1948 City Tournament Was a Wild One


It is important to know the rules! One of the best teams in the city, if not the best, found out the hard way in the wild and amazing 1948 KBA City Tournament. A record 124 teams participated that year. The Leonard’s Jewelry team consisting of Cloyd Long, Don Lowry, Francis Fisher, John Cox and Vilas "Peck" Bratton seemingly ran away with the team actual and handicap titles when they shot a huge 3008 actual score.

However, their score was protested. After a long 3 week delay, the ABC upheld the protest and ruled that the Leonard’s Jewelry team must be disqualified. At the time, Leonard’s Jewelry participated in both the City League and Classic League. They entered both teams in the city tournament, keeping three men common between the two entries. The ABC ruled that no three men could bowl together more than one time in any one tournament. Today, you are allowed to have three men bowl on multiple teams, but not four.

The disqualification gave the handicap title to the Continental Steel Flame Sealers team consisting of Merrill (Buzz) Wilson, Chuck Lucas, Pat McKinstry, Bob Kirkpatrick and Bob Airhart.

But the tournament was still not over. The disqualification only served to extend the tournament. You see, there was a tie for the next actual category position between the Moose Governors and Quality Body. This meant there now had to be a rolloff for the title.

So, five weeks after the team event was thought to have ended, the Quality Body team won the rolloff and became the city champions. It is believed that the Quality Body team consisted of Hap Land, Bill Condon, Bud Mower, Cecil Symons and Elmer Cook, since that was their normal league roster.

To add to the excitement, Joe Jansen shot 633 in one of the closing squads to take the singles title and tie for all-events. As if one tie was not enough! This forced another rolloff which Jansen eventually won.

Today, the KBA declares co-champions eliminating the exciting finishes of yesteryear.