2002 – Pioneer
Joe Drasko Sr.
Joe Drasko has always been one of the nation’s best non-professional bowlers during the 63 years of his still active career. Certainly he is one of the most respected and best liked performers wherever he bowls. A champion on teams and as an individual, he bowled with and against the greatest. In tournaments and exhibition matches for charities, he defeated such stars as Steve Nagy, Ray Schanen, Ned Day, Ray Bluth, Joe Wilman, Don Carter, Junie McMahon and some others.
Among fond memories are leading off a four-game 930 series with a 300 in the St. John’s Classic in Kansas City in 1947; winning the Southwest Team Tournament (Texas) in 1950 and the Cornbelt Classic (Iowa) in 1951; finishing second in the 1953 ABC with the King Louie Shirts team while shooting the highest ever total to finish second in the ABC; winning the Bowlers Journal Tournament in Milwaukee in 1952; receiving honorable mention for the Bowlers Journal All American Team (although not a professional); shooting 767 on TV in the Tulsa Tribune Singles Classic in 1955; winning the Southeastern Ohio Match Game Championship in 1957; bowling a 549 doubles game with Bob Anelich (Drasko 270 – Anelich 270) in the Amos Imperial Doubles in 1957; shooting 30-769 at Olentangy Village in 1960; winning the Inter-City Tournaments All-Events at Zanesville in 1963; being elected to the Newark, Ohio Hall of Fame in 2000.
Formerly president of the Newark Association, he is now a member of the Lancaster Board.
Best liked? A Lancaster bowler has said, “I never went to Columbus to a bowling event — the Budweiser/PBA Tour stop, a bowling dinner or luncheon, whatever — that some of Columbus’ best bowlers — Bob Hart, for example — came up to me to say, ‘Be sure to say hello to Jow Drasko for me’”. Tonight the Ohio Bowling Hall of Fame says “hello and welcome” to Joe Drasko, a superb bowler, a great competitor and a gentleman.