Bowling: Greater Calumet Association honors new hall of famers
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent December 8, 2013 9:08PM
Mike Jakubowski, who announces the Professional Bowlers Association for ESPN, speaks to the crowd at the annual Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday in Hammond. | Anthony Nasella/For the Post-Tribune
Updated: December 8, 2013 9:24PM
HAMMOND — Brevity was a common word woven throughout Sunday’s Greater Calumet Area Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet at Dynasty Banquets.
All three hall of fame inductees — John Dudak, Claude Jackson and Kathi Tucker — were all brief in their acceptance speeches, as all three bowlers were collectively presented by association president Mike Kozy. Even the special guest speaker, Mike Jakubowski, the play-by-play voice for the PBA Tour on ESPN, kept his talk at just under 10 minutes.
That didn’t mean, however, that insightful information, heartfelt thanks and numerous awards were lacking at the 27th annual affair — which has been the setting over the years of many memorable inductions and entertaining, noteworthy guest speakers from the world of bowling.
Jackson reflected back on a career of service in the GCABA, which featured a 14-year stint of coaching high school bowling at Highland, serving on the board of directors and establishing the association’s youth scholarship back in 1997, which was awarded this year to Andrean High School graduate Jake McCoy.
“I’m confident that many of the kids that I’ve coached over the years will be well-known bowlers in this association — and maybe even some hall of fame bowlers,” Jackson said.
Tucker, as she has in past honors, gave recognition to her husband, Rick, and his parents (Dick and Janette), among others, for impacting her game. Dudak thanked his wife and son for their support in the many leagues and tournaments he’s participated in.
He also tried to answer the question of why he decided to bowl.
“It’s a sport that you can excel in individually as well as with a team, and that’s what makes bowling a unique sport,” Dudak said.
Jakubowski reflected back on his days as a youth bowler in Milwaukee, Wis., begging his parents to buy him an Ebonite Mangum 10 — the ball used by the late PBA legend Earl Anthony — and looking forward to watching PBA broadcasts on ABC television with the Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr. calling the action.
“I would get mad when Nelson Burton Jr. would make the television shows bowling for a title because I wouldn’t be able to hear him give color commentary,” said Jakubowski, who has been known by the moniker Mike J. Laneside during telecasts.
Now Jakubowski gets to hear broadcast partner Randy Pedersen give the color commentary in PBA broadcasts on ESPN and the popular online Xtra Frame, which he said is as popular as ever it its short, but effective, history online.
“Put yourself in my shoes watching the PBA broadcasts now on Saturday and Sunday; it’s the weirdest experience of my life hearing my voice on the show,” he said.
Other highlights of Sunday’s banquet included the awarding of the Super Senior Male Bowler of the Year (Evon Fortenberry for a fifth time), Senior Bowler of the Year (Tim Bales) and Bowler of the Year (Sammy Krucek).
For the women, Julia Muhammad was named Super Senior Bowler of the Year, Colleen Lidser Senior Bowler of the Year and Kim Bridges was Bowler of the Year.