History of Tucson's BEST LEAGUE, the Traveling Masters
By Alan Brizee, secretary and promoter. June 20, 2006, revised Sep. 2011, June 2014 & Apr. 2020.
Note: The Vantage Lite Traveling Masters league emerged from the Tucson Bowl Masters (from here will be T.B.M.) league due to competition from another scratch. The Traveling Masters (from here will be T.M.) league happened because there were enough good bowlers on the east side of Tucson and wanted to bowl in a scratch league. I have researched the weekly newsletters for the T.M. and standings sheets for the T.B.M. to tell the story of the greatest league ever. The T.M. did many, many things that no other league has done or will ever do. The success of the T.M. lasted ten seasons as the league doubled in size. It took three seasons to double the prize fund of Tucson’s best sweeper, which actually in seven seasons, was bowling for five times that first sweeper. There was more free events and free cash offered to all the members that no other league ever offered its members. It wasn’t about the money that some events offered if you bowled well, it was about creating excitement to retain members and attract new bowlers who wanted more competition. It was because of the bowlers and their appreciation for what was offered, that they were willing to get involved and make the T.M. the most unique league in history. Tucson’s best league, the greatest league ever, the most unique league in history and Tucson’s best sweeper are bold statements, but as you will read, you will find out that the league was in a league of its own. Writing this brought too many back great memories, not just for me, but for other members of the T.M. My reason for telling its history is hoping other leagues can learn from what happened. I will briefly go into promotions as that is why the T.M. grew, but I have an article on promoting that goes into details on all the promotions. It also gives you examples of the many ways it was unique. And as I review the last seasons, brought sadness as I believe it didn’t have to happen. Most leagues today don’t want to spend extra time to make the league better for the members. After they read about the history and promotions of the T.M., I hope they can make their league better for bowlers in the future. I also hope the future doesn’t repeat itself for your league. And now as I write this note, bowling centers are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. What will happen to leagues as many lost their jobs and may struggle for some time. Leagues may have to create more excitement just to keep bowlers in the future. With paying higher weekly leagues fees than most leagues, even the T.M. had trouble a few seasons keeping all the teams that started the season. I do know of one bowler that had trouble some weeks paying, but did well in brackets and paid for the week from bracket winnings. Without optional events, he probably would have quit. Both the leagues I bowl in, have ended early and will not finish the season. We are still waiting payment of the prize fund. Nobody knows what else the future has for us.
Tucson Bowl Classic: Way, way back when I was still in the Army, in the summer of 1991, Paul Colwell (P.B.A., A.B.C., AZ. State, Pima County and T.B.A. Hall of Fame member) wanted scratch bowling back at Tucson Bowl. One of the best scratch leagues on the east side of Tucson, the Tucson Bowl Classic came to an end in 1990. The Classic had 4 bowlers on a team and used a 1 point per game system, with 3 total points for the night bowling a split season of halves. The Classic league usually had 12 to 16 teams. This was a good league as the year we won the league during the 1984-85 season. We won more than we paid into it by winning 70% of all our points (With Rev. Roy, Lefty and Pizza Ray). It was the last season having a top heavy prize fund.
Tucson Bowl Masters, May 1991: On organizational night, Steve Hiscox suggested the most unique idea for a scratch league. Instead of the usual splits of thirds or quarters, they wanted two segments, split the league up into Qualifying and Divisional action. There is no other league that has used this format that I know of. The Qualifying segment is where all teams bowl each other once and at least one position round. It is over half the season with the team that wins qualifying, seeded into the Roll-Offs. The teams will now bowl divisional action dropping all points and roll against just the teams in their divisions. The teams winning each division will also bowl in the Roll-Offs for the League Championship. The top teams after qualifying make Division 'A' and then the next teams in order are in Division 'B'. Place money is won based on how a team finishes in their division. Division 'A' teams get more prize money than Division 'B' teams and even more than Division 'C' teams. In this format, a Division 'C' or ‘D’ team could receive more in prize money than their weekly fees and even teams in Division ‘A’. They would have to win the League Championship of course. Not too bad for a team that could be in last after qualifying. The meeting voted on using a 20 point system using individual match play with team points twice as valuable as individual points. The league is now known as the Tucson Bowl Masters.
The league grew and filled the 24 lane Tucson Bowl until a traveling scratch league was started on Tuesday. Some bowlers jumped to the new league and the Masters league dropped from 22 to 12 teams for the 1995-’96 season. Roy Lawson, who was the secretary, had just 7 teams coming back, partly due of the challenging conditions at Tucson Bowl and he felt there was not enough interest to keep the league going.
1991-92: John V Cook had the high average with 224. I was in the service and able to look this one up.
1992-93: Steve Hiscox was high average with 228. Ron Schloss shot high series with 794. There were four 300’s, Billy Bundza, Chuck Molno, Tony Palma Jr. and Karl Radman.
1993-94: Doug Wilder held high average with 212. Alan Brizee secured high set with 799. He left an 8-10 split and missed both pins on his final shot of the night. Yes, he did shoot an 807 later. Jim Tantlinger had the only 300.
1995-95: Paul Colwell averaged 220. Mark Cormier recorded high set with 781. And there were six 300’s, John Baab, Paul Colwell, Steve Dekker, Jim Harmon, David Storey and Linda Wallace.
1995-96: David Wehrly paced at 221. Finally got that 800 from Rob Bowman’s 801. Bowman also threw a 300 along with Dale Pollard and Joe Dogoli.
This ends the Tucson Bowl Masters highlights and some of Tucson’s best bowlers shot some great scores.
August 1996: Some of the past members didn’t show up for the organizational meeting to discuss options for continuing the scratch league. Looking back at it now, maybe it was a good thing to have fewer bowlers there. Some bowlers are almost always trying to change too many rules and still keep the league fun. There was about 20 bowlers who showed up for the meeting. They decided to keep the league together and wanted a few changes. One of the changes was to compete with the other scratch league that traveled on Tuesdays. The bowlers at the meeting discussed options and decided to travel between Tucson Bowl and Cactus Bowl, which would make the first season of the Traveling Masters league. From here on, T.M. will designate the Traveling Masters.
New officers had to be elected for the ’96-’97 season, after all officers of the Masters league resigned. I, was elected secretary/ treasurer and John Baab was elected President. It would be my third time being secretary of a league. I wanted to do what was in the best interest of the league to make the Traveling Masters the most exciting league anywhere. After problems in the past, I wanted this league to last more than a few seasons. There were a few that bowled in my 8th and 9thseason that did not think, that I did everything in the best interest of the league. What happened after being elected, speaks volumes about the job I did as you’ll read about. I took a couple of weeks to think about small changes to get better results, to get bowlers more excited about the second season of the T.M. league. What, a secretary that’s wants to put in a several hours to make their league better? Very few secretaries worry about next season during the summer. As those that bowled the league know, and the rest of you will read, I’m not an ordinary secretary. It’s about the excitement, the competition, the thrill of victory, the chance for getting good money back for the reason why you’re there to bowl. After being elected, my first idea was having strikes pot and increasing the sweeper prize fund.
