1993 – Pioneer
Frank Zitnik Sr.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a pioneer is a person who experiments and originates, or plays a leading part in the early development of something. Frank A. “Bud” Zitnik Sr’s. case, that something is organized bowling! Along with George Vallos and Jack Fitzgibbons, he organized the Mahoning Valley Bowling Proprietors Association. He served as its Vice President then its Secretary/Treasurer for 38 years. He organized the All Star Elimination Tournament, which later became the BPAA U.S. Open. He organized the Champion of Champions Tournament in 1966 and it is still an on-going tournament. Prior to the founding of the PBA, he hosted the Zitnik Classic from 1946 to 1963, in which all the top professionals bowled. He organized the PBA traveling league for men and women which ran for ten years. He organized the first Junior Traveling League, and established high school scholarship fund, from which two students each receive $250.00. These recipients are chosen from a high school bowling league. He also founded the Mahoning Valley Bowling Council in the 1960’s. He founded the WHOT (a radio station) Pumpkin Ball Tournament. To enter the tournament, you need to bowl badly, and get it on the radio. At the state level, “Bud” was an officer of the BPAO for ten years, with one term as its President. He served on every committee in the state organization. He also served as Regional Vice President for BPAA from 1968-70. His territory included Indiana and Michigan as well as Ohio. He has been a continuous member of the BPAA for the past 31 years.
Believe it or not, he actually found some time to bowl, as evident by his career average of 198 and his twelve 700 sets, all rolled before 1968. He is proud of his high game of 286 and high series of 725. He captained the O.H. Grill team to seven championships in the Vindicator All Star League, which was the premier scratch league in the Mahoning Valley at that time.
“Bud” has been a member of the Youngstown Men’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame since 1977, the Hubbard High School Hall of Fame since 1978, the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame since 1989, and in 1990, received the BPOA Meritorious Service Award.
“Bud” truly meets all the qualifications as a “Pioneer”.