Professional bowlers rarely receive the credit they deserve, they like any other professional athlete are called on to perform at the top of their abilities at any given moment, though.
Now, the city of Louisville has its share of connections with bowling, particularly housing a number of major events through the years, and along with those events come a share of top talent in Bowling from the Derby City.
This leads us to today’s Sports legend of the ‘Ville, Billy Hardwick. Hardwick was so prolific during his career that the PBA ranked him 12th in their fifty greatest players of the last fifty years in 2008, thirty one years after that organization inducted him into their hall of fame.
Going pro in 1961, Hardwick quickly established himself as a top star, winning three major PBA Tournaments between ’63 and ’69; a feat which nobody had accomplished prior to him, and since only five bowlers have achieved. In fact, these were won with such authority that Hardwick was named the player of the year in both 1963 and 1969.
In addition, to those titles which bowling analysts have dubbed “the triple crown” Hardwick claimed fifteen more PBA titles throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
After developing arthritis, Hardwick was forced to retire in the 1970’s, however his bowling legacy still stands.
Today, the right handed bowler is the owner of Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes, an alley which opened in 1982, and is located where the 72 year old currently hangs his hat, Memphis.
In addition, he is the father of two; art student Eddie Hardwick, and comedian, musician, television personality, and podcaster Chris Hardwick.
Image courtesy of Steve's Bowling Blog