February 25, 2005 by

Dick Weber


Categories: Sports

Richard Anthony Weber, one of the first big stars of bowling, died on Feb. 13. Cause of death was not released. He was 75.
A native of Indianapolis, Weber was only 8 years old when he developed an interest in bowling. His first job involved setting pins by hand for 3 cents a game. After winning $36 in his debut tournament, Weber decided to pursue the sport as a career.
The right-hander moved to St. Louis in 1955 to bowl with the Budweisers, a 5-member team that eventually rolled a 15-game total of 3,858, a high score record held for 36 years. Weber was the anchorman of the team; he rolled games of 258, 258 and 259.
Bowling Magazine named Weber to its all-American team 11 times and named him the best bowler of the 20th century. A charter member of the Professional Bowlers Association, he won 26 P.B.A. Tour titles and six titles on the P.B.A. Senior Tour from 1959 to 1992.
ABC broadcasts of bowling events on Saturday afternoons turned Weber into an international ambassador for the sport. Known as “The Old Smoothie” and “Mr. Bowling,” he promoted the game by bowling on Miami Beach, inside a cargo plane and on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Weber also made an instructional video for beginners.
Weber was inducted into the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1970 and the P.B.A. Hall of Fame in 1975. He later owned and operated his own bowling centers and served as a spokesman for AMF, a manufacturer of bowling equipment.
Weber also passed his love of the game on to his children. His three sons and one daughter each bowled perfect games (scoring 300 points). One son, Pete Weber, later became the second-leading money-winner in bowling history and was voted to the P.B.A. Hall of Fame in 1975. Pete was scheduled to defend his title in the U.S. Open on Feb. 13, but withdrew from the tournament to be with his family.
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9 Responses to Dick Weber

  1. Peter H

    I remember watching Dick Weber bowl on TV from the 1960s.He had a great game,and a very professional manner.Bowling has lost one of the best.

  2. Lois M

    I remember watching Dick Weber Bowl on television and was privleged to keep score for him a couple of times in the mid seventies. He was polite and always a gentleman. He will be missed.

  3. alfonso hernandez lopez

    Recuerdo la visita de Dick a Mexico, fue electrizante verlo en vivo y como todo un caballero de la duela;, llegan a mi mente tantos recuerdos y tecnicas de el aprendidas, para muchos fue la persona y el bolichista a seguir.

  4. Aaron K

    Dick Weber has always been my favorite bowler. When I looked at a bowling yearbook I looked him up. I had his signature on a bowling pin I have and will never forget it. Mr. Weber has passed his skill to his son Pete, although his skill can never be surpassed.

  5. Chuck Sears

    Growing up as a junior bowler in Houston, TX, my idols were Billy Welu and Dick Weber. My home house was Billy’s Paladium Lanes, and he brought Dick and other PBA stars in many times to coach the juniors.
    When the PBA tour came through Houston in 1961, Dick rolled three perfect games and I had the extreme honor of being the scorekeeper for two of them. That is a memory I will cherish forever.

  6. Mark Holmes

    I only had one true idol growing up and it was Dick Weber. Every Saturday, I would tune in to watch PBA Bowling hoping that Dick would be on the show.It was never as fun watching if he wasn’t in the final five! I still remember when the PBA tour came to the Orlando area back in the late 70’s. I was thrilled beyond belief to get to see him bowl in person! It’s a shame he had to go so soon, but in bowling circles, he will be remembered for years to come!

  7. Greg Bickta

    I remember Dick when I was a teenager when I bowled in a local Pro Am. I bowled on the same pair as him and I actually beat him! Later as an adult with my son also bowling we were paired up with him again at another local Sr Pro Am. We both lost but it was fun!!

  8. bob kaye

    im only 14 and have been bowling since i was about six. i remember back in the 90’s id catch re-runs of his games. a shame to see him go

  9. Doug Cooper

    In 1968, a few of my firends and I drove to Toledo to attend the PBA Buckeye Open at Imperial Lanes. Dick Weber was always one of my favorite players, but I had see him only on the tour telecasts or the old (and great) Championship Bowling syndicated TV series. Weber always threw a very slight hook, usually straight down 10 or thereabout. But when we saw him in Toledo, we couldn’t believe how much he was “cranking” and hooking the ball! Nothing like we’d seen on the tube. He could hook it like Walter Ray when he wants to – but he, like WRW, chose to win with whatever it took. At the risk of sounding like a dork, May God bless Dick Weber.

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