No other secretary has gone down the road to give back almost half of their salary to make the league better. No other secretary ever promoted their league like I did for the T.M. No other secretary built a website for their league like I did. No other secretary tried to create interest in their league like I did. You would like to think that secretaries would do a little more, as with more teams, means a higher salary at the end of the season. Secretaries in the past didn’t give recognition to bowlers that deserved it and I didn’t want to see that happening when I was secretary.
Only 4 teams stayed in the league and of the other 8 teams, 3 teams had 1 or 2 members who bowled the previous season. So the new Traveling Masters league had basically 5 new teams for the ’96-’97 season. The bowlers hoped that traveling in the Masters League would create interest in the league keeping the same format of Qualifying and Divisionals. I went to John Baab and told him it’s time to change things for the better. The league really didn’t have a sweeper. I cashed in the 1996 sweeper and lost money. Only a few other bowlers not making the Roll-Offs and Roll-Offs teams participated. This had to change if the league was to get better. John is the main reason why the league became the best league in Tucson. He let me promote the league along with the sweeper and supported me until he resigned when he moved to Las Vegas. When league officers are committed to making the league better and work together, great things can happen. The expectations of the league, even during the first season was just to have about 20 teams in the future. Nobody expected to have 24 teams with a waiting list to get into the league. Even I didn’t predict it. To make a long story short J, it’s because of the bowlers, the Vantage Lite Traveling Masters was the greatest league around. I’m just happy that I was able to live, bowl and create excitement that few bowlers have seen before.
1996-97 (1st season): Started with 12 teams. Many THANKS to our 2 league sponsors for the 10 plus seasons, Vantage Bowling Centers & Miller Lite beer adding $1000 to the prize fund. I did a weekly Full page newsletter publicized weekly high scores with stats, honor scoresfrom other leagues, scratch tournaments, important news to Masters members and Psych-Ups to help bowlers mental game. Started Strike pots to increase sweeper prize fund and to create a tournament type atmosphere on sweeper night. Around 25 to 30% of sales were added to sweeper fund. $60 in sales creates a $45 strike pot. Round strike pots off to the nearest $5 with the rest into the fund. With the added money from strike pots, estimated at $500, would be added and create more excitement to bowling sweepers. After a month of seeing bowlers buying just $1 and $2, I went to John Baab about selling $3 to get $4 and $5 to get $7 and he thought that was a great idea. Tickets sales doubled the remainder of season. Free tickets not only increased ticket sales, but now guaranteed $50 pots every week with some weeks having two pots. Instead of $15 going into the sweeper fund, $20 was now increasing the fund. Throwing a strike to win $50 helps make for a successful week.
The T.M. league was the first to reward bracket bowlers who entered brackets and had the most weekly wins. It was the start of the Tournament of Champions from money deducted from each bracket for 100% return of entry fees. I was the 1stsecretary to introduce 4 game sweeper events. This 4th game helped to have bowlers watching the 4th game finals of two events, the T. of C. and the Eliminator, instead of standing around and interrupting the people finalizing the sweeper and asking how they finished before the sweeper was finalized. Many THANKS to Herb at Desert Bowler for publishing my 12 monthly articles for the 9 and a third seasons I was secretary of the Traveling Masters. I paid for 4" bowling pins for bowlers that had Clean sets, High for the week, All-Star team, perfect attendance and a few other achievements where 66% to 80% or the league received them in the 9 seasons. Thanks also go out to Andy Clark's Pro Shop for their sponsorship for 10 years of the $10 sweeper bracket with a $40 gift certificate. Strike Pots increased Sweeper participation as 37 of 44 for 84% bowling (increase of 60% over Tucson Bowl Masters League). They voted on proposals with 1 in 4 cash ratio winning with 90% of votes. Unfortunately a team dropped from the league halfway through the season, and in the best interest of the league, the sweeper fund at $540, would be put used for the prize fund. The good news was that the prize fund didn’t have to be adjusted for any shortages for the team dropping, and had $10 left over to be added to the sweeper. Bowlers were shooting for a $1600 sweeper night. Only $50 in added money as I added $70, $50 to the Tournament of Champions and $20 to the Eliminator. 81% or 31 bowlers voted for singles and doubles during the sweeper while only 6 voted for high/ low doubles. This was the most important vote in Traveling Masters history. This vote is the reason why the T.M. offered its member’s Tucson’s best sweeper. With a few optionals in the sweeper, spending $45 could get you a nice payday of $443 winning everything. The good payday for the sweeper, was due to organizing it and let bowlers deduct sweeper fees from their winnings. Another first for the league was a ‘pick your partner’ doubles. This event is really singles, you pick who you think will bowl well and use their score for a six game totals. At $5 for each entry, half of the bowlers picked four partners to spend an additional $20. 37 bowlers bowled sweeper for $555 in total entry fees. This makes $1000 in optional action including $300 from sponsors. The bowlers spent more money getting in optionals, than in the entry fee. Considering the sweeper fund didn’t actually go towards the sweeper, it was a good sweeper and just the start of better and greater sweepers to come. This is one of the sweepers that I unfortunately don’t have final results for. I have newsletters for every week for the over nine seasons I was secretary. One team dropped after week 14 so the league ended with eleven teams for the season.
Some bowlers didn't know about statistics until this first season. Being that this was my third league as a secretary, I used a few extra stats before. But with better and faster computers and better software, I’m able to provide more detailed stats, which very few bowlers thought was possible. I kept bowler’s Strikes per game, Opens per game, Clean games, 5 Baggers, Highs & average at each center, Top 20 individual & Top 10 team all 3 games with series, Top 5 each week each game, Highs for the week & pair along with other stats. Your team opposing average as well as team and individual average at each center, are listed with some teams using these stats to determine their line-ups. With a match play league, every point could earn a team an additional $400 or more. With the league having divisions, you never wanted to be in the bottom division as less money was earned. The stats I kept for each member could be used to show weaknesses in certain areas, to tell bowlers where they need to improve their game. Stats Plus was born. Statistics plus sponsorship and promoting. A big three for what would be known as the biggest scratch league in Tucson. Some history happens for a reason and it was because of the bowlers who appreciated the work I did in my first season in the T.M. The stats was just the start of many great things the T.M. offered. I guess you can have too many stats J.
