Throwback Thursday 8/30/18: “Waline 300 – First E. M. Gem

“It’s three strikes and you’re out in baseball, and several do it almost every game. But in bowling, it takes 12 strikes to be out, and only a handful ever do it.

In fact, when Dan Waline knocked over 120 pins with 12 straight balls in the Knights’ Classic League at Regal Lanes yesterday morning, it was the first time anyone had ever rolled a perfect 300 game in East Moline. It was the first perfect game in three years in the Quad-Cities, where only four others have been rolled in the last decade.

His gem came as the second game of a four-game roll, and didn’t end with just the dozen in a row. The lanky, Moline right-hander marked four more “X’s” on the score sheet at the start of the third game to give him 16 in a row before he was stopped with only a spare. He finished that game at 220, and surrounded both with tallies of 194 and 161 for an 875 series on Regal alleys 15 and 16.

His only reaction to [the] whole ordeal was “I can’t believe it!”

He said he was thinking about the 300 right from the start, but not seriously until the tenth frame. “My knees were knocking then, but I didn’t try to do anything different,” he said. He didn’t, despite the fact that everyone in the bowling alley had stopped to watch him roll his last three balls. “That didn’t put any extra pressure on me,” he admitted. “The pressure was already there.”

“I carried on the Brooklyn side on the first ball, and then was a little heavy again on the last one,” he relived. “But it kicked the four-pin, and I just couldn’t believe it!” The only other hit not in the pocket for his medium hook came in the seventh frame on a ball he described as “very heavy Brooklyn.”

The 300, of course, was his highest game ever, 278 being his plateau he had reached four times without breaking. The 16 straight strikes doubled his former high of eight.

Just how rare the feat was is exemplified by the fact that there hasn’t been a perfect score in the ten-year history of Regal – or all the way back two decades when Rocket Lanes became East Moline’s first facility. The last perfect score in the area was John Schuldt’s gem at Sixth Avenue Recreation three years ago. Bob Neff has the only 300 ever rolled at Highland Park, that coming eight seasons ago.

But Waline has had plenty of practice. “I’ve been bowling since I was 12 (he’s 25 now), but only seriously for the last five years,” he said. “Right now I bowl in four different leagues, and try to practice every day. I’d say I bowl a minimum of 50 games a week.”

Through it all, he carries just over a 185 average – one that should be helped considerably by a 300 game.”

-The Daily Dispatch
November 20, 1970

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Throwback Thursday 8/23/18: “Pair roll into Hall of Fame, with room to spare”

“Karla (Myers) Bateman and Val Titus became the newest members of the Moline-Rock Island Women’s B.A. Hall of Fame in ceremonies held last month. Bateman was named for her outstanding performances as a bowler while Titus was tabbed for her exceptional service to the game.

Bateman got her start at age 12 in a junior league at the former Central Bowl (now Family Fun Center). She was a member of the first-place team in the youth state tournament that year. One year later, she paired with her mother, Ethel Becka, to become the mother-daughter division champions at the state tournament.

Bateman entered WIBC competition at 17 and since then has had a run of great accomplishments. She bowled as Karla Myers during most of those years. Her late husband, Ron Myers, who was named to the Rock Island B.A. Hall of Fame earlier this year, died in 1989.

On two occasions, Bateman was the singles champion of MRIWBA annual tournaments. She was also the all-events winner three times.

Bateman has bowled two 300 games during her career and has had many series over 700, topped by a 791. She posted a 1054 four-game series in the Trio Classic League that stood as a league record for many years.

Long recognized as one of the area’s top female bowlers, Bateman has averaged over 200 on numerous occasions, Her career high has been 206.

In 1978, Bateman tested the waters of the LPBT competition, an experience she ranks as a highlight of her years on the lanes.

Titus is a veritable workhorse in the bowling game and currently holds offices in three leagues. She is secretary of the Rock Island Ladies League while also serving as president of the Trio Classic and treasurer of the Saturday Nite Mixed League.

By her own admissions, Titus is “only an average bowler” in the game she has enjoyed for the past 54 years. An outstanding spare shooter, Titus has rolled six all-spare games.

Titus was a member of the MRIWBA board for 19 years. She served 13 years as a director and six years as first vice president. She was a delegate to three Illinois Women’s B.A. Conventions and has been a delegate to the WIBC Convention on seven occasions.

She considers being a delegate to the 1994 WIBC Convention as the highlight of her years of service. It was at that convention, held in Salt Lake City, that the MRIWBA and the Davenport-Bettendorf Women’s B.A. made its successful bid for the 1998 WIBC Tournament and Convention.

Both Bateman, as a really fine bowler, and Titus, as an outstanding example as a bowling administrator, are deserving of the honor of being elected to the MRIWBA Hall of Fame.”

-The Dispatch
April 21, 1996

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Throwback Thursday 5/17/18: 1919-1920 ABC 299 Award

Below is a medal awarded by the American Bowling Congress for a 299 game during the 1919-1920 season.

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Throwback Thursday 5/3/18: 1937-1938 American Bowling Congress Award

The ring pictured below was awarded by the American Bowling Congress for a 299 game during the 1937-1938 season.

