The PBA League Challenge – a four-event series of special skills challenges airing during the PBA World Series of Bowling V animal pattern championship tournaments on ESPN – has a charitable side. All of the PBA League franchise players involved (and maybe a handful of “surprise” contributors) are participating in a friendly competition that ultimately will benefit the challenge series winner’s favorite charity.
All PBA League players have agreed to donate an item to a special PBA League Charity Auction that will be conducted on eBay during PBA League Week in suburban Detroit in late January. A list of auction items will be announced prior to the event. All revenues generated will be donated to the PBAL Challenge winner’s designated charity. The charities participating players have selected are:
● Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Chris Barnes) – StrikeOutDiabetes to benefit JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).
● L.A. X (Jason Belmonte) – CP3 Foundation (PBA League owner Chris Paul’s official charity).
● Dallas Strikers (Norm Duke) – Tony Reyes Foundation.
● Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (Osku Palermaa) – StrikeOutDiabetes to benefit JDRF.
● New York City WTT KingPins (Pete Weber) – Ballard vs. The Big C.
● BROOKLYN STyLES (Sean Rash) – Strikes for Kids.
● Philadelphia Hitmen (Bill O’Neill) – PKD Foundation.
● Motown Muscle (Mike Fagan) – Prostate Cancer Foundation.
After the Bowling Blind and Time to Bowl challenges, Weber and O’Neill were tied for the PBAL Challenge points lead with 17.5 points followed by Belmonte (16); Barnes, Duke and Rash (12 each): Fagan (9.5) and Palermaa (3.5). The Obstacle Bowling challenge will be included as part of Sunday’s Chameleon Championship telecast on ESPN (1 p.m. ET) and the series will conclude with the TO (Terrell Owens) Challenge as part of the Scorpion Championship telecast on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3:30 p.m. ET.
LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR THE PBA FAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING?
If you’re shopping for a unique Christmas gift for the PBA fan who has everything, visit pba.com and click on the “shop” tab to access the PBA Tour Store. You’ll find an assortment of official PBA apparel and other gift items.
Another great gift idea would be a year’s subscription to Xtra Frame, PBA’s official online television channel, where PBA fans can watch exclusive content as well as dozens of archived interviews, past PBA Tour championship telecasts and much more. A subscription in time for Christmas will include hours of exclusive coverage from the upcoming PBA League Week in suburban Detroit, including start-to-finish coverage of the 2014 Detroit Open – the first PBA Tour title event of the 2014 season.
“THE BOWLING CENTER” EPISODE 3 RECAPS VIPER, PREVIEWS CHAMELEON
Episode Three of “The Bowling Center,” the bowling world's version of SportsCenter and The Daily Show, highlights the PBA Viper Championship, recognizes “the geekiest bowler on the PBA Tour,” discovers that England’s Stu Williams is a “teetotaler,” drills a couple of Columbia 300 Smackdown bowling balls, invites P.B. Atkinson to call a bowling/wrestling match between co-hosts Jef Goodger and Jason (The Bowling Guy) Thomas, and takes down an internet troll who is a wannabe fashion critic with no fashion sense.
To access the show, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnzfQ2oHTKo
To find the weekly shows – which are available at no cost – visit youtube.com and enter The Bowling Center in the search bar. New shows will debut on Mondays for the next six weeks.
FIRST PBA50 DICK WEBER SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNER FRED BALDWIN DIES
Former PBA50 competitor Fred Baldwin of Sturgis, Mich., who was awarded the first PBA Senior Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award in 2008, died on Monday. He was 83.
The Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award is given to the PBA50 (senior) player who demonstrates the highest level of sportsmanship during the season. Baldwin, a retired bank executive, was a Korean War veteran and served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years.
“I was surprised. There were five other guys nominated, who had all won championships,” said Baldwin when he was notified that he earned the award. “I’m just an old guy out there having the time of his life. It’s the best honor I’ve ever had in my life.”
A private memorial service will take place at a later date. The family suggests memorial donations be directed to Animal Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 593, Centreville, MI 49032.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: AMATEUR COFFEY, TUCKER WIN IN MERRITT ISLAND
● Amateur Mike Coffey of Melbourne, Fla., defeated seven-time PBA South Region titlist Lee Vanderhoef of Greenville, S.C., 203-236, 210-183, 210-181, in their best-of-three-game title match to win the inaugural Merritt Island South Open at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla., Sunday.
In the PBA50 portion of the doubleheader event, Mike Tucker of Concord, N.C., won his first South Region title with a 212-177, 176-205, 226-204, victory over Mike Shequin of Debary, Fla.
In the standard event, Coffey defeated PBA Tour champion Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga., in the semifinal round before defeating Vanderhoef, another PBA Tour veteran, in the title match. Coffey earned $2,500 for his USBC SMART scholarship account while Vanderhoef earned $1,300 for second place.
● The PBA Regional program’s Dec. 13-15 schedule features a PBA/PBA50 West/Northwest/Southwest tri-regional at the National Bowling Stadium, sponsored by the Sands Regency in Reno, Nev., and the PBA South Region’s Decker Appraisal Services Over 50/Under 50 Doubles event presented by Hammer at Wayne Lanes in Waynesboro, Va.
The final pre-Christmas tournament will be the PBA/PBA50 Bowling Dynamix Southwest Doubles presented by Hammer at Emerald Bowl in Houston over the Dec. 20-22 weekend.
For complete schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.
● Pro-Am entries, ESPN tickets for PBA League Week at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., are now available on pba.com. Pro-Am squads are planned for Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ESPN telecasts – including a live PBA League event – will be held on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 26-27. Pro-Am and ticket information for the USBC Masters, scheduled for Feb. 19-23 at Brunswick Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, N.J., also will be available soon on pba.com.
● Reminder: The ESPN telecast of the PBA Scorpion Championship finals on Sunday, Dec. 22, has been changed to a 3:30 p.m. ET start time. It was originally scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.