In week 32, Al Davis rolled 16 strikes from the start for 300 and shot 799. He had 30 strikes and won Money Madness worth $1800. Al, a Hall of Famer is cashing big this first traveling season. Al had the high average at each center and finished with 221.8 for 9thhigh average in the association. Al Davis was the Bowler of the Year, averaging 231 the final six weeks. Also on the All-Star team was Dale Schnell at 213.2, Fred Helwig at 211.4 and Alan Brizee with 210.0.
A bowler who was suspended two season later by A.B.C. for owing dues to a team in this league, shot a 300. Shawn Walls won eight strike pots while Eddie Flores hit for four and John Baab hit three of them. Stats Plus with Alan Brizee, Sean Warner at 199, Deano Rohlik and Scott Field both at 195, were the league champions, winning from Division “B”. They finished with the only 900 of the Roll-Off teams at 909 for a 2536. An incredible starting season with much more to come!
1997-98 (2nd season): Started with 15 teams and Vantage Bowling Centers was able to help find one team to add 5 teams for the season to make 16 teams. Early in the season, two teams needing a bowler, found interested bowlers. In some leagues, replacing bowlers may never happen. One member of the team to make the 16thteam, will be glad he did later. We voted to travel to all 5 Vantage centers. The first season had few promotions but having articles in Desert Bowler probably got a couple of new teams. With more teams and just having a good sweeper, I came up with promotions, which no bowler has seen before, to make a statement in our second season. I thought about the league’s best interest when promoting the league, in ways no other secretary would dream of doing. This season had many firsts, and you can’t try everything all at once. With the league going to five centers, the league was at first, not getting help from all the Vantage centers because we weren’t their house league. I talked to each center manager about getting a small area to post standings, schedule, the newsletter and high scores from the league for that center. One of the center’s managers questioned why I would want it. Why? I could have answered, why not? The league is going to five centers and if Vantage is not going out of their way to promote the league, then apparently, I will have to. With me being secretary, more bowlers means bigger salary and more money to promote the league. I was willing to take 25% of my salary and use it to increase the sweeper and offering free events to make a better league. I had to buy two, two foot by three foot cork boards and put the up at centers that didn’t have extra space for the league standing sheet. I also designed a board for this season stating that the T.M. was “Coming this Monday”. It would also have a place for the standings sheet and weekly newsletter. With traveling to the other four centers to update them, it meant I would be spending at least two to three hours to help promote the league. Since we’re only bowling at each center every five weeks, one center wouldn’t let the league get in their Money Madness, in our first rotation of the centers. Money Madness is a jackpot where 12 strikes in certain frames had to be thrown to win the pot. One center didn’t really want someone from our league winning their pot which was $1800, after their league bowlers built the pot up. Vantage then decided to let the T.M. have their own separate jack pot using their rules. I was the 1stsecretary to reward bowlers for their SUPER BOWLING. I gave 4 bowlers FREE ENTRIES into Tucson's BEST SWEEPER based on the stats I kept. The w-l match play percentage for bowlers could be won by any bowler. Bowlers winning the free entries, had a shot at $240, just showing up to bowl! I also sponsored the T. of C. with $200 to go with money deducted from weekly brackets. I started the season with trivia questions for FREE Strike Pots tickets. I had an agreement with Glenn at Creative Awards to where the league bought a sponsors trophy for $80 and they gave us 4 individual plaques at no cost. It was the start of having three Four Game events, during the sweeper, they were the T. of C.(with $200 added), the $10 Andy Clark's Pro Shop bracket (with $50 added) and the Eliminator.
The great thing about strike pots instead of 50/50 pots is that strikes are needed to win the pot, and with no strike, the pot gets carried over to the next pot the night or the following week. With the season close to the end in week 32, this helped to the biggest carry-over in T.M. history, as there was $268 carried over to tonight. A scratch league throws more strikes, but for several weeks, maybe one of the three strike pots over the last month would be hit. I never would have thought it would ever build to this amount. I also really didn’t want to see a huge carry-over in three weeks during position round. Because of the importance of getting into the Roll-Offs in this league, I don’t think the league wanted strike pots tickets called throughout the entire night. If some bowlers got tapped and missed the pot, we would therefore have to draw another ticket. So I go to John and tell him that tickets sales would probably go through the roof with the pot carried over. He agreed and got the league officers together to discuss it. The league officers decided to have $100 pots instead of $50, and was announced before league started. We were bowling at Fiesta Lanes that night. I don’t think anyone from Tucson would believe that Fiesta was the lowest scoring center for the league, at a 190 average. WOW!! The league must have gone to the banks earlier to get ready for tonight. A record $180 in ticket sales. You can now say WOW!! I couldn’t be happier, and I predicted it. You make a slight change to create excitement and to get the greatest response for this one night, proved that if you offer something people want, they will open their wallets for it. With just $30 going into the sweeper fund, $150 went into the strike pot to create $418! One busy night for selling tickets. A league rule of winning two pots per week, didn’t matter to those spending $20, instead of their usual $5. I even splurged with $20. Why not, it was for the good of the league. Many that spent $20, bought $10 when I first went around and got the other $10 the next time. Good thing I had a five gallon bucket for the tickets J. Because of the interest in sales, I didn’t go around a second time, I let them come to me. At least six pots tonight, even with the increase to $100 pots. Would you believe the CSA pulled my ticket? Well, one ticket and one less strike pot. Next ticket pulled by the CSA was Eddie Flores and he also won $100. The desk person then pulled the next ticket, and Eddie again was drawn. Clink, clink, Eddie wining $200 tonight means the season didn’t cost him any money. He was now guaranteed his weekly fees back. For averaging 183 this season and 4.7 strikes per game, Eddie will remember tonight forever. A third of the league averaged 200 or better, and to see someone under 200 have this type of night, is priceless. Jordan Lynch joined the league in the 4thweek to help make 16 teams, was averaging 188 when he claimed a $100 pot. What an exciting week for two under bowlers. This showed me that under bowlers also wanted to be included in optional events and in the upcoming seasons, I made sure to have events just for them. The sweeper prize fund grew $920 to $2520. 104 cash spots were paid out. With five more teams, an increase of 63% for the sweeper showed that what I started last season must have worked. The bowlers show their interest by the money they’re willing to spend to make the T.M. league great.
The hottest bowler of the season was last season’s Bowler of the Year Al Davis. In week 9, Al had a middle game of 290. The next week, instead of finishing with an 11 bagger, he started with 11 for a 299, again the middle game. And week 11, he again just missed throwing 279, 299 and a 3rd week in a row with an 11 bagger. He finished with 257 for 835 for his 8th career 800 and highest 800. He did it with just 30 strikes for the evening. Four weeks later, he rewrote the record book tossing a perfect 300 game for having one both seasons. He now has the highest four games shot in the second game, for the league. He also carried 18 in a row for the longest string of strikes. He was also the Bowler of the Year, now winning two in a row, averaging 218.8. Joining Al Davis on the All-Star team was Dale Pollard with a 215.8, David Wehrly at 213.7 and Alan Brizee paced at 212.2.
