The three latest inductees into the local bowling hall of fame truly are the best of the best in their sport.
Kevin Taber, Keith Nusbaum and Bill Alexander were inducted into the Greater Toledo Bowling Association Hall of Fame last Saturday at Sommerset Hall. Taber and Nusbaum earned spots in the elite club via the superior performance category. Alexander went in for his meritorious service to the sport.
The GTBA has only 130 members in its hall of fame. The first class was inducted in 1964.
“It's a pretty exclusive club,'' said Rob Huss, executive secretary of the GTBA. “The GTBA is 95 years old and there are only 130 members, so it's not that many.''
About 190 people attended the ceremonies.
“It was the best turnout we've had in quite a few years,'' Huss said. “These guys are pretty well known so I think that helped.''
Taber, a Sylvania Township resident, has been a member of the Professional Bowlers Association since 1982. The 39-year-old is likely the youngest bowler ever to go into the GTBA Hall of Fame, according to Huss.
“It's always an honor to be inducted into any hall of fame,” Taber said. “It's great to be recognized for your accomplishments. It's great to be inducted with all of the great bowlers over the years.''
Taber has won eight PBA titles, including a national title. Taber won the PBA Resident Pro Championships in 1998 in Hawaii and has won seven regional PBA crowns.
He helped the Reeb Funeral Home team win an American Bowling Congress national championship in 1992. He has won nine titles in GTBA events, including the 2002 doubles title he captured with Jody Woessner.
“I think the highlight was winning the ABC all-events championship, but this ranks right up there,'' Taber said.
He helped win seven team titles in the area's top traveling classic league. He holds the highest career average (218.71) in that league's history and set a new record for average in a year (233) last season.
Taber has won a total of 38 tournaments, has bowled 15 800 series and rolled 51 perfect games.
“Bowling has been so good to me,'' Taber said. “I've met a lot of great people.''
Nusbaum, 40, has won two ABC team titles, including one with Taber. He has bowled 43 300 games and has shot 30 800 series.
Nusbaum has won 11 team titles in his 20 seasons bowling in the traveling classic. He has the second-highest career average (218) in the league.
Perhaps his most memorable accomplishment came in 1995 when he was bowling with Dale Ellis as a doubles team and they each shot 300 in the same game. It has happened only six other times nationally.
Alexander, 69, of Lambertville, worked for 44 years as a mechanic at Jug's Bowling Center.
“He was the one that people would go to if they were having trouble with their lanes,'' Huss said.
Alexander was the head mechanic for the ABC tournament when it was held at the SeaGate Centre in 1991.
Alexander also established many youth programs. He has been bowling for 45 years and has rolled two perfect games.
``You're in with some elite people,'' said Alexander, who called it the highlight of his career. ``It's an honor for sure.''
wThe 16th annual GTBA Mixed Doubles Tournament will be held at Eastern Freeway Lanes in Northwood over the next two months. The tournament will be held on the weekends.
It begins Oct. 18 and ends Nov. 2. For more information call the GTBA at 419-537-0523.
wThe perennial powers in the top men's and women's traveling leagues are again off to quick starts.
In the men's Toledo Medical Imaging Traveling Classic, K.J. Excavating has a narrow lead over defending champion Loma Linda's. K.J. Excavating won a string of titles in the late '90s, while Loma Linda's won all three 11-week sessions in sweeping to the 2002-03 title.
After three weeks in the Queens Ladies Traveling Classic, A.A. Boos & Sons is tied with Lizcano's Pro Shop for the lead with 44 points.