Pete Weber is one of rare sons of pro stars who has escaped his famous father's long shadow in an individual sport By Dick Evans

    11/29/06

    Column

    2005WRMDickEvans.jpg The Orlando Sentinel recently ran a story citing the fact that the sons of great athletes – particularly in individual sports like tennis, golf and bowling – seldom escape the shadow of their famous fathers in the same sport.

    It is difficult for a young player to be compared to his famous father no matter the sport. They always are asked to live up to their father's Hall of Fame career.

    However, there seems to be less pressure to duplicate your father's exploits in team sports, which may be explained by the fact that to be truly great in a team sport your have to be surrounded by other great athletes.

    Archie Manning was a famous pro quarterback 30 years ago, but his oldest son Peyton Manning is far more talented when it comes to throwing touchdown passes than his old man.

    There are many other great examples in teams sports but not in individual sports.

    For example, none of the offspring of Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer have come close to matching their fathers' achievements on the golf course.

    Ditto for any of the children of tennis greats like Jack Kramer or Bobby Riggs or Chris Evert.

    Don Carter, who many consider the greatest bowler in history, had a son by LaVerne Carter, a Hall of Fame bowler herself, and Jimmy tried the pro tour for a few years without much luck.

    Don Johnson also had a son who had very limited luck on the tour.

    Then there are Dick Weber's three sons – Rich, John and Pete.

    2006PBA03PeteWeber.jpg All have four letters in their first names but Pete (pictured) had a lot more bowling talent in his body than his older brothers.

    Rich was the first to try the tour without much luck. Then John gave it a shot before returning to the St. Louis area. Both loved the game and now are working for the PBA.

    Juanita Weber once told me that Pete was more like Dick than any of the other sons. I thought at the time she meant in personality and perhaps she did.

    But there is no question that Pete Weber is more like Dick Weber that Dick Weber and Pete has escaped Dick Weber's legendary shadow.

    Among Dick Weber's resume are 26 regular tour titles, six PBA Senior tour titles and four National All-Star titles. In my opinion, winning an All-Star was the equivalent to winning two or three tournaments on today's tour since the field is limited to 64 bowlers in 17 events and fewer than that in the Tournament of Champions.

    Weber had to beat 440 rivals in a 100-game format to win a BPAA National All-Star Title. And the tournament lasted 10 days instead of two or three.

    Still, Pete Weber is the best bowler in the Weber family and Dick admitted it many times before his death two years ago.

    Pete just won his 33rd title, which leaves him one behind Mark Roth, eight behind Earl Anthony and nine behind Walter Ray Williams.

    And with Pete's striking ability, all three ahead of him could be surpassed with a little luck.

    Pete is the second bowler ever to win $3 million, and that does not count all the money he has made by being a member of bowling staffs of AMF, Columbia and now Storm.

    I know that Dick Weber is setting pins up in heaven in a BPAA Center that has been certified by the USBC.

    Every time Pete Weber wins again, Dick calls over all his angel buddies and proclaims proudly:

    "That's my BOY."

    Like father, like son in this rare case.

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