SURDICH: Bowling pins last forever

June 21, 2013 

— In the early years of bowling in Merced, there was bowling alley on 17 Street in downtown Merced in the middle of the block across from the Merced Theatre.

In the 1960's, the Merced Recreation bowling alley and pool hall burned down to the ground. At that time, the pins were set up on the lanes by pin-boys. One of those pin-boys was Chuck Hise of Merced.

Hise called me and said that he had some bowling memorabilia that I might be interested in. He said it would look good at Bellevue Bowl. He received a pin that was the last one pulled from the burned downed bowl by Johnnie Rocha of Merced.

Rocha at that time worked for the Merced Sun-Star that was located on 17th Street about a half a block from the "Rec."

The "Rec" was owned at the time by Otto Aschbacher and Ken Conway. The pin has been loaned to Bobby Cardoza, owner of Bellevue Bowl to display in the trophy case at this bowling center in Atwater.

Early on the pins were all wood and not coasted with plastic coating as they are now. Rocha and Hise were bowlers at Century Bowl for years. Aschbacher is still bowling at 95.

Women's 2014 Championships

I have more on the Women's, as in the doubles division it is based on. The combined average of two and the following is now in effect: Division 1 (380 and above), Division 2 (350-379), Division 3 (320-349, Division 4 (290-319), Division 5 (260-289), and Division 6 (259 and below).

The entry fee for a women to compete in the team, doubles, singles and all-events will be $140. The total for a four-player team will be $540. There no longer will be a processing fee for teams entering online.

Welcome to bowling

For the second year in a row, USBC has partnered with four of bowling's greatest ball companies to provide their new bowlers with an entry-level performance ball. Bowlers will receive a letter from USBC with an activation code which is required when ordering your new ball. The ball will cost the new bowler only $59 plus $5.95 handing fee with free shipping. More in this offer in the coming weeks.

USBC Senior Masters

Pete Weber put a little pressure on Lennie Boresch Jr, as Boresch opened in the 10th with a split and roll a 205.

Weber strikes out for a 229 to win the 2013 USBC Senior Masters at South Gate casino and bowling center in Las Vegas last Friday afternoon. The win was worth $16,000 for Weber, $8,000 for Boresch.

Rod Tramp, a southpaw from Porterville took home a check for $1,900. If you remember, Tramp rolled in the PBA West regional tournaments that were held at Castle Lanes.

He is also a member of the Silver Foxes B.C. and at every tournament would light up the brackets to his liking. The club finally changed a few rules in the brackets.

Hammer First Blood

Are you thinking about getting a new ball for the coming fall season? Well, Dave Bolles of Bowling Outfitters located at McHenry Bowl has a summer special going on right now on the new Hammer First Blood.

You can get the new First Blood for only $199 which includes drilling, finger grips, and tax. It comes in weights from 12 to 16 pounds.

You can contact Bolles at (209) 571-2700 to talk to him about the Blood, or to arrange an appointment.

Boise Northwest Open

Modesto's Wayne Garber is a few bucks richer after taking the crown at the PBA Boise Northwest/Open at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, ID. Garber came home with $2,000 after going 8-2 in match play last weekend. He was rolling on the 35 foot Cheetah pattern, which is the highest scoring of all five named patterns.

Don Surdich is the Sun-Star's bowling columnist and can be reached at (209) 777-1111 or via e-mail at


Mike Young 204, Betty Brown 192, Bill Simpson 225, Bob Simons 213, Marie Herrera 207, Mickey Wallbaum 220, Tim Grimes 211, Dee Bayer 188, Floyd Friesen 202, Dennis Gray 256, Neill Barcellos 259, Jerry Mason 206, Jeff Stout 236, Justin Decker 279, Mark E. Thompson 231, Gene Frazier 225, Larry Valenti Sr. 259, Ed Huddleston 222, Bill Barthel 229, Roger Ross 259.


Nicole Wagner 540, Deanna Cimmino 577, Michael Bayer 588, Kim Barcellos 608, Mike Coe 641, Dennis Barcellos 644, Joe Powers 655, Chris Elias 656, Roger Ross 648-666, Justin Decker 697, Jeremy Hurd 697, John Montoya 699.

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