Dale Schnell practice week throwing a ”Varipapa 300” got him warmed up for closing the following week with an eight bagger for an even 800 series. Dale had 29 strikes to go with one open frame. Next man up happened the following week, finishing the night with 268 and 300 for 782 was Jeff Segneri. John Kordsiemon didn’t let the strike pot action take away from his bowling. John duplicated his “Varipapa 300” to become the first with consecutive weeks of 12 baggers. With the third 300 giving the league a perfect game for the 1st, 2nd and 3rdgame, as Orren Welsh started the evening with 13 strikes. It was again the team from division “B” taking home the championship. Broad Street Bullies bullied their way to the winners circle with Dale Pollard and David Wehrly helping out. Joining Dale and David were Eric Ruden at 189 and Rick Skillman at 187.
1998-99 (3rd season): Another 4 teams added to make 8 in just 2 seasons to 20 teams. Lost one team in week 12 and finished with 19. Vantage now sponsors the league with $350 per team with 20 teams for a total of $7000. With Miller Lite, the league has $8000 in added money. I wanted to thank all those who made the Vantage- Lite Traveling Masters league the biggest growing scratch league in Tucson, by giving five, instead of four bowlers a FREE SWEEPER entry. 1st season to run a $1 Game pot and Clean set pot that grows when not hit starting at 300 and drops 2 pins each week. Game pot grew to $160 once when Kobs shot 290 to win. 1st season to offer 199 and Under bowler’s brackets. It was the 1st EVER FREE ENTRY Tournament of Champions for regular season bracket champions where 50% cash.
I'm the first to offer Prize fund reductionthat also helped participation in the sweeper while I was also the treasurer. Bowlers can now sign up for one to 20 brackets, pick a few extra partners for doubles, enter the Eliminator and Andy Clark's Pro Shop bracket and have it deducted from their season winnings. With the sweeper being pre-paid, bowlers would enter more events due to not having to pay in advance. This reduction was a GAME CHANGER. With a very good prize fund for all league bowlers, some bowlers would spend over $100 since they now don’t have to prepay. You’ll notice the steady increase of the sweeper’s prize fund in the upcoming seasons. And some of you are wondering about bowlers who missed sweeper after signing up. In my 9 seasons of bowlers signing up for the sweeper, only 1 bowler was unable to bowl sweeper and didn’t call to let anyone know. He spent $30, and understood he wouldn’t receive a refund. He did bowl the following season. One season a bowler cancelled three days before sweeper, and I was able to refund his money and make the slight change to the prize fund.
The league’s website was online in Feb. 19, 1999 with 15 pages for the biggest website of any league in the U.S. Website doubled in size to 30 pages when I resigned in 2006. A Who's Who page, top scores, stats, captains page, rosters, rules, records, league champions and articles just to name a few. A short ten weeks later, the website wins an All- Star award, Website of the Month, May '99. Bowlers from around the U.S. have now taken notice ofTucson's BEST LEAGUE in its 3rd season. What an honor after many hours getting the T.M. online that no other league in Tucson has done. This third season showed what I was willing to do above my normal responsibilities to make the T.M. like no other league around. When the league officers work together, you can see why the league grew each season and the only minor problem the league had was with bowlers and two teams not finishing the season.
With 4 more teams, the sweeper increased $940 from last season to a prize fund of $3460. There would be 143 cash spots getting paid. $1860 increase in two seasons. The sweeper reduction showed me bowlers were will to risk a little more money if they didn’t have to prepay. It was because of the FREE ENTRY T. of C., more brackets were run during the season with as many as 7 each week. Bowlers in the T. of C. that entered Andy Clark's $10 bracket and the $5 Eliminator, could win $240 for just the $15 entry feewinning all three events. Would you think that a bowler could win $866? After going through the pay envelopes when I got home, that’s what it added up to. A 246, 224 and 257 for 727 to win singles and doubles. I shot a 249 in the fourth game of the optionals to win the T. of C. and Andy Clark’s $10 bracket. I also won ten brackets to take home 25% of the entire sweeper shooting 975 for the four games. My record winnings for any sweeper will be short lived. This is one reason why no other league has come close to what the T.M. has offered its members.
He who starts off good, has better chance at the best season. This makes the first time the Bowler of the Year didn’t shoot 300 or 800. It was also the first season where voting was done. Three points for B.O.Y. and one point for the All-Star team. But Jeff Segneri came close in week two, with a 298 being his first game of the season. His 298 average after one game obviously dropped as he ended at 223.0 for the season to claim B.O.Y. Jeff had three sets above 760. The other All-Stars include Al Davis for his third straight season averaging 220.8. Al also had a 300 in three consecutive seasons. Nick Vaughn with a 300 in week 33 at a 218.2 pace and Fred Helwig who had a 802 in the Roll-Offs finishing at 213.0 round out the team. Alan Brizee had the fourth high average with 214.1. (Alan had three more votes, but Fred had five more B.O.Y. votes.)
Rick Patterson opened the evening with a 299 en route to his 813 with one open. Rickie Nader went off the sheet with the final eight strikes and had no opens, threw the remaining 8 for the season, also had an 802. The other three 300’s were from Deano Rohlik, Chris Amadori and Jeff Dalton. Babby Hinkle walked away champions of the hardware from Division “C”. Helwig helped his team the most from his 800 and joining him were Dalton averaging 203 for the season, Alan Wolf at 198 and Ken Davis with his 184.
