1991 – Pioneer
Herman Mergard Jr.
Herman Mergard Jr. is a posthumous inductee into the Ohio Bowling Hall of Fame. In 1932, he was a Cincinnati alley owner and was invited to attend the annual outing of the Detroit City Proprietors. The purpose was to form a National Proprietors Association. Herman Mergard was one of the 22 attendees. On June 7, 1932, Mergard was elected 8th Vice President.
In 1941, as National Vice President, Mergard proposed a National “Learn to Bowl” Program. His Idea was for a universal set of procedures at every level: Local, State, and National. Herman’s program is recognized as the first successful promotion the BPA had undertaken. He served as National president from 1942 to 1945.
With the country at war in Germany and in the Pacific, bowling was classified as a non-essential industry. President Mergard recognized this threat to the industry and instituted National Programs such as selling war bonds in bowling centers, conducting tournaments to benefit various servicemen’s agencies, and participating in the popular Bowlers Victory legion. These programs to aid the war effort gave the BPA and bowling the necessary recognition to avoid the destructive war regulations that may otherwise have been adopted.
Herman operated seven bowling centers at one at one time in Cincinnati and he contributed to various programs and promotions that helped establish bowling as a popular competitive sport available to everyone.
The “Bowlers Days” on Fountain Square and “Bowlers Days with the Reds” at old Crosley Field were some of his successful promotions.