HOF – Tom Zavakos


2007 – Pioneer
Tom Zavakos

Tom Zavakos may still be the holder of bowling’s oldest record. In 1952, in Port Allegany, PA, two bowlers were cited by the ABC – one, David Gilluly, fourth bowler in the team’s lineup, and Clarence Ellison, the anchor man, had only six misses, four by Gilluly and two by Ellison. None were one-pin misses.

Don Keagle, the team captain, called the ABC to find out if Ellison had set a record. Two days later (for research—they didn’t have computers then) Keagle received a call. He was told that a bowler name Zavakos from Dayton, Ohio, had only one miss in a season, in the mid ’20s.

Many years later, Gilluly, now living in Ohio, bowled in the National Industrial Tournament in Zavakos’ Varsity Lanes in Dayton. The name rang a bell so, after bowling, he went to the desk and asked if this Zavakos was the one who had only one miss in a season, “somewhere around 1925 or 1926”. The man at the desk, perhaps his son, was excited and pleased that someone asked about that record.

Tom Zavakos won seven state tournament titles and twelve other top tens, five of them in second place. He rolled Dayton’s first 300 game on Nov. 3, 1925.

He won three Dayton City titles with 16 other top finishes, five of them second placers. He was on the Jefferson Clothiers team of Dayton which won the ABC Tournament in 1932 in Detroit.

Tom is a member of the Dayton Hall of Fame, elected in 1975. He also was elected to the Indiana Hall of Fame in 2001. He also is a member of Delaware County, Muncie and Richmond, Indiana, Halls of Fame. Tonight he becomes a member of and is welcomed by the Hall of Fame of the state in which he produced so many splendid performances, the Ohio State Hall of Fame.

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