1999-2000 (4th season): Added three teams to make 22. Some of you are wondering how many more T.M. firsts are left after three unforgettable seasons already. Well there was at least four of them. The first and second firsts happened on the first night. On opening night each member received a pen with sponsor's logos, my number & website on it to fill out sanction card. This helped promote the league and sped up filling out sanction cards. I added $20 to kick start the strike pots which isn’t a first. The second first happened after a bowler struck for a $50 pot. The second pot was worth $38 and I threw $5 into the sweeper fund after my strike. It was a win-win for the league. The league has $20 in the sweeper fund after I added $5 and created a second pot for more ticket sales. With my $38 strike, I may not have won as much, but I did came out ahead $8. Just a little spark to get the season going. I also added another FREE sweeper entrybased on the stats, to make a total of six. As most of you remember, this season since the league was done on a computer, would there be problems? It was Y2K time and some worrying for nothing. The next T.M. first, is a first in the history of bowling. Remember that I talk a lot on promoting, it paid dividends to make the league more competitive. A team quit halfway through season and I helped fill it with articles in Desert Bowler, the website and flyers at each center. With the Qualifying and Divisional segments, getting 4 bowlers to fill the spot was just letting four bowlers know that it really was a win-win situation. The headline in Desert Bowler was: It’s a win, win situation. With the format and the way the prize fund was that season, the four bowlers taking that 23rd spot could actually win more than double the money of their weekly fees for the remainder of the season. Since the original team had paid for most of the first 12 weeks, the team taking that team’s spot, would be guaranteed 90% of their weekly fees back. Because of the article I wrote, the league was full with 24 teams two weeks later, for remainder of the season. Update: They finished in 7thplace in division “D” to get all but $20 back, of their weekly fees. Can you say, WOW!! Had they won their division, their payday would have been $500 over what they payed into the league. It was a first for sure, write an article about a vacant team and two weeks later, have a full team. The power of the press being used to help the league the whole league. Nobody really likes a vacant team. The T.M. website, now has over 500 hits, for its home page. An average of 12 hits per week may not sound like a lot, but I know if you bookmarked the standings page which didn’t have a counter, bowlers wouldn’t necessarily need to go to the home page every week. The 500 showed that bowlers are interested in the T.M. league. The final first was finding a sponsor for all three four game events on sweeper night. Dr. Joe sponsored the sweeper Eliminator for $50. Sweeper grows $850 with only three new teams to another record of $4310. 72 signed up for 82% of the league participating for 170 cash spots.
This season made back-to-back seasons where the Bowler of the Year didn’t get a lot of print. But Ken Hosp had just two highs for the week before his great three week finish to the season to show why he’s in the T.B.A. Hall of Fame. He became the second bowler in T.M. history to shoot 700 at all five Vantage centers. A clean set in week 33 and finishing with 524 for 759. Week 34 finished the same way with 524 for 779 and his first 700 of the season at Tucson Bowl, doing it with two opens. On the final regular week at Cactus Bowl, Ken closed the evening with a tie for highest 3rd game with 257 and finally shooting his 700 there with the high for the week 716. Three consecutive highs for the week and recording his first 700 at two centers isn’t anything new to Ken. He raised his average 2.7 pins missing two weeks this season, to an impressive 223.6 average, to take the top honor in his first T.M. season. Joining the All-Star team was David Wehrly who averaged 220.7, due to bookends in the 270’s to throw an 811 with no opens. Also jumping on the bandwagon were Paul Colwell with his 218.5 average and Al Davis making his fourth straight AS team with a 212.1 pace. Paul was having a good season, he carried 31 strikes for the second highest strikes of any week shooting 775 with two opens and he won the T.B.A. singles title shooting a great 813.
This season got off on the right foot, or is it the left foot if you’re right handed J? The first 14 strikes for the season, gave Betty Trotter the opening week fireworks with a 300. Fred Helwig with bookends in the 280’s, started his games with ten, five and ten baggers to shoot his second 800 in the T.M. with 815 with no opens. The other 300’s were Tommy Steffens, Rodney Abbas, Scott Vidra, Shawn Walls, Tom Clark and John Kordsiemon. Team 6 was a division “C’ winning the championship and the champions were James Matheson inspiring the team with his 208 average, Lee Matheson helping with his 189, Calvin McDonald adding 185 and Scott Engebretson paced the team with his 182 average.
2000-01 (5th season): A FULL LEAGUE 4 seasons later to 24 teams, because of Tucson Bowl having only 24 lanes, with 2 teams joining. The league held a meeting to discuss expansion to a possible 32 teams, but most felt expanding, would only add a few more teams to maybe 28. Double shift at Tucson Bowl or just not bowl there were our two options with expansion. Most bowlers in the optional events didn’t want a split shift because there could be fewer brackets that week. Not bowling at Tucson Bowl could reduce the league sponsorship by not bowling there. Expansion would also mean more bowlers in the 190’s and high 180’s due to 810 being the league entering maximum. Having more teams won’t necessarily make the T.M. a more competitive league. Having a full 24 teams with a waiting list of about six to eight bowlers for the following season, will now be the situation for seasons to come. The board of directors got together to discuss procedures for teams that may not return the following season. The rule that $20 will reserve your team’s spot, could change the number of new teams wanting to bowl. Started the 1st ever Divisional Eliminator that had 20 or more bowlers a week. Under and senior bowlers would compete among the division before everyone was grouped in the final game for the cash spots. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, I started the 1st ever Travel brackets using all 5 centers. This gave bowlers a chance to enter both halves and take home both 1stand 2nd place money. It also gave bowlers another chance to bowl in the sweeper Tournament of Champions if they won. Since we now had own Money Madness, I wanted changes to give bowlers another opportunity to cash in and win more than just $10 per week when the pot was over $500. I started Bowling for Bucks which grew to over $1000 some weeks. I gave bowlers a chance at 5% missing only 1 strike. I started listing Bowlers of the month on the league board at each center and in the Desert Bowler. One rule change due to some thinking practicing beforehand gave them an advantage, there was now no practicing at the center we bowled that night four hours before. It made 5 P.M. about the time the center oiled for the double shift and Tucson Bowl had only a few lanes for open bowling. I had to remind bowlers of the new rule.
This season’s T.M. league is full for several reasons, but most bowlers said it is because of the BEST SWEEPER in Tucson. And they showed it with their increased entries in brackets and pick, your partner doubles. With just 2 teams added, an additional $2025 in the sweeper prize fund was unbelievable. Nobody predicted this amazing attraction with just two new teams. I estimated about $5000 for an increase of $690 when passing out sign-up sheets. The sweeper reached $6000 with $6335. Would you believe 271 cash spots being paid out? Yes, but 164 are for bracket payouts. There was only $765 in added money from bracket deductions, strike pots and sponsors. It was the first sweeper with a “pick your partner” doubles bracket which had more brackets than the under bowlers. Who would have thought that? Bowlers that participated in weekly brackets and won at least once, could spend just $50 for a potential payout of $938. Now you can say, WOW!! The T. of C. paid $100 first, the Andy Clark bracket winner received $75 plus a $50 gift certificate and Dr. Joe’s Divisional Eliminator winner taking home $80. Singles was $150, “pick your partner” doubles first place $100 and both paid the highest three games. If you thought the $866 that I won back in 1999 was out of this world, then this sweeper was completely out of the universe. I never would have thought that any bowler could double my record sweeper. But that is what the Bowler of the Year, Ken Hosp did. An incredible season and an even better sweeper. He did it at his best center of the season, Lucky Strike. Ken’s pockets were stuffed to the max. with $1774, shooting 197 after a 732. $1268 was won in the brackets. His only win in the four game events was the T. of C., making all three finals. He would have to shoot 280 to beat Earl Teer and win the Andy Clark bracket. Because of his huge haul, it satisfied his season. Mike Reich won $534 from brackets and second most winnings this sweeper with $746.50 shooting a 678.
