Quit bowling? He'd sooner stop breathing


July 19, 1992|By Donald G. Vitek

Jack Hoover has some very positive ideas, especially about duckpin bowling and cars.

Hoover, a graduate of Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore, started bowling duckpins in 1923.

"Quit bowling?" Hoover cried. "No way. It's true that my legs are gone, but I can still stand at the foul line, lean on my cane and throw the ball."

That's not the only thing the 84-year-old is adamant about.

"You bet I love duckpins," Hoover said. "But it couldn't hurt to get rid of the five, seven, and tenpin."

The Woodlawn, Baltimore County, resident bowls Friday afternoons at Bowl America Reisterstown. On Wednesday afternoons he drives to Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster.

"Sure, I still drive," Hoover said. "And I still drive Oldsmobiles. Look outside, that's the 29th Oldsmobile I've owned. They run fine, why change?"

Indeed, why change? It was only a few years ago that Hoover carried a 135 average. Now his average is 93, but he has no thoughts of changing anything in his life.

After a bowling career that's spanned seven decades, Hoover isn't about to stop duckpin bowling -- or driving Oldsmobiles.


Bob Metz is another bowler, a tenpin bowler, who isn't too keen changing. Metz lives in Manchester with his wife, Donna, and bowls in the Friday Night Mixed League at Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster.

Donna Metz bowls in the same league, and carries a 172 average. Her husband averages 183 and has a career high game of 274 and a high series of 659.

That 659 series and 183 average formed two-thirds of the three scores need to qualify for the Triple Crown Award. A 258 game was the third leg of that award.

And for the third time in the past four years, the doubles team of Bob and Donna Metz, won the league championship.

Bob has been bowling since 1972 and the plumber for J. A. Myers Builders is slow to change when it comes to tenpins.

"I'm still using the 14-pound AMF bowling ball I bought when I was in the Navy, back in 1972," he said. "It works fine and I'll just keep on using it. After all, I paid $5 for that ball."

I have a feeling that if Bob ever does get rid of that bowling ball vTC that it won't be dropped into a Dumpster -- it'll receive a full military funeral.


The National Bowling Council has created a brochure detailing the great strides made in women's bowling since this century. It was in 1916 that 40 women combined forces in St. Louis to create the Women's National Bowling Association.

That named was later changed to the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC), the same organization women bowlers belong to today.

In 1920, Violet "Billy" Simoin became a noted woman operator of bowling centers, first in Minneapolis and later in San Antonio, Texas.

In 1924, Jeannette Knepprath became the third president of the WIBC, overseeing the organization's growth from 2,885 members to 1.5 million until her retirement in 1960.

In 1927, decades before the world had heard of Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs, Floretta "Mrs. Mac" McCutcheon defeated bowling world champion Jimmy Smith in a battle of the sexes.


July 25-26: NABI tournament at Fair Lanes Clinton in Anne Arundel County; first prize is guaranteed $1,000. (301) 868-0660

Through July 31: Adult Low Scoring Bowling Tournament at Hampstead Lanes. (410) 374-6211

Through Aug. 22: Third annual Country Club Classic at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore; three handicap divisions; first place is a guaranteed $4,000 plus a special event each week with extra prize money and Hammer bowling balls. (410) 686-2556.

Through Aug. 23: County Lanes tenpin tournament; starting times are 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; ABC/WIBC rules. (410) 857-1977 or 876-8430

Through Aug. 23: Third annual WSBA Team Classic at Suburban Bowlarama in York, Pa., with qualifying through Aug. 23. The top 30 teams will return Labor Day weekend to compete for the top guaranteed first prize: four new 1992 Pontiac Lemanses, plus $2,000. (717) 848-1632

Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28: Adult Nine-or-Better-Across-the-Lanes (tenpin) Seven-or-Better-Across-the-Lanes (duckpin) tournaments at Hampstead Lanes. (410) 374-6211

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