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Four elected to 2019 USBC Hall of Fame class


Four candidates recently were elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame by the USBC Hall of Fame Committee, and the four new members will be part of the 2019 class that will be inducted on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas.

Jim St. John was selected in the Veterans category, Kegel founder John Davis and longtime bowling journalist Bob Johnson were elected in the Meritorious Service category and Larry Lichstein was elected in the Pioneer category.

In addition to electing four members for the 2019 class, the USBC Hall of Fame Committee slated 10 bowlers for the Superior Performance national ballot, which will be voted on by a national panel of USBC Hall of Fame members, USBC Board members and veteran bowling writers.

On the men’s national ballot are: Patrick Allen of Garfield, New Jersey; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Dave Ferraro of Kingston, New York; Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Michigan; Randy Pedersen of Orlando, Florida; and Mark Williams of Beaumont, Texas.

On the women’s national ballot are: Marianne DiRupo of Succasunna, New Jersey; Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey; Sandra Jo Shiery of Coldwater, Michigan; and Tammy Turner of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Jim St. John, who served in the Navy for nine years before turning to bowling full time, won six titles on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour from 1963-1969 and captured a USBC Open Championships Classic Team title in 1964. He died on Jan. 14, 1987, at age 56.

His most dominating performance came at the 1963 World Invitational, one of the most prestigious tournaments in bowling that took place in Chicago. St. John set 12 tournament records, tied two others, and posted the only 300 game over the course of the 11-day tournament. He successfully defended his title at the 1964 event.

St. John was a two-time Bowlers Journal and American Bowling Congress All-American first-team member and was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in the Veterans category in 1989.

John Davis, who passed away on Jan. 25, 2013, at age 64, started Kegel in 1981 on the heels of developing The Key™ Lane Cleaning Tool, which provided bowling centers a better and more economical way to clean lanes. With a goal of making “two lanes play the same,” he became a leading innovator and expert in the field of lane maintenance throughout a career that had a major impact in the sport.

In addition to the lane machines, conditioners, cleaners and other items he developed, he opened the Kegel Training Center in 1997, moving it to its current location in Lake Wales, Florida, in 2003, to give bowlers and coaches the latest technological advances to take their knowledge to the next level. His last invention was the Kegel LaneMapper, which measures lane topography.

Bob Johnson, 60, of Las Vegas, has been at the forefront of telling bowling’s stories for nearly five decades. He began writing about the sport for Pacific Bowler at the age of 15 and has gone on to serve as editor of four national bowling magazines, including Bowlers Journal International and Bowling Center Management. He has been honored with 75 national writing awards for his work covering the sport and industry.

He served as an administrator for World Bowling Writers for eight years, while also serving on several committees, and has served on the USBC Hall of Fame committee since its formation.

In 2009, Johnson was selected as the Bowling Writers Association of America (now International Bowling Media Association) Luby Hall of Fame Award winner, and, in October 2019, he was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame.

Larry Lichstein, 69, of Fort Myers, Florida, who was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in 1996 in the Meritorious Service Category, made his mark as the long-time director of player services for the PBA.

He started his PBA career as a bowler in 1969, becoming the youngest PBA Rookie of the Year at the time of his selection. He would win his lone PBA title at the San Jose Open in 1970. He also owns two Open Championships titles, winning Classic All-Events in 1969 and Classic Team in 1970, and has six other top-five finishes at the tournament.

In May 1974, Lichstein changed career paths, and for more than 22 years, would serve as the PBA Director of Player Services, where he equipped, fit, maintained and served up to 300 PBA Tour bowlers each week.

The induction ceremony for the 2019 USBC Hall of Fame Class will take place May 1 as part of the USBC Convention at The Orleans Hotel and Casino. The class will include the four selected by the USBC Hall of Fame Committee and those elected for Superior Performance.

Through 2018, there are 425 members of the USBC Hall of Fame – 220 in Superior Performance, 118 in Meritorious Service, 50 in Veterans, 21 in Pioneers and 16 in Outstanding USBC Performance.

The USBC Hall of Fame was created in 2005 by merging the former American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress Halls of Fame.

For more information on the USBC Hall of Fame, click here.

Herbert Bickel

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