But this super season was the greatest of any Tucson bowler in history, which helped make Ken possibly Tucson’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time). He was the Bowler of the Year, hands down for a reason. Ken booked the highest all time average in the Tucson Bowling Association’s history with 235.86. The previous records for high average was 230 and 231, three and two seasons prior. The record by four pins per game only missing one week due to bowling ABC nationals, but almost unbelievable when you consider Ken accomplished his great season in a traveling league. And the magnitude of his successful season was done in five different centers. He averaged 253 for the seven weeks at Lucky Strike Bowl with all 21 games above 200 to be the first to establish this record. His lowest center average at the other four centers was 225. Don’t let the 225 fool you. The second best for that center was 220. He had the highest average at each of the five centers by at least four pins. And he did have his off games, ten were below 200, to give him 90% at shooting 200’s for the season. Other averages were 0.55 opens per game and 7.6 strikes per game. About one open every other game. He had 61 clean games to nobody’s surprise. After closing last season shooting the week’s high set the last three weeks, He sparked his historic season with the record high set of 783 to start any T.M. season. The center was Cactus Bowl, which was Ken’s lowest scoring center last season. The eleven of weeks of divisional action, the last weeks of the season, he averaged 242 and the final four weeks was 245. Ken rolled eleven sets above 700 and recorded two 800’s. He was the first in the Traveling Masters to throw two 800’s during the regular season. And of course he would do it in the same season and both at his 253 average center, Lucky Strike. Not to mention that he was also the only bowler to shoot 800 for the season. In match play, his winning percentage was a good 77%. Also at Lucky Strike, Ken had a 300 in the final game, finishing the evening with the last 18 strikes. It was a down week because he shot 770. Two rotations later, Ken shot his 2nd300 in the league and wasn’t quite done. He was the first bowler to shoot multiple 300’s in the T.M. as well. In another two rotations, I hope you’re noticing every two times at Lucky, he carried 32 of 35 and didn’t shoot a 300. His low game for that night was a super 279. He had the first 9 for 279, shot 280 and then finished with another nine bagger for a 279 and a series of 838. They didn’t name if Lucky Strike for nothing J. WOW!! And if you really think that was a fulfilling season, you’re wrong. His team missed the Roll-Offs by just 2 points. What that meant was, he didn’t get any practice games before Tucson’s best sweeper. Before the league started the season, Roll-Offs and sweeper centers are drawn. Would you believe the sweeper was at Lucky Strike? Ken missed his 253 average with “only” a 732 series on sweeper night. And this is bowling across six lanes. You already know why I’m bringing this up. He won the four game Stats Plus Tournament of Champions worth $100 with a 197 game. He won singles worth $150. He won $1268 in brackets for another record. Adding up everything and Ken won $1774 in the sweeper. That’s a staggering 28% of the entire sweeper prize fund. Now that’s what I call making a statement to end the season!!! It was his season. Accuracy, speed, adjustments, able to play both sides of the lane with his backup when needed, and one thing that I never mentioned before, luck. What? Luck played a part of his great season. It was definitely more good luck. Some of you know that certain pairs score better than others, break down differently. How the bowlers play the lanes and how many bowl from both sides? Not all pocket shots will carry all ten pins. I believe one center oiled the heads for us. The league had two position rounds and who he matched up against, could have made a difference. Ken was zoned in this season, his second in the Traveling Masters, like no other bowler has seen. He didn’t make just one moment count, every moment counted was used to the maximum. But what did other members expect from this Hall of Fame member, after his “practice season” J? His super season was also bowled at 9 P.M., the second shift where some centers put down more oil because we were bowling. All this came after being Bowler of the Year the previous season. He also won the TBA Masters title to cement his historic season. Joining one of the greats on this season’s All-Star team is Xavier Altamirano averaging 221.1 who tied Hosp’s 18 bagger this season and the third ever with Al Davis, Brian Centers at 220.8 and Alan Brizee pacing at 214.5 who bowled against Hosp in the season’s high match 723 to 765 for a 1498 total.
Another splendid start to a new season with super shooting from Felipe Espriu. He “practiced” the first game with 202 and the poured on the strikes, with games of 244 and a perfect end to the evening with 300. It makes two consecutive seasons with a 300 during the opening week. The other 300’s came from Tim Kobs and Scott Field. Chris Amadori claimed the 13 strike Bowling for Bucks at Cactus Bowl for $1690. The Roll-Offs were unique this season as it marks the first season a division “A” finally won the championship. RG Specialties had the highest going in with their lowest average being 205.4. Don Westling not missing a week, averaged 208.6, while Russ Griffin was right behind at 208.4, John Kordsiemon added 206.2 and the T.M. “Mr. 800”, Fred Helwig being the first member to win multiple championships in the T.M. league.
2001-02 (6th season): 24 teams FULL, 2 straight seasons. Unfortunately, the league lost a team after 12 weeks to finish with 23. But after he league having a great season, you’re probably thinking that’s about it. Not quite. I found out about a league running optional leagues and knew that the T.M. bowlers would welcome another challenge. The Masters was the 1stTucson league to offer an optional 425 Doubles league for $5 a week. The Doubles league was a 100% prize fund league as all $5 was paid back to the league. I would sponsor the Doubles with $200 with 12 teams. Those in the Doubles league voted down a 4thgame being a position round, to determine the doubles league champion. A few felt that would take away from the three events that already bowling that fourth game on sweeper night. Promoted Strike pot with FREE TICKETS to each member opening night. Started Mega brackets where winners would receive automatic spots in the FREE ENTRY T. of C. Last season was travel brackets and now this season is the Travel Eliminator using all 3 games and must win 2 of the 3 to advance. I offered 7 different FREE EVENTS for over $1000 in prize funds as the T. of C. was $600 to eligible bowlers. The sweeper still grew by $497 with the same 24 teams making it the lowest increase of the five seasons. $6832 was in final sweeper prize fund. An amazing 296 cash spots being paid with $872 in added money. 75 bowled for 81% of the league and one third, 26 bowlers earned FREE entries into three events. It turned out, one team was dropping, but the good news is that five teams want to get in the league. The league officers got together and had the league vote on priorities for all teams on the waiting list and current members forming new teams paying a deposit to hold a spot. A drawing was held on week 34 so the league would let the team know they won. This way if the team winning the spot still needed one bowler, it would give them time to ask around before all the leagues in town were done for the season. This showed that the officers of the T.M. league had the league’s best interest in mind with the drawing before the final week, and after rosters for next season were submitted.
