USBC Hall of Famer Bob Hart Reaches 60 Yearss at USBC Open
RENO, Nev. - United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Bob Hart of Suwanee, Georgia, stole the show at the USBC Open Championships again Tuesday as he added another milestone to his impressive tournament resume.
The three-time Open Championships titlist, who made his debut at the 1954 event in Seattle, the same year as the famed Center Aisle, became the 22nd bowler in 113 years of tournament history to reach 60 years of participation.
Hart was escorted down Center Aisle at the National Bowling Stadium by his son, Bob, and made sure to touch on the importance of the relationships he has built because of his time at the Open Championships and in the bowling industry.
"This is humbling, it really is," said Hart, a 1994 inductee into the USBC Hall of Fame. "I've made a lot of friendships that continue to sparkle, and even though my best years are behind me, I am still enjoying the bowling family."
Hart's breakthrough on the biggest stage in bowling came in 1974, when he claimed victories in Regular Doubles, Regular All- Events and Team All-Events, and his banner year extended to the Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas, where he claimed five gold medals.
More than two decades working for USBC Gold partner Storm Bowling Products has given Hart the chance to travel and promote he sport, and that has helped him fuel and maintain his enthusiasm for bowling. He also has been a regular face at the annual Special Olympics National Unified Tournament, which helps kick off the Open Championships each year.
This milestone march wasn't his first time in the spotlight at the NBS, however. In 2014, Hart added his name to the short list of competitors who have knocked down more than 100,000 pins on the championships
lanes. The elite group still only has 19 members, including Robert Teeters o f Lapel, Indiana, who celebrated a unique double-milestone this year as he reach 60 years and100,000 pins in the same trip.
At the post-march presentation,where he received a plaque, chevron and engraved money clip to commemorate his latest milestone, Hart wanted to acknowledge two important people in his life.
"Bill McCorkle down there on lane 45 has been bowling as my teammate for about half of my, 60 years, and, my son, who traveled all night to be here with me tonight - I love you, son," Hart said.
Prior to bowling this year, Hart had one promise to those in attendance at the NBS. "Tonight, I'll go out and do the best that I can. I'll get every pin I'm capable of. Do the best I can."
This year at the NBS, Hart rolled sets of 580 in singles, 504 in doubles and 503 in team for a 1,587 all-events total.
In 60 Open Championships appearances he has knocked down 104,225 pins for a career average of 193. The career pinfall list is topped by USBC Hall of Famer Bill Lillard Sr. of Houston with 124,087.Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine. www.starsandstrikesbowling.com