Hall of Fame Bowling Writer Dick Evans Has Died
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Professional Bowlers Association and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Dick Evans, an award winning writer for both The Miami Herald and Daytona Beach News-Journal, died Sunday, July 4th, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 78.
“Dick Evans was a wonderful writer and a tremendous friend of the PBA and the sport of bowling,” said PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer. “From the time I joined the PBA in 2001, I was drawn to Dick’s professionalism and his passion for bowling. I knew Dick was always privately rooting for our success but I also recognized he would never compromise his integrity or journalistic standards in covering our sport. I know I speak for everyone connected to the PBA when I say Dick Evans will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to his wife, Joan, and their family.”
Born on Sept. 20, 1931, Evans joined the Miami Herald in 1949 as a copy boy and started writing about bowling in 1957. He retired from the Herald in 1989 and moved to Daytona Beach, but he continued to cover bowling for the Herald for another 20 years while also writing for the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The youngest of three brothers (older brothers Luther and Lee also wrote for the Miami Herald), Evans’ first association with the Herald was as a delivery boy in 1943, followed by providing football scores to the sports staff between 1945-47. At 14, he was hired by the Herald to take greyhound racing results and wrote headlines for short stories in the sports department before becoming a full-time employee at age 17.
After joining the Herald sports staff at age 20, Evans wrote about all high school sports, college football, boxing, bowling, golf, tennis, water skiing, wrestling, horse/dog/harness races, jai-alai and also spent 14 months serving as interim religious editor.
He once organized and ran a Dade County High school baseball tournament that featured North Miami High’s Steve Carlton (a Hall of Famer) and Fred Norman, a future star with the Chicago Cubs, in a taut pitchers’ duel at Miami Stadium before 3,000 fans. His most successful promotion drew 56,000 entries in asking South Floridians to pick the best horse ever to run at Gulfstream Race Track.
An avid tennis player, he also was recognized in 2002 as Florida’s top tennis writer. But his forte was bowling.
One of the most decorated bowling writers in history, Evans was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1986, the USBC Hall of Fame in 1992. He was the first daily newspaper writer to be honored by both halls. He was recipient of the Bowling Writers Association of America’s Luby Hall of Fame Award in 1982; received both the World Bowling Writers’ Gosta Zellen Golden Quill Award and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America Chief Wapensky Award in 2007, and was honored in 1986 by the Billiard and Bowling Industry Association for his service to the sport.
Over a span of more than 50 years – not counting 10 when he voluntarily “retired” to serve as a contest judge – Evans won more than 60 Bowling Magazine/American Bowler/US Bowler Writing Contest awards – by far the most in the competition’s history. He also was the top winner in the PBA’s writing contest before it was discontinued in 2001.
In 1982, Evans was sent to St. Louis to receive the bowling industry’s media award on behalf of the Knight-Ridder chain during the Salute Dinner in 1992 – but that award really belonged to Evans himself. His weekly bowling stories as Knight-Ridder’s “official bowling writer” were distributed over the Knight-Ridder news wire to 144 daily newspapers with a combined daily circulation of over 10 million papers.
After the Miami native “retired” to Daytona Beach, he was hired by the PBA in 1990 to serve as its PBA Senior Tour media director – a role he served for seven years before stepping down following a heart attack. Evans also was one of the BWAA most dedicated members, twice servicing as that organization’s president.
He continued to write tennis/bowling for the Daytona Beach News-Journal until his death. His bowling stories have appeared in every bowling magazine published and his features and opinion columns were published by a number of regional bowling publications.
Evans is survived by his wife of Joan Gano Evans; son Richard V. Evans, an attorney in Louisville, Ky.; and three grandchildren – Peyton, Carter and Walker. Services are pending.