GRAPEVINE, Texas – PBA Hall of Famers Del Ballard Jr. and Wayne Webb, along with veteran PBA Regional standout Jeff Richgels, were among six individuals inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame at the Gaylord Texan Friday.
Ballard, who turned 48 on Friday, is a 13-time PBA Tour champion who also owns four major titles and compiled nearly $1.3 million in career earnings.
“Welcome to my birthday party, and I’ll cry if I want to,” said Ballard, who underwent treatment for tonsil cancer last year. He thanked USBC President Darlene Baker for the phone call to tell him he had been selected to the hall of fame “because anybody that’s close to me understands I’ve been through a little bit of a rough time the last year or so, and it could not have come at a better time.”
Webb, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, is a 20-time PBA Tour title winner including two majors. He was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in 1993.
Webb currently is bowling on the PBA Senior Tour where he won the 2010 USBC Senior Masters and was named the 2010 PBA Senior Player of the Year after capturing back-to-back Senior U.S. Open titles in 2008 and 2009. Webb joined Mark Roth as the only players to earn PBA Tour and Senior Tour Player of the Year awards during their careers.
“Last year I was very fortunate to win the Senior Masters and two other titles which basically filled my bucket list,” Webb said. “There were only a couple of things that I had left that I wanted to do in bowling – being Senior Player of the Year and this, being inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.”
Richgels, 48, of Oregon, Wis., is the first person to be inducted in the Outstanding USBC Performance category. The 29-time PBA Regional titles is a four-time four USBC Open Championships title winner and the only player in USBC Open Championships history to complete team, doubles and singles without an open frame. His “90 clean” performance came in 1997 when he won the Regular All-Events title.
Richgels also won the 1985 Team USA Trials to earn a spot on Team USA and represented the United States at the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) American Zone Championships in Bogota, Colombia, where he won gold medals in team and trios.
“I always thought that there could be a place for guys like me, and there are so many of them out there, between the amateur category and the great stars of the PBA Tour,” Richgels said. “I’m very proud to be the first inductee in this category. It’s a great honor.”
Also inducted were Australia’s Carol Gianotti, 43, a 16-time PWBA winner; Cheryl Robinson, 59, of Placentia, Calif., and former Women’s International Bowling Congress executive director Roseann Kuhn.