The Bowler of the Year race was close the entire season. The league voted on sweeper night and after the votes were tallied, would you believe another first for the T.M. It was because Glenn Branco and John V Cook both had 31 B.O.Y. votes and all 59 remaining All-Star team votes for a point total of 152. Glenn and John had battled all season and even down to their final average. Glen’s 219.93 to John’s 219.91, with John having bowled six more games over the season. It makes the first time that the Bowler of the Year didn’t actually have the highest average. Would you also believe these two great bowlers were both bowling in their first seasons of the T.M.? Glen was the only bowler to average 215, as well as being in the top ten at each center. Glen had the second high average due to his 0.93 opens per game while tossing 6.6 strikes per game. John was 6.5 pins behind the league leader Ken Hosp, after 25 weeks. John averaged 229 over the final four weeks to finish with third high 1.1 behind. John had the high average at Lucky Strike with a 232 and two other centers was in the top three. To show you how tight the race was, Glenn had just one high for the week while John was fortunate enough to claim two weeks. John had a good season and was profitable outside the league as he won The Challenge’s New Year’s Day tournament taking home $1000. Six points from the co B.O.Y.’s was the previous last two B.O.Y., Ken Hosp with high average being 221.0. He backed up the greatest season ever with a perfect game in week five to make three 300’s in just back-to-back seasons. Ken also did what few from Tucson have done, eyeing an eagle. Ken and Tony Viecelli led A.B.C. doubles in February with a 1418. I know voting can be somewhat political, and after winning the past two seasons, Ken was still on every ballot, but not enough B.O.Y. votes for three seasons in a row. With everything Ken as done in the T.M., you may think what’s next? How about after a record windfall of cash in last season’s sweeper, he walks out after bowling sweeper with another $1000 payday. $1337.50 to make over $3000 in consecutive sweepers with $3111.50. If Ken bowled a sweeper like the T.M. league every month, he wouldn’t need a regular job J. The final All Star was on the team last season, Xavier Altamirano throwing 218.8 per game. The second highest series in the T.M. was thrown in week two with 833 having one open and 31 strikes from Xavier.
The other 8 with 825 was thrown by Bill Payne who also had a 300 in week seven. Bill had no opens and 30 strikes to accomplish his goal. But Bill’s fourth highest series in T.M. history was also record breaking, as in beating three bowlers tied for the longest string of strikes with 18, he closed his amazing week with 20 in a row. This shows that records are made to be broken if enough are willing to try. The other 300’s came from Al Baer, Shannon Wright, Alan Wolf, Al Davis with his 4thof the six seasons in the T.M., Alan Asano and finally our Mr. 800 Fred Helwig, opens the closing regular season week with perfection. Joey Burke became the first bowler to win both halves of the travel bracket for a $95 payday, spending $10. Tommy Steffens answered the call for a shot at a FREE week as his FREE ticket was pulled and he carried to win. Dwight Burns had Alan Brizee to thank for making his journey to capture the T.B.A. Masters title a no break affair. Dwight lost to Alan in the opening match of the double elimination finals, and would win the remaining matches for the trophy. Three bowlers completed the rotation, which is a 700 at each center. Dwight Burns, Al Davis and Dennis Holden. There were 17 bowlers who averaged at least 215 at one of the five Vantage centers. Andy Clark’s Pro Shop didn’t just sponsor the $10 bracket on sweeper night, he also sponsored a team. The team finally brought home the hardware that Andy displayed in his shop to show others, he was willing to give back to the bowlers. The team started slow and was the only team to win the T.M. from Division “D”. Deano Rohlik set the torrid pace for the team during divisional action averaging 217.7 and 206.9 for the season not missing any week. Tom Clark missed several weeks but had a steady 199.2 average. Steve Stalter helped with his 196.5 as well as Jeff Washington added 185.2.
2002-03 (7th season): Added two teams since one team wasn’t returning to fill the league at 24. John Baab resigned during the summer as he was moving to Las Vegas. With the most successful six seasons ever, in any league’s history, could the T.M. continue to travel down the path that made the Vantage Lite Traveling Masters league, the greatest league ever? It could if the officers continued to work together to make it happen. Don Westling was elected President during the organizational meeting. During the meeting, he wanted changes and the members at the meeting voted for them. Some changes during the first six seasons were actually good for the league because they were thought out and in the best interest of the league. With the league growing, and the sweeper prize fund getting as much action as the Super Bowl and March Madness J, why start making changes that involve half the members of the league? Don first change was to strike pot sales. It appears one or two bowlers thought that the drawings weren’t fair as there were several bowlers who were drawn more often. Mike Reich was one of these bowlers, because he owned a business, was The T. of C. sponsor, and enjoyed the excitement the strike pots created. Mike spent no less than $10 every week and at least $20 if there was a second pot of $50. Strike pots changed to where there was no more extra tickets. Three tickets for $1 and 15 for $5. There would now be only one ticket per pot. He wanted all tickets to be accounted for because of some of the huge number of pots during some weeks in previous seasons. He took away the incentive to buy more tickets. If Don would have told me about his plan, we could have come up with something that worked better for the entire league. I knew that I would no longer buy $5 every week without extra tickets. That’s why many bowlers spent $5 a week for the last five seasons. After the meeting, I told Don I didn’t like the league changing it, but it was those at the meeting that voted on it and I’ll have to accept it. The thing about organizational meetings, is that only those who show up can change the rules for the upcoming season. I told him after the meeting, he better find someone else to sell tickets, because I didn’t like the change. I also told him, sales would be slow until there’s three pots in a week. This dropped ticket sales and the strike pots were averaging about $35 instead of $50 almost every week like last season. There were a few that would spend an extra $3, if we got two pots of $50. I also wanted the league to see that the changes from Don, weren’t really good for the league. Strike Pot sales for the season had just slightly more added into the sweeper fund, but only because 50% of ticket sales, went in instead of 30%. At the end of the season, the league had $550 going into the sweeper fund. Already before the season started, Don wanted to do things his way and didn’t want any input from me. Was this going to be a good thing? If the league officers aren’t looking after the best interest of the league by getting together and voicing concerns and solutions, it isn’t the best condition for any league. With a new president and no communication with the secretary of the league, the clock is ticking. The meetings in the past to go over the rules, usually lasted a half hour. This meeting was over an hour long, with about 15 minutes, just discussing the strike pots changes.
