt has been recounting that history in Bowlers Journal International with vitality and detail. This collection of 90 of his classic articles presents portraits of Dick Weber, Don Carter, Marion Ladewig and other tenpin immortals. Great matches and tournaments are recalled, along with little-known and forgotten stories—the bowling ball that went around the world, the 300 game that took a week to complete, the symphony concert that featured a bowler rolling against pins on stage, the traveling hustler who passed himself off as a German nobleman, the baseball Hall of Famer who won a national bowling championship, and much more.

About the Author(s)

J.R. Schmidt earned a PhD in history from the University of Chicago and is a regular on-air contributor on Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ.

Bibliographic Details

J.R. Schmidt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6775-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2806-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments xi

Preface 1

A (Very) Short History of Bowling 3

Mort the Moose 5

Long John Koster 6

El Zunko 8

Magnificent Marino 10

The Perfect Game 12

Eddie Kawolics and Me 15

The Old Sarge 17

Uncanonized Saint 19

An Interview with Jimmy Blouin 21

The Prince of Bowlers 29

Professor Krumske 33

The Legend of Junie McMahon 34

Seven Days to 300 38

The Flying Falstaffs 40

Bowling’s Cinéma Vérité 43

That’s Shaul, Folks! 45

Nobody’s Buddy 46

Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things 49

Belle of the Ball 50

The Joker Is Wild 53

The Patriotic Bowling Tournament 55

The Greatest Team Match 57

Bowling’s Landmark Tour 59

Don Carter: An Appreciation 63

A Dream in Detroit 66

The Original Perfect Man 68

One Soldier’s Story 70

Famous Nicknames 72

The Infamous 5–7–10 75

Fabulous ­Faetz-Niesen 77

How Jimmy Smith Became Champ 79

The Big Three Bowlers Tour 81

Where Have You Gone, Morrie Oppenheim? 83

How We Learned to Love the 10-Pin 88

Weighty Bowlers 90

More Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things 92

The First ABC Tournament 94

Joe Norris, R.I.P. 96

Style and Substance 98

Brunswick or AMF? 103

Billy G. 104

Jerry Lewis Goes Bowling 106

Church Alleys 109

The Stuff of Dreamer 110

Beware the Count! 113

The Buds Shoot 3858 116

Gibby’s Big Jackpot 120

Bowling’s Defining Moment 124

Time for a Bowling Postage Stamp? 130

I Remember Billy Welu 132

The First National Tournament 133

Strange Inventions 138

Dick Weber, R.I.P. 139

Candy Mac 141

The ­Baseball-Bowling Connection 144

The Buzzer 147

Unusual Injuries 150

The Quiet Man 151

Pioneer Don Scott 154

The Hitchhikers 156

The Greatest Action Match 157

The Fred Wolf Story 159

Big Steve 161

Johnny Small’s Magic Ball 163

Two Secure Records 164

Movie Star Bowler 166

A Christmas Story 169

Who Was Ned Day? 170

Ed Lubanski’s Double 300 174

Andy Varipapa Stories 176

Earl Breaks Through 178

The Petersen Classic Turns 100 181

All Hail, Lady L! 184

The Bowling Ball That Went Around the World 189

Even More Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things 191

In Search of Johnny King 193

A Different Path 196

Uncle Joe 198

Bowler’s Symphony 199

Chief Halftown 201

The Schalk Team Tournament 203

Billy Hardwick, R.I.P. 204

The Longest Longshots 206

The Man in the Picture 208

Allie and Orf and Allison and Some Others 210

The National Bowling League 212

Billy Durant’s Bowling Fling 219

The Shanghai Bowling Congress 221

The Pleasure of His Company 222

Undefeated Champion 225

Index 227