North American Bowling News

Anthony Takes Top Honors Among PBA's Greatest

(Photo courtesy PBA LLC)

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) recently conducted a campaign to determine the 50 greatest bowlers in the last 50 years. It was little surprise that the legendary, late great Earl Anthony topped the list without much argument. In his career, Anthony amassed 43 PBA titles (including a record 10 Majors) and 7 seniors championships, and was the first bowler to eclipse the $1 million dollar mark in career earnings. Earl was known as "The Machine", due to his utterly perfect form on the lanes, and his ability to perform and deliver consistently. In a most revealing example of his consistency even under pressure situations, Earl had the distinction of rolling a 299 game on national television, in which he left a solid 9-pin on the 12th shot in his bid for perfection--the "solid 9" being the result of a perfectly delivered ball for a left-hander. One of the remarkable points about Anthony as an athlete is that he suffered a heart attack in the prime of his career in 1978. Years later, when asked what he felt was the proudest moment of his career, Earl alluded to the heart attack, and felt satisfaction from the fact that he was able to bounce back from this major setback, and perform so well as to compete and resume his career at the same level as before. Aside from his exceptional prowess as a professional bowler, Earl was also a fantastic announcer for the game of bowling, making very astute observations and explaining the finer points of bowling in such a way that the average listener could grasp exactly what he was talking about, and benefit from it. After retiring from bowling, Anthony relaxed with the game of golf, and had achieved the lofty status as a near 'scratch' golfer.

Finishing a strong second on the list was Walter Ray Williams, Jr., who has recently surpassed Anthony's 43 titles, with a tremendous 45 championships. Walter Ray is still active and a giant of the game. Before he's done, and with a little more work to do in the sport, he could certainly make a strong case to claim the top spot on the PBA's legends list.

Shown below is the list of the PBA's top 50 players. There may be several names from yesteryear that you recognize, and there may be a few apparent omissions from the list. Weighing heavily in the criteria for inclusion in the list is the number of PBA titles held by each bowler. You can see many of these players in action on the cable TV channel "ESPN Classic". Periodically, the sports network will air telecasts from the glory years of bowling. The superb announcing teams employed by the PBA for these broadcasts, including names like Chris Schenkel, Nelson Burton Jr., Denny Schreiner, Mike Durbin, Randy Pedersen, and Marshall Holman, along with other guest announcers really enhance your viewing pleasure.

The PBA's Top 50 Bowlers of All Time

1) Earl Anthony
2) Walter Ray Williams Jr.
3) Dick Weber
4) Pete Weber
5) Mark Roth
6) Mike Aulby
7) Norm Duke
8) Don Johnson
9) Marshall Holman
10) Parker Bohn III
11) Don Carter
12) Billy Hardwick
13) Brian Voss
14) Dick Ritger
15) Nelson Burton Jr.
16) John Petraglia
17) Carmen Salvino
18) Wayne Webb
19) Dave Davis
20) Dave Soutar
21) Amleto Monacelli
22) Mike Durbin
23) Dave Husted
24) Jason Couch
25) Steve Cook
26) Chris Barnes
27) Jim Stefanich
28) Harry Smith
29) Del Ballard Jr.
30) Tommy Jones
31) Wayne Zahn
32) Jim Godman
33) George Pappas
34) David Ozio
35) Randy Pedersen
36) Dave Ferraro
37) Larry Laub
38) Bill Allen
39) Mike McGrath
40) Joe Berardi
41) Tom Baker
42) Danny Wiseman
43) Doug Kent
44) Patrick Allen
45) John Guenther
46) Gary Dickinson
47) Barr Asher
48) Tommy Hudson
49) Mika Koivuniemi
50) Bob Strampe

Go Back      or     Close Window

(To execute a 'BACK' command after clicking on a photo to enlarge, right-click on a white area on the screen that follows, and then select 'Back' from the menu that will appear)

If you like this article, give us a quick click on the 'Google +1', 'Facebook Like', and/or 'Twitter Follow' below