Bowl.com Book Feature
This book feature appeared on Bowl.com on October 23, 2007
"They Came to Bowl"
To many people, Milwaukee always has been one of America's tenpin bowling hotbeds. The long-time home of the former American Bowling Congress and Women's International Bowling Congress, its metropolitan area remains host to the United States Bowling Congress.
That rich past and heritage has been captured in a new book titled "They Came to Bowl." Author Doug Schmidt, publisher of the Tenpin Journal, traces bowling's Milwaukee heritage from its early German roots to the sport that made the city famous.
Covering the sport and the city, the book looks at bowling from the taverns and saloons that housed recreational games to the sellout crowds and million-dollar sponsorships of televised tournaments. Schmidt's wide-ranging research and interviews with popular players chart the changing face of bowling over the century. One of his chief sources was retired ABC Executive Director Al Matzelle, who not only provided first-hand accounts of ABC's decision makers, but also helped fact-check and edit the book.
Featuring numerous photos from the archives at USBC Headquarters, the book includes chapters on Abe Langtry, the American Bowling Congress president who moved ABC's headquarters to Milwaukee from Dayton, Ohio, in 1907. Another chapter focuses on ABC's ensuing years in the area including its move with the former Women's International Bowling Congress into a state-of-the-art building in suburban Greendale in 1972.
USBC Hall of Famers Hank Marino and Ned Day are featured in a chapter of their own as is USBC Hall of Famer Jeannette Knepprath, president of the WIBC from 1924-60 and the first woman inducted into the WIBC Hall of Fame
Copies of the book may be obtained through most major bookstores, Amazon.com or the Wisconsin Historical Society Press at www.wisconsinhistory.org. They also can be bought during 2007 Masters Week at AMF Bowlero and Saturday night at Bowlfest at Milwaukee's Miller Park.