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Bowling Great Randy Pedersen

Randy Pedersen continues our series of Editorial articles with this special tribute to bowling great Randy Pedersen. This famous newly elected PBA Hall of Fame Champion and his special career are well documented but I wish to share my own additional insight about my dear personal friend. Recently, I spoke with Randy and he indicated he would be happy to allow me to share some personal information and experiences about him and his family so, in turn, can share with you an inside look at bowling great Randy Pedersen.

First let's examine Randy's Hall of Fame career credentials with the PBA. Randy Pedersen is currently the color analyst for the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour telecasts on ESPN but he earned entry into the Hall based on performance and his accomplishments on the lanes. The Clermont, Florida resident won the 1987 PBA National Championship for his major championship title and was ranked 35th on the PBA’s list of 50 greatest bowlers as part of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2009. He had 34 top-five finishes during his stellar career, finishing in the top 20 in earnings six times and the top 20 in average eight times. Randy won a total of 13 PBA National Tour Titles over the span of his career.

Randy may be easily remembered for his prolific arm swing which brought him much success over the years. Randy had the combination of a high and loose swing with a sense for wonderful direction and balance as he delivered literally hundreds of thousands of bowling balls very accurately toward his target. Randy's classic style and flair for the game landed him a cameo spot in the movie "Kingpin" partially filmed at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.

While an energetic and dynamic style of bowling made him a crowd favorite on the lanes, off the lanes Randy also has a high-energy personality. Randy has certainly excited fans and captured their interest while watching him perform on the lanes at PBA events throughout the country for more than two decades. The true story about Randy, however, is best related by his work with people away from the tournament trail. Randy is one of the best ambassadors for the PBA and for bowling I have ever personally encountered.

When scheduled for appearances in seminars or coaching clinics through the years in the USA and abroad, Randy was always the first one in and the last one to leave. Randy was known for his tireless ambition to please attendees at these special promotions. If the promotion called for working with bowlers on the lanes, then Randy would work extremely hard to make sure anyone he spent time with would benefit as much as possible. Randy never worried about leaving the promotion at the advertised time but rather remained well after the promotion was completed and wanted to please everyone wishing to share time with Randy.

Randy placed the interest of people before his own interests and was sincere in doing so. An example of this wonderful quality Randy possesses was in 2002 when Randy was invited to do the play by play analysis and commentary on the finals telecast of the Pennsylvania State High School Bowling Championship Tournament contested that year in Pittsburgh. Angelo Bordogna, the Director of this successful event and now 1st Vice President of the Pennsylvania State Bowling Association, related to me that Randy went above and beyond expectations by staying much longer with the kids than anyone could have imagined after the semi-final rounds the day prior to the finals and remained well after the completion of the finals which was televised locally and featured Randy adding commentary to the telecast. This pattern of pleasing the public is what separates Randy from other celebrities, the passion for people and to please everyone to the best of his ability.

Randy is a well respected guest speaker at corporate functions and does an extremely good job at public speaking because of his big personality and quick-witted and spontaneous communication skills. To this day, Randy receives many requests to speak at corporate functions both inside and outside the bowling industry.

The kids are Randy's weakness, however. Having attended his son Chad's little league baseball games in the past, it is easy to see how important family is to Randy and how much he loves and cares for his family. Randy's dedication to his family is further evidenced by the fact that the Pedersen's do things as a family. It is not uncommon to see his lovely wife, Becky, and his adorable daughter, Savannah, also attending Chad's baseball games. All for one and one for all is the family motto. The whole family will attend school functions the children are involved in and do things as a family whether it is boating, dining together, or just a relaxing BBQ day with friends at home.

Randy is also a good friend... a giving friend. On August 29, 2005, I received a call from Randy insisting that my wife Gayle and I evacuate Southern Mississippi, our home of five years at that time, and immediately pack our things and drive to his home in central Florida. The impending storm, known as Hurricane Katrina, was heading directly toward my home and Randy was very concerned for our well being. Gayle and I evacuated with only clothing we could bring and with our animals in our SUV leaving behind everything else we owned in this world. The rest is history. We suffered a direct hit by the hurricane and lost everything we had and our home was devastated by the storm. In an instant, we were homeless.

Randy Pedersen invited my family, my dog, and my cats into his home so we were not abandoned and so we were safe from harm's way. Not many friends nor family are willing to share their home with another family and pets during an extremely difficult crisis as were Randy and Becky Pedersen. Their sincere act of kindness welcoming us to their home during this difficult time is something for which my family will always be indebted to the Pedersen's. When those times in life come which are trying and difficult by nature, there are those to dig in and face them and who extend a helping hand to others in times of need. The Pedersen's are those kind of people.

The proof is in the deed. We hear of people referring to others as "brothers in arms" or as "great friends"... Randy Pedersen is my brother and my friend for as long as we live and I shall forever be grateful to Randy and his family for their kindness and genuine love they shared back in August of 2005. Randy resides in the "Hall of Fame of Life", far larger and more much more important than merely bowling... long live Randy Pedersen!

Randy Pedersen asked me to express his appreciation to you community visitors for taking valuable time in reading this article and he hopes and wishes each of you enjoy much success on the lanes. Everyone at wishes you the same.

Rich Carrubba