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Throwback Thursday 4/26/18: Andy’s Playdium Bowling Lanes

-Daily Dispatch
September 11, 1942

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Throwback Thursday 4/19/18: “End of an era as Hauman leaves Bowladrome”

“An association of long standing comes to a close Tuesday when Tom Hauman sateps down as lessee of Rock Island’s Bowladrome. This also might mark the end of bowling facilities at the corner of 7th Avenue and 30th Street.

Bowladrome first opened in October, 1940, in the building that previously housed the Rock Island Brewing Co. The late Andy Voss obtained the brewery building at auction and established Rock Island’s largest bowling center with 20 lanes.

One year later, Hauman was on the scene as an under-aged pin-setter. He stayed around the Bowladrome in various capacities until entering military service in 1948. Upon his discharge five years later, Hauman was hired by Voss as manager of the Bowladrome.

The late Labe Weindruch leased the center in 1959, and Bill Schroeder took over in 1963. During those years, Hauman continued as manager. He became lessee in 1974.

“I’VE DONE every job in this place, and still do,” Hauman said. “I’ve done th lanes, been janitor and the bartender and everything else.”

It’s not that Hauman is ready to retire; he’s only 55. A decline in patronage, especially during the last three seasons, dictated his decision to cease operations. There were just two adult leagues in action during the recently ended season.

“There comes a time when it’s time to get rid of (old things),” he said. “Financially, the Bowladrome has come to that time.”

Rosier days once prevailed. “We used to have lots of leagues, three shifts some days,” Hauman said. “We never had much on Saturday and Sunday because we left those days for open bowling.”

The lanes installed nearly 45 years ago are still in good shape. They still could withstand several additional sandings.

“They are National lanes. I think that company was bought out by AMF,” said Hauman. “The automatic pinspotters were installed by Labe Weindruch in 1959. Those are the original machines still in use.”

Bowladrome stands unique among area establishments in a couple of ways. The ball returns on the first six-teen lanes are not located between the two lanes in each pair. Rather, they are alongside the pair. For example, the ball return for 1 and 2 is left of lane 1 while the return for 3 and 4 is to the right of lane 4.

The second unique aspect of Bowladrome is Hauman’s aversion to dressing the lanes with additional oil in the center, as is the practice in other centers.

“I DON’T believe in it (the center crowning of the lane dressing),” Hauman said. “But if I had to do it over again, I’d probably go along with the rest of the proprietors.”

Hauman’s “flat oil” lane dressing policies played a significant role in the erosion of his customers. Only once did he attempt to dress the lanes for better scores, with results that were quite embarrassing.

A few years ago, Hauman decided he would put more oil in the center of the lanes than along the edges. “I did that to see if it would improve the average of my bowlers,” he recalled, “but I didn’t tell them what I’d done. Most of them rolled the ball down the middle, so they complained that there was too much oil. Their averages went down.”

The biggest embarrassment came shortly thereafter. Ray Sivers, then ABC field representative, dropped in unexpectedly and found the lanes at Bowladrome to be non-compliant to ABC standards. That was the last time Hauman used additional dressing on the lane centers.

During 45 seasons of league play, just one 300 game has been rolled at the Bowladrome – by Bill Lawson in the mid-’50s.

Hauman is one bowler who has mastered Bowladrome’s lanes on occasion.

“I used to average in the 190s, and, up until two years ago, was still in the 180s. All told, I’ve had four 700s, with the latest, a 706, coming just last season,” he said. “I’ve had one 280 game and it seems like dozens of 279s.”

HIDDEN FROM view by the false ceiling over the lanes are three bowling paintings of historical value. These are above the pinspotter masking units.

One portrays an outdoor bowling scene, similar to the Rip Van Winkle story setting. The second has a pre-1910 ball return shown and the third is about “modern” bowling. That would be from about 40 years ago, however.

The fate of these paintings ultimately depends on what happens to the Bowladrome. They might be on display at the National Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis at a future date.

Bernard “Pat” Voss, a nephew of the original owner, is not sure what the final disposition of the Bowladrome will be.

“I might be able to find someone else to lease it,” Voss said. “The whole property is for sale.”

Voss recognizes the distinct possibility that the Bowladrome might be sold piece by piece, lane by lane, machine by machine. If that happens the last link to pre-World War II bowling in the Illinois Quad-Cities will pass from the scene. Bowlmor Lanes in Davenport would then by the sole remaining pre-war center in the area.

THE CLOSING of Bowladrome would have an immediate impact on one group of bowlers. These are the men and women students of Augustana College who are enrolled in bowling classes conducted by Barry Bilkey.

Presently, there are about 65 students in Bilkey’s classes. In an earlier session, held last fall, around 40 participated.

Bilkey, in his first year at Augustana, is concerned over the closing of the Bowladrome.

“We can all walk over here,” he said, recognizing that transferring his classes to any other center would require the use of vehicular transportation.

There are literally thousands of bowlers in the area today who have never been inside the Bowldrome’s entrance. One person not included in this number is Dispatch photographer Harry Lamon.

“I bowled the best game of my life here back when I was in high school,” Lamon said as he arrived to take pictures of the dean of Rock Island’s centers, Bowladrome, and its proprietor, Tom Hauman.”

-The Sunday Dispatch
April 28, 1985

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Throwback Thursday 1/25/18: Town & Country Bowling Lanes

-Quad-City Times
June 4, 1973

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