2004 – Pioneer
Walter G. Ward
Walter Ward, elected to the ABC Hall of Fame in 1959, was a good athlete who participated in other sports: baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, fishing and horseshoe pitching. A seven-time city or county horseshoe pitching champion, he wrote “I sincerely believe my horseshoe pitching had a great deal to do with the development of my bowling ability.” Walter Ray Williams Jr., perhaps today’s top bowler, will go along with that. A four-time world champion horseshoe pitcher, he has said much the same as Ward, who rolled 24 – 300 games and 383 – 700 series, plus 10 – 800 series.
Famous for his complete record of all games bowled in competition for 29 years, Ward estimated that he traveled 80,000 miles while bowling in 41 states and 225 cities and “uncounted number of bowling alleys with very sort of condition imaginable.” Approaching the age of 50, he gave 1,000 exhibitions and instructions at 263 bases of the armed forces during World War II.
Ward began bowling in the 20’s with a conventional ball (that’s all there was) but in the mid 30’s went to the Bates Grip (along with a few million other bowlers) and later used a semi-finger tip. He delivered a semi )or high) roller which generated great pin action.
Ward rolled against the best — Joe Bodis, Andy Varipapa, Eddie Koepp, Joe Kissoff, Otto Stein, Joe Falcaro and others in individual matched and in team matched, against softies as Steve Nagy, Paul Krumske (voted Chicago’s bowler of the half century in 1951) Ed Kawolics, Joe DiFiglia and many others of ABC Hall of Fame Caliber.
Tonight the Ohio Bowling Council inducts Walter Ward into the Ohio Hall of Fame.