Throwback Thursday 12/8/16: “MISSES PERFECT SCORE BY ONE PIN”


Louis R. Sanford, member of the R. I. club bowling team. last night at the Rock Island club alleys came within one pin of rolling a perfect score, getting 299 for his efforts. He was rolling a match game with R. W. Sharp at the time. Sanford made 11 straight strikes, and although the last ball was a good hit, only nine pins fell, beating him out of a perfect score. Several club members who witnessed the match could not stand the strain when Sanford reached his 10th strike and went up into the lobby, instructing Sharp to break the news gently after the game was over.

This is probably the highest score ever rolled in the tri-cities. About eight years ago Abe Stouffer of Moline rolled 296, and several years later “Lefty” Hampton made a like score.

A. N. Reinert, jeweler at 1811 Second avenue, is offering a 21-jeweled watch valued at $40 for the high score this month at the Island City alleys. The prize is open to bowlers of the tri-cities only.”

-The Rock Island Argus
March 3, 1915

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Throwback Thursday 12/1/16: “Surpasses World’s Best Bowling”

Nathan Mayer Breaks Highest Score Known for Three Games.


Moline holds the premier bowler of the world for individual record in three games. Nathan Mayer, associated with his father in the well known clothing store, last evening in the local alleys broke the world’s record for total score and high average for three games; He rolled 728 pins, an average of 242 2-3. He rolled 228 the first game, 214 the second and in the last scored 286, a remarkable score and one which will stand on the alley for a long time unsurpassed. The possible score is 300 and Mr. Mayer scored ten straight strikes in his third game.

Mr. Mayer has exceeded the championship record allowed Frank Brill of Chicago by the American Bowling Congress by 80 pins. Mr. Brill’s record was 648, but the Moline man surpassed that. The other day Peter Beets of Sterling rolled 727 pins in three games, but Mayer has him bested by one. In that game Deets scored 258, 246 and 223. He played two additional games, scoring 191 and 222, a total of 1,140 for the five. Mr. Mayer’s score was made in the course of a game with Abe Stouffer, who held the alley record of 237 before, John Sundine and Severin Johnson.”

-The Evening Mail
February 7, 1902

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Throwback Thursday 11/24/16: “John McGonigle Rolls 2nd Perfect Pin Game”


JOHN McGONIGLE, 63-year-old veteran of 26 years of bowling, wonders what’s next as he takes time from his work at American Machine & Metals this morning. Last night McGonigle bowled the second 300 game of his career in Uptown League action. He had previously crashed the “perfect” ranks last April 20 in the same league. (Dispatch Photo)

“Bowling “life” seems to have begun at 63 for John McGonigle.

Last April 20 after 25 years of bowling, the 63-year-old McGonigle accomplished a kegler’s “once-in-a-lifetime” feat when he rolled a 300 game.

Last night he made it “twice-in-a-lifetime,” rolling with his Burgie Beer quintet on alleys three and four at LeClaire Alleys in the Uptown League.

John was all smiles today after his second perfect pin effort. “I don’t believe I was as nervous this time as I was last spring,” he laughed. “That first time seems to give you the biggest thrill. But I still got a little jittery in the last frame.”

McGonigle is carrying what he considers a poor 170 average this season. “Last night was the first night I’ve really felt like bowling all year,” he explained.

He got his 12 straight strikes in the first game, and was slightly miffed when he failed to hit a 700 series. He came back with 207 and 183 for a 690 windup. “Left a split in that last frame that would have put me over,” John moaned.

Last night’s stint qualifies McGonigle, who lives at 3725 11th Ave, for a choice of a number of prizes awarded for 300 games by the American Bowling Congress. But, as last year, he tossed a high cash award because he wasn’t wearing a bowling shirt which offers $500 to a wearer rolling a perfect game.”

-The Daily Dispatch
November 9, 1954

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Throwback Thursday 11/17/16: Argus Singles’ First 300 Game


“WALLY DEPOORTER (right), 1906 Tenth street, Moline received congratulations from Dusty Springston (left), proprietor of the Cental alleys, Rock Island, after DePoorter rolled the first perfect game in the 17 years of the Argus’ singles tournament Saturday night. The Moliner had only one ball slightly out of the groove – but still an eighth frame strike – as he rolled his 30o count. He also fired games of 196, 193, 207 and 157, the latter after the perfect count, for a 1,103 total with the aid of a 50 pin handicap. His count put him in a third-place tie with Elmer Wahlheim of Geneseo.”

