Professional Bowlers Association Pioneer Dick Hoover dies

    09/18/09

    PBA News

    PBAPioneerDickHoover2.jpgDick Hoover (archive pictures), the man credited with planting the seed of an idea that led to the creation of the Professional Bowlers Association, has died. He was 79.

    Hoover, the first to win two American Bowling Congress Masters titles in 1956 and 1957, was a guest on a radio show hosted by Akron, Ohio, attorney Eddie Elias shortly after winning his second Masters title and explained to Elias that there was no professional “league” available to bowlers. Some say that conversation prompted Elias to pursue the idea of rallying bowlers to join a professional tournament organization.

    PBAPioneerDickHoover.jpgHoover won four PBA titles, including the Masters and the 1950 Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America All Star, but he had established his reputation as a young bowler. His 847, bowled at age 16, was a record at the time for teenagers. At age 21 in 1950, he became the youngest bowler to win the sport’s most prestigious event at the time, the All Star.

    During the golden era of team bowling, Hoover moved to St. Louis for a time to bowl anchor for the Falstaffs, a team that included fellow United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famers Billy Welu, Harry Smith and Glenn Allison. He helped the Falstaffs with the ABC Tournament Classic Team title in 1964, and he teamed with Allison to win Classic Doubles in 1962 – the year he also won his only PBA Tour title in Baltimore.

    In addition to his two Masters titles, Hoover finished second once, third twice and fifth in other Masters, and in addition to three ABC Classic Division titles, he had nine other ABC Championships top 10 finishes. He was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 1974.

    Hoover owned and operated Dick Hoover’s Lanes in Brunswick, Ohio. He was married (Joan) with two sons and two daughters. No other details regarding cause of death or services were immediately available.