Yep, this is a post of something that happens to PSOs’ ! It is one of those things you kind of wonder if it will happen. You know like when you are asked if you can get a ball that has not been in production for 40 years! Or shoes for a size 16 foot!

In both cases the reply always is “I’ll look and see”. But you either cannot find the item or it will take six months to get it – I had that happen once for a size 15 shoe!

Well this blog is not about either of those things. This is about a good outcome with a great opportunity. It happened one weekend like this:

A customer contacted me and wanted to meet at my storage / warehouse in Kirkland, WA. He found out about the pro shop by way of a Google search for bowling pro shops near him. He contacted a few but none could help with what he wanted. I met Brian with his partner Tom on the 15th of Oct to see what he had. Tom wanted a new ball which I had in stock and Brian wanted his ball drilled. The ball he has no one wanted to drilled. Or felt they did not have the skills or did not want to take a chance drilling a ball of that age and construction type. I took a look at the ball and told Brian I could drill it but I would not make any guarentees of the out come. After all it is 40+ years old and a rubber based construction. I was not sure how brittle the surface might be. However, I was willing to try and so was Brian!! Read on …..

He handed me a plastic heavy duty kind of bag with a box that contained the bowling ball. The balls weight is 14 pounds and the box is a bit tattered and needed to be in the bag to keep things together. But what a great suprise!!! In that plastic bag was the ball in the origional box (when it was purchased) with the origional warranty card! This was like looking at a rare automobile barn find – at least for me it was. The ball: a Brunswick Black Beauty as sold by Sears and Robuck! No kidding – and with the warranty certificate included! And this ball had NEVER EVER BEEN DRILLED!!!!!!! Oh, by the way, when you look at the images of the warranty certificate see if you can find an expiration date!

How could you not want to help someone with a rare gem like this? We discussed what he wanted and what kind of purpose he had for the ball. The ball for him is to be a spare ball – perfect for todays lane conditions. He wanted a finger tip drill with grips(shout out to JoPo Finger Grips and a custom oval thumb (shout out to Oval Edge   

I delivered the ball to him a week later, and the other ball to Tom as well. Both balls came out great. And I got to drill a ball that was most likely made either prior to 1960 or just after. (Note: I got my first bowling ball in 1964 at Montgomery and Wards in Riverside, CA. My dad saw how I enjoyed the sport and took me there to get a ball, bag and shoes. I still have all three to this day – the ball is a Hawthorne Rubber bowling ball based on the Black Beauty.) B.T.W – I’ve reached out to my Brunswick rep to see if they have any info on the date the ball may have been producted or sold to Sears. The serial number seems to put production before 1960; but company rep had no definitive idea of a date. If you know please reach out to ProShop X!

Well, there you have it. One of those conditions that comes along every now and then. I have provided photos below for you. I’ve never dug up a time capsule … this is as close as I have ever come!!! I can answer one question right away – No I do not know what Brian paid for the ball. That is between Brian and the folks who sold it to him.

Enjoy the photos!!! Keep on bowling; keep you hand behind the ball; and most of all, enjoy yourself! Enjoy the photos …………………….

P.S. – A.B.C. stands for American Bowling Congress, the predessor to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). Black Beauty© is a trademark name by Brunswick© corporation.


3 Responses

  1. I believe Walter Ray Williams Jr. throws a Black Beauty at his spares now not sure how old it is though.

  2. Hi John,
    First I want to apologize. Sorry, I meant to reply to your post a long time ago. I wanted to let you know that this ball is working just like the videos 😉 my spare game has increased and I don’t think I have ever picked up so many 10 pins before! Thank you for agreeing to drill this ball and sharing the story. All the best to you!

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