Tim Black's arm ached Monday, but the pain was well worth it because his family couldn't have been prouder.
Black hadn't bowled in a year when he picked up a ball for a few practice games last week. But despite the year hiatus, a few days later the Toledoan won the Strike It Rich Tournament at Imperial Lanes with his entire family looking on for the first time.
“I threw more games in the tournament than I did in practice,” Black said. “Boy, my arm is sore today. But it was cool because my wife, son and daughter were all there.”
Black became the first five-time winner of this event, which is more than 50 years old. He last won it in 1999, when his son Casey watched him bowl for the first time.
On Sunday it was his daughter Mandy who watched her father bowl for the first time. Once again, Black struck it rich.
“My son called her and told her I was doing well. So she came when I was starting my last game. She was so nervous,” Black said of his 22-year-old daughter.
“I got a strike in the first frame and she got all excited. I told her all I needed was 11 more. It was a little tongue in cheek, but I really thought I would have to shoot a 300 to win it.”
Black got the next seven strikes before finishing with all spares for a 267.
It turned out Black had won the tournament by 26 pins. He bowled games of 279, 241, 232, 224, 215 and 267 for a total pinfall of 1,458. His average was 243 and he finished plus-258.
Not bad for a guy who bowled in just three events the past four years. He finished third at the Strike It Rich last year. The victory in 1999 broke the tournament record of three career wins by Toledo legend Junior Powell.
This year he won $600 for his efforts.
“That was good,” Black said of the money. “But at this point in the deal, the money is secondary. With the history of the tournament, getting the title is the nice thing.”
The event attracted 36 of the area's top bowlers, who paid $65 to participate, according to tournament director Jim Roberts.
Jeff Benz took second place and won $275 with a score of plus-232.
Emilio Mora Jr. was third, plus-195, J.J. Westhoven placed fourth at plus-179 and Steve Kosier finished fifth at plus-176.
“There were a lot of the top bowlers in town,” said Black, 49. “A lot of them bowl in several leagues each week. I just went out and threw a couple on Tuesday and Thursday. I just thought I'd go and out and see. I knew I was a long shot, a dark horse.”
Black, from West Toledo, said he has been bowling since he was about 8 years old. He went on the PBA tour from 1981-1983 and won a regional event in 1983.
He won the Toledo Master's Tournament in 1986 and was a bowling instructor at one time. But he essentially gave the sport up soon after his children were born.
Black, an elementary school administrator, said he has now won bowling titles in five decades despite battling elbow tendinitis for about 30 years. He also won the Strike It Rich in '75, '76 and '78.
“To win with my daughter watching me bowl for the first time was cool,” he said.
Whitmer Gold posted a near perfect 39-3 record. Central finished second (35-7) and Whitmer Blue was third (26-16) after the first 12-week season of the area's top high school league.
Clay's Chris Bodnar finished with the high scratch game (280) among the boys, while Rossford's Chad Middaugh had the high series (750).
Nick Stone of Whitmer carried the high average with a 205.
Northview's Jamie Meyers had the high average (199) and high game (289) among the girls.
Joanna Kosier of Whitmer had the high series (705).
The Whitmer Gold team has won the title three straight years.
Nick Stone won the scratch division with a total pinfall of 1,308. He shot games of 243, 181, 246, 212, 213, and 213. Chad Middaugh was second with a 1,255.
Abby Hillibrand won the handicap division with a 1,339 total. Hillibrand had a high game of 207. Michael Lesinski finished second with a score of 1,307.
Contact Mark Monroe at Mmonroe@theblade.com.