I was still going to try to make the best of the situation as maybe other members would see the changes and eventually make things right. I offered teams a chance to win a FREE WEEK with a double cross. I passed out tickets the opening week and then they had to throw two strikes for their team if called. This promotion was more about letting the league know that I was willing to keep the excitement of the league going, even with the new president. The first team had a strike and missed the second shot while the second team threw the double to win $80 for the free week. Can you tell me any other league secretary giving away $80 just to throw a double? …. I didn’t think so. Could you imagine the team routing on one bowler after they were called, and the double just added to the excitement. I added $300 instead of $200 in the Optional Doubles league as we had 16 teams. We had five teams sign up the opening week and I put in the newsletter, I would add the extra $100 with 16 teams. The newsletter many times, has got bowlers to wake up to money dangling in front of them, and this time again, they responded to keep the league competitive J. Another T.M. first, I started the first ever, 2nd Chance in Divisional Eliminator. Two Bowlers can now win their $5 entry fee back, all bowlers missing the either one of the two cuts compete within their division for their $5 back. It's just another Eliminator within their division. Bowlers in the Eliminator now have two chances to cash. The eliminator averaged about four more bowlers per week over last season, to show the change not only worked, but added to the weekly prize fund. No other league has this option. A win-win for the league and was one reason why over 25% of the league spent the $5. The weekly Divisional Eliminator was getting 24 bowlers for $50 first place largely due to the 2nd chance. This season with the Eliminator having divisions, under bowlers were taking home $50 about every three to four weeks after claiming victory in the final game. Nobody said under bowlers couldn’t bowl, when the big money was on the line. Travel brackets saw bowlers shooting for $95 paydays with $10 entry, $5 each half last season and I usually filled them in one week. And to add a water cooler discussion platform for the season, another first, the Divisional segment predictions. The computer matched up bowlers by their schedule and were 33% accurate. Several told me the computer isn’t bowling, they were and their team was going to the Roll-Offs. It stirred up some bowlers, so I know it motivated some teams to do better, than a simulated battle to make the Roll-Offs. This was really a what can I do different moment for the league, as many couldn’t believe I took the time to do it. Sports books has betting for pro sports based on predictions, so now the greatest league ever has its own predictions. But these predictions are using regular members, and with line-up changes and subs, it really was showing the favorites in each division. Desert Beach Specialties sponsored the sweeper “Pick your partner Doubles” with $50. Desert Sun Bowlers Shop sponsored the Optional brackets with the champion winning a $50 gift certificate. 44% of the league was qualified, so this would help get under bracket bowlers to compete. With all the bowlers getting in brackets and Eliminator, two of the four game sweeper events, had to start the last regular week. This allowed to cut bowlers, down to 16 Champions and the 16 bowling in Andy Clark's bracket. Since some bowlers were seeded into sweeper night, I wanted a way to guarantee money and bowling in the four gamers on sweeper night, for a few bowlers. It was known as the FREE Mega Bracket. It was a mega huge to those that just missed during the season to now be guaranteed money and a shot at over $100. Only available to those that participated 50% of the time. Too much action can be a good thing, but it made a little more work for me, and those bowling seemed to enjoy it by the increase in entries. This season saw very few problems and to keep this season going in the right direction, my new promotion got 95% of the league’s sweeper bowlers to turn in their entries in two weeks. Bowlers were always late turning in sweeper entries, so I offered an incentive, a FREE SWEEPER ENTRY, to everyone who turned theirs in by the following week.
Before I forget, Tony Orkin, owned a printing business and wanted to promote bowling in Tucson so he asked if I wanted to help. I said yes. Tucson Bowling News was formed. We had two editions and only two businesses were stepping up to advertise. Unfortunately, Tony pulled the plug as he wouldn’t keep printing at a loss. A lot happened this season and Tucson’s best sweeper didn’t disappoint many bowler’s expectations.
For the 1st time ever in the sweeper, there were GUARANTEED CASHINGSfor women, Under and senior bowlers out of the money. The bowlers spoke again with an additional $844 over last season’s sweeper. Some of the increase was due to Line-X sponsoring and the guaranteed cash spots. 350 spots were paid for the total $7676 and another new record. With the league voting on a one in three cash ratio in the singles portion and one in four for doubles, the sweeper fund from strike pots and with the guaranteed cashings for half the league, the new record didn’t surprise me. Win Singles and “Pick you partner” Doubles to take home $270. For another $15 in entries, winning the 3 4 game events would add $355. So a bowler winning a FREE ENTRY into Tucson's BEST SWEEPER, won a bracket during the season to be entered in the FREE ENTRY T. of C., and spend $15 for the other two four gamers, they could walk off with $625. That’s an incredible 41 times your entry fee. Al Baer and Line-X sponsored the Eliminator with $100 paying $80 for 1st and one in two entries cash.
With 96 bowlers, it’s harder to win high series for the week, the only bowler to claim it three times was our Bowler of the Year, John V Cook. He led in average with 227.4 having 0.72 opens per game along with 7.1 strikes per game. John is pitting his own imprint on the league as in week 12, he chiseled a 700 at each center, becoming the first to accomplish this feat. Santa Cruz Lanes was his last center shooting 716 even with three opens. But that was just practice for the league’s first 8 of the season, shooting 810 in the T.M. and then shot his 16thcareer 8 with 804 at Fiesta Lanes. Also voted on the All-Star team was Ken Hosp 226.0, Dwight Burns with a 218.2 and Al Davis at 217.4.
After no opening perfection last season, Gary Hicks started the new season with 13 straight and his 300 gives the T.M. three of the last four seasons, where a 300 was manufactured for opening week heroics. 13 weeks later, it was Gary shooting his second 300 for the season to join Ken Hosp for this feat. Early in the season, the under bowlers are packing a punch in the weekly eliminators, winning two of the first five weeks and the past week, 3 of the 6 under bowlers cashed. What could be better than a 50/50 shot at cashing? Obviously, it would be the guaranteed cashing in Air Excellence’s $500 T. of C. on sweeper night. Ken Hosp smelled cash and threw the 13 strikes needed for Bowling for Bucks and his wealth increased by $975 in week 12. At least the pot will build back up in the next 23 weeks for next season, if not won by then. Alan Brizee became the second bowler in T.M. history to throw 21 200’s at a center and did it at the same center as Ken Hosp during his great season, at Lucky Strike Bowl. Doug Wilder tossed a 300 and three weeks later, Chris Amadori threw his 3. On the last regular season week, would you believe another record was set? Mark Firkus hit perfection and became the only bowler with a300 on the last regular night or Roll-Offs. But what made this unique was the fact that his partner in the Doubles league, Bob Bennet had a 299 to make a 599 team game. They just got an “ata boy” because the doubles hasn’t paid high games or series. The league champions second time twice happening. It was the second time of the seven seasons where the top Division “A” won the hardware, but now three of the four members on Andy Clark’s Pro Shop decided once wasn’t enough. Back-to-back seasons for Steve Stalter with a 212.0, Deano Rohlik with his 198.8 and Jeff Washington paced at 191.4. Dusty Blair was the new “kid” and led the team with his 212.5 and a 65% w-l record.
This is where the final season's history will appear when finished. It's almost done.
You can check back later or Contact Alan to receive an email when it is finished.
Pg. 25: 7/3/20