At age 42, Baltimore’s Danny Wiseman was coming off a disappointing 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season. Heading into the inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling in Detroit in August, he told his mother Dorothy that if he didn’t have a successful World Series, he was thinking about retiring.
On Aug. 11, while Wiseman was bowling the first round of qualifying in the Cheetah Championship, his bowling future was put on hold by a phone call. His stepfather informed Wiseman that his 73-year-old mother was in the hospital, in a coma after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
“I was on a plane and home by 5 p.m. that day,” Wiseman said. “I left everything where it was – my truck, everything in my hotel room. I flew back later and got everything and drove back home.” Because of his mother’s long-term care needs, the 12-time PBA Tour titlist applied for a deferment for the 2009-10 season, which has been granted by PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer.
The Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open, presented by the United States Bowling Congress at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., got under way with another well-known name missing from the field. Schreyer has also has granted a deferment to veteran Dave Arnold of Dublin, Calif. The 45-year-old Arnold, who had regained an exemption through the 2008 Regional Players Invitational after a seven-year absence from the Tour, suffered a stress fracture in his lower back the day after the Motor City Open in Detroit.
The deferments mean two additional spots will be available at most exempt Tour events for the balance of the season. Both players remain eligible to bowl in “open” events if they are able to do so.
Wiseman isn’t sure what his future holds. “You never know when things like this will happen,” he said. “Bowling is now secondary for me and it will be for some time. It could take up to two years. As bad as it was, my mother is defying the odds and fighting very hard. “Bowling just is not important right now,” he added. “I’ve been out there (on Tour) for 20 years. I’ve had a pretty decent career. What happens in the future, I don’t know. I’m signed up for the Tournament of Champions, but it’s a wait-and-see kind of thing. If I feel like bowling, and there are no issues with my mom, I’ll bowl.”
Wiseman has faced other challenges during his career. His father died in 1992. He tore up his wrist. He was injured when he was rear-ended in an auto accident. “I came back strong from those situations. I have learned when my back has been against the wall, I know now where I got my fight from – my mom,” he said. On the good news front, Wiseman was inducted into both the Greater Baltimore and Maryland State USBC Bowling Halls of Fame in November.
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