-The Daily Dispatch
May 15, 1950

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Throwback Thursday 11/10/16: “Neff Cleans Off Highland’s 1st 300”

“A clean sweep for Bobby Neff. Last night in Sam’s Wednesday Night Mixed League, Bob Neff, pro at Highland Park Bowl, found his own alleys to his liking and registered the first sanctioned 300 game of his career. Bob, who has three practice session perfect games to his credit, buried 10 perfect pocket hits and wound up even more spectacularly by getting his last two strikes on “Brooklyn” hits. The slight pin buster, who had rolled 288 as his previous high sanctioned game, started out with 191 and wound up with 258 for a brilliant 749 series. Neff’s employment at Highland Park cost him $1,000 for the feat. An explicit management rule, set when the alleys opened a year ago, forbid any employee from winning any form of prize offered by the alleys. Bob, however, will do all right. In addition to his American Bowling Congress Award, he comes into a stack of cash and merchandise from various bowling manufacturers and local concerns. This was the first 300 game rolled since Highland Park opened officially last fall.”

-Moline Dispatch
June 16, 1960

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Throwback Thursday 11/3/16: “$1.5 Million Bowling Units Planned”

E. Moline Selected For Site

Announcements today that two separate groups plan to construct bowling alleys within a block of each other in East Moline make that city of 16,732 one of the hottest prospective bowling areas in the Quad-Cities.

Regal Lanes Inc., with Jack E. Conboy of East Moline making that firm’s statement, and Sava’s, Inc. headed by Sam Gnatovich, proprietor of Highland Park Bowl in Moline, revealed plans for rival bowling establishments on 42nd Ave. (Colona Rd.) on opposite sides of the Rock Island County Fair Grounds.

Regal Lanes will break ground within a few days for a 32-lane, Brunswick house that will cost in the neighborhood of $1 million. It will be located west of 13th St. and south of 42nd Ave.

Gnatovich and his associates, George Polios and Walt Zegarac of East Moline, will put up a 24-lane house, very similar to Highland Park Bowl, just east of the fair grounds race track and south of 42nd Ave. Plans have not yet been approved and construction is not expected to begin until August. Total cost will be approximately $500,000.

This marks the biggest single construction of bowling facilities at one time in the history of local bowling. With the new total of 56 alleys, East Moline will rank alongside Moline and Rock Island as far as facilities go. Davenport, with two more houses on the drawing boards, ranks tops.

No immediate word has been received as to the status of East Moline’s only establishment currently operating, the 6-alley Rocket Lanes in downtown East Moline.

Conboy, who is in charge of the Regal Lanes operation, said completion of the bowling center will be Sept. 1. The corporation is composed of a group of local businessmen.

“We also have plans for other facilities which we hope to develop once the bowling center is in full operation,” Conboy announced.

The bowling center, designed by Norman Keller of Moline, will be entirely automatic from mechanical standpoint. Telescore screens for bowlers and spectators will be featured.

There will be parking facilities for 400 cars, a snack bar and an electronic baby-sitting service. A nursery room for children will be equipped with a closed circuit television unit permitting parents to observe the youngsters on monitor screens located at various points in the bowling center.

All Steel Building, Milan is general contractor for the project.

Sava’s bowl, which is expected to be completed by next April, in time for the 1962-63 league season, will be automatically equipped by American Machine & Foundry (AMF). It will include a cocktail lounge, snack bar, locker rooms and combination nursery and meeting room.

“We won’t have a basement in this building,” Gnatovich said. “Nor will we have a pro shop. We can to expand the pro shop facilities at Highland Park to take care of both establishments.”

Gnatovich commented on the fall start of construction.

“We feel we;ll get better technical support from AMF and a better job if we hold off until what is normally a slack season in construction.”

Sava’s will be built ona 5-acre tract of land owned by Zegarac, and will provide ample parking facilities.”

-Moline Daily Dispatch
April 27, 1961

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Throwback Thursday 10/27/16: “Blackhawk Road Site for New Central Alleys”

“Losing Central Bowling Alleys by fire last November was Rock Island’s gain, as it turns out.

Today, Bob Davis and George Gasa of Rock Island, co-proprietors of the old Central, announced plans to construct the Quad-Cities’ newest 24-lane bowling house, scheduled for opening Aug. 1.

The new building, to be known as “Central Bowl” will have the latest in ultra-modern facilities. It will be located at 45th St. and Blackhawk Road, just east of Blackhawk driving range.

Davis and Gasa said the proposed cost of the building will be nearly a half-million dollars. This is minus the cost of automatic pinspotters, which will be rented.

The exterior of the building will be red brick. The building itself will be set back off the highway almost 500 feet. A 300-car parking lot will fill in the space between the road and the structure.

The building will be of L-shaped construction, with a 192-foot front and running 150 feet from front to back.

The unusual width is to accommodate offices and various rooms. The bowling lanes will run from front to back.

The building will include a cocktail lounge, lunch counter, pro shop, utility room, conference room and – the most unusual feature – a nursery, designed to allow mothers to bring their children during the day when a babysitter is not available.

The alleys will feature 24 automatic AMF pinspotters with underground magic circle return racks.

Construction on the building is scheduled to begin immediately.”

-Moline Dispatch
April 14, 1960

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