ARLINGTON, Texas — The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame has inducted one of the most diverse classes in its history, including its first wheelchair bowler, one foreign-born player, and a three-time U.S. Open winner.
In all, nine individuals were inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Sheraton Hotel.
The Superior Performance category saw four new inductees: Dave Husted of Milwaukie, Ore.; Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela; Tom Baker of King, N.C.; and Dede Davidson of Buellton, Calif.
Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., and Gary Daroszewski of Franklin, Wis., were inducted in the Outstanding USBC Performance category.
Joan Feinblum of Santa Rosa, Calif., and the late Kerm Helmer were inducted for Meritorious Service, and wheelchair bowler Al Uttecht of Anaheim, Calif., became the first person inducted in the Pioneer category since 2008.
Husted, 52, won the U.S. Open in 1982, 1995 and 1996. He won the Showboat Invitational twice, in 1990 and 1995, and owns 14 Professional Bowlers Association titles overall. In 2008, the PBA ranked him No. 23 on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History. He was elected to the PBA Hall of Fame in 1996.
“I really would like to thank the USBC for even considering me,” Husted said. “I was fortunate enough to throw a bowling ball for a living for about 25 years, and I am very grateful for that. It is a great honor to be in the USBC Hall of Fame. The entire Husted family will remember this night for a long time to come.”
The 50-year-old Monacelli won 19 PBA titles between 1987 and 2005. He won the Japan Cup twice, in 1987 and 1995, and claimed a major title at the 1989 Touring Players Championship. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1997, and in 2008 the PBA ranked him No. 21 on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History.
“When I told my mother that my dream was to compete in the PBA, she told me the first thing I had to do was pray every night,” Monacelli recalled. “Believe me, I did not miss one night of praying. Now to receive the recognition of being inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame is such an honor.”
Baker, 57, won 10 PBA Tour titles between 1980 and 2004, including the 2004 PBA World Championship. He has won nine titles on the PBA Senior Tour, including back-to-back Senior U.S. Open titles in 2005 and 2006, and back-to-back USBC Senior Masters titles in 2006 and 2007. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1999, and was No. 40 on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History.
“When I first started bowling, I never dreamed that major championships and halls of fame would be a part of my career,” Baker said. “I want to give my heartfelt thanks to USBC for recognizing me with this induction. I am truly honored.”
Dede Davidson, 45, was a Triple Crown winner on the Ladies’ Pro Bowlers Tour/Professional Women’s Bowling Association, winning nine professional titles overall. Her Triple Crown victories include the 1991 Queens, the 1993 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 2000 Sam’s Town Invitational. Davidson is the only woman to shoot both an 800 series and a 300 game at the USBC Women’s Championships, a tournament in which she has recorded six top-10 finishes.
“I am honored to be a member of this group of individuals,” Davidson said. “To become a part of bowling history is the ultimate accomplishment of my bowling career. The sport of bowling has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual, and I will forever be thankful for the wonderful experiences bowling has given me. It is a tremendous honor to be standing here tonight.”
The 50-year-old Lennie Boresch Jr. is a three-time titlist at the USBC Open Championships, including the Team All-Events title in 2000, and the Regular Team and Team All-Events titles in 2009. All three titles came with fellow 2012 USBC Hall of Fame inductee Gary Daroszewski. Boresch has 13 top-10 finishes at the Open Championships, and is one of 23 bowlers to record multiple 300s at the USBC Open Championships.
“I’d like to thank the committee for electing me. I know there’s a lot of bowlers to choose from, and I am very honored,” said Boresch, who won the PBA Senior Sun Bowl in his PBA Senior Tour debut just days before his USBC Hall of Fame induction. “What an honor to be inducted with my teammate, Gary Daroszewski. All I can say is this probably is the best week of my life besides getting married to my wife and the birth of my two kids.”
Gary Daroszewski, 53, owns six USBC Open Championships titles. In addition to the three titles he won with Boresch, Daroszewski won Team All-Events titles in 1982 and 1983, as well as a Regular Doubles title in 1989 with Gus Yannaras. Daroszewski has 13 top-10 finishes over 32 years at the Open Championships.
“I am here as living proof that if you work hard and believe in yourself, great things can happen,” Daroszewski said. “I am honored to be a member of the USBC Hall of Fame.”
The 64-year-old Uttecht is the most accomplished wheelchair bowler of all time. As a 13-time winner of the American Wheelchair Bowling Association Tournament of Champions, a 12-time AWBA National Scratch titlist, and a seven-time AWBA National All-Events champion, Uttecht paved the way for wheelchair bowlers everywhere. He was confined to a wheelchair after injuries sustained in Vietnam in 1970.
“Being inducted in the Pioneer category is a very special honor for me,” Uttecht said. “I hope that being the first wheelchair bowler inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame opens the door for others. Who knows, maybe someone here tonight will be the next Al Uttecht.”
The late Kerm Helmer was a physical education teacher for more than 35 years who dedicated his life to growing and developing youth and collegiate bowling. His most lasting legacy is as the founder and head coach of the men’s and women’s bowling programs at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y., where he led the Kats to 16 National Junior College Athletic Association men’s titles and 21 women’s titles. Helmer’s men’s and women’s teams each claimed a pair of national titles as well.
“Over the past few years, I have come to realize what an icon my father was in the sport of bowling,” Helmer’s daughter, Kelli, said on her father’s behalf. “I am proud to be his daughter, and to accept this honor on his behalf.”
Joan Feinblum, 80, has dedicated more than five decades of service to bowling at the local, state and national levels, including four years of work on the committees and task forces that helped develop USBC. Feinblum spent more than a decade on the Women’s International Bowling Congress Board of Directors, and most recently served as chairperson of the USBC Nominating Committee and the USBC Hall of Fame Committee.
“I stand here humbled and grateful and I just can’t believe it,” Feinblum said. “What a privilege it is to be inducted. This isn’t about me. It’s about the passion of all those who work and volunteer in this industry. I know that bowling has a big future.”
With Thursday’s inductions, there now are 394 members of the USBC Hall of Fame – 260 in Performance, 114 in Meritorious Service and 20 Pioneers.
The USBC Hall of Fame was created in 2005 by merging the American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress Halls of Fame.