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Great Bowler, unique individual, RIP
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I had the privilege of spending time with Don in the 70's when he lived in L.A. - a gracious man and always humble about his legendary status
Here's a link from PBA.com: Click HERE
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Don Carter (July 29, 1926 - January 5, 2012) was a right-handed American professional bowler. Learning the game while working a childhood job as a pinsetter, Carter went on to become one of the legends of ten-pin bowling and a founding member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958. He was 6-time bowler of the year (1953, '54, '57, '58, '60 and '62). He was voted the Greatest Bowler of All-Time in a 1970 Bowling Magazine poll, and ranked #11 on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years."
Prior to the PBA being formed, Don Carter was known as the most dominant bowler of the 1950s. In the prestigious BPAA All-Star tournaments (predecessor to the U.S. Open) between 1952 and 1960, Carter won four times and never finished lower than fourth. He won five World Invitational events in a six-year span, finishing second the only year he didn't win. He also won one ABC Masters title.
Carter was part of the legendary "Budweisers" Bowling Team of 1958 that established a long-standing ABC league series record for a five-man team. Ray Bluth, D*** Weber, Tom Hennessey and Pat Patterson were also on that 1958 team.
Unlike most bowlers, who keep their arm straight on the backswing as they are about to release the ball, Carter kept his elbow bent, never straightening his arm.
Although the PBA was not formed until Carter was 32 years old, he still won 7 PBA titles (5 of them majors) including the inaugural PBA National Championship in 1960. He won four titles and $49,000 in prize money in 1962 alone. That year, he also made 18 top-five finishes (still a PBA record), and was named the Bowling Writers Association of America's Bowler of the Year.
He was the PBA's first president, and served four years overall in that capacity. A bad knee forced him into an early retirement.
Carter enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, and spent two years as a radarman in the South Pacific. He was a fine baseball player in high school, and was signed to a minor-league contract by the Philadelphia Athletics (now Oakland Athletics) in the fall of 1946. After one season in a Class D league, he hung up his baseball spikes and returned to St. Louis to take a job at Golden Eagle Lanes. Working as an alley man, bartender and janitor, he bowled as often as he could during his time off.
In 1951, he was invited to bowl for the Pfeiffer Beer team in Detroit, MI, where his bowling career reached high momentum.
In 1973, Don married female professional bowler Paula Sperber, wh
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