Rounding Out the Top 10 PBA Bowlers of All Time (Spots 6 – 10)

By Michael Cousins

In our last article, we revealed our top five PBA bowlers of all-time. In today’s article, we are going to continue down the list with spots six through ten. Once again, this is entirely subjective and in no way “scientific.” But, alas, let us get on with it!

6) Parker Bohn III: 35 career titles, 3 major titles, 3 PBA 50 titles

Poetry in motion. That is what I think of when I watch Parker Bohn III bowl. Arguably the most beautiful physical game of all-time, Bohn combines a smooth, effortless motion with precise shot making. In my opinion, the greatest I have ever seen on the gutter (sorry, Norm and Walter). He is, without question, the second greatest left-hander of all-time.

7) Dick Weber: 30 career titles, 3 major titles

One of the founding members of the PBA Tour, Dick Weber was bowling’s first real superstar and ambassador. Based on all that knew him, he was class personified. In the early years, he dominated the very tour he founded. In fact, he won 10 of the first 23 tournaments the PBA held. He was as universally known as any bowler ever. He made several appearances on late night talk shows throughout his life. Weber made bowling his life, and his life’s goal was to spread love for the game. Weber succeeded. Without Dick Weber, there may very well be no PBA tour.

8) Marshall Holman: 22 career titles, 4 major titles

The fiercest competitor in the history of our sport. No one, and I mean no one, wanted it more than Marshall Holman. Holman finished his career with 22 titles, and while there are other players with more titles than Holman, I fully believe he deserves this ranking (in fact, I might even make the argument that he could be higher). Had it not been for Mark Roth, Holman would have finished his career with even more titles. Conversely, had it not been for Holman, Roth would have likely had even more titles. For my money, the Roth/Holman rivalry was bowling’s all-time greatest rivalry.

9) Don Johnson: 26 career titles, 2 major titles

Like Weber, Don Johnson was one of THE true superstars of his era. He won at least one title every year for a decade. In the early 1960s, if it wasn’t Weber winning, it was Johnson. Johnson is one of our sport’s true legends and earned his way onto this list as both a tremendous bowler and, also like Weber, one of our sport’s pioneers.

10) Jason Belmonte: 14 career titles, 8 major titles

This era’s most dominant player. Belmonte combines power with shot making like no other player in the history of the sport. While he only has 14 titles at this point in his career, he is just 33 years of age. And at just 33 years of age, he already has the second most major championships in the history of the PBA Tour. All of this, by the way, has been done in just 7 full-time seasons. In my opinion, if you dominated your era, and I mean truly dominated – which Belmonte has – you deserve a spot on this list. In addition to his bowling success, Belmonte pioneered the two-handed delivery, a delivery that has taken the sport by storm, at both the professional and youth levels. Thanks in large part to Belmonte, the future of our sport looks entirely different than it did just one decade ago.

Honorable mention: Don Carter, 7 career titles, 5 major titles

Although he only finished his career with 7 PBA titles, Carter was arguably the most successful professional bowler of all-time. Much of his success came before the inception of the PBA tour, which he helped found and govern as the very first president. Among his accomplishments, Carter was named the Bowler of the Year six separate times and was a ten time All-American, he won five World Invitational tournaments, and was a four time BPAA All-Star champion. If we were ranking these bowlers based solely on their professional careers and not just their PBA careers, one could make a strong case for Carter being in the top three.

2 thoughts on “Rounding Out the Top 10 PBA Bowlers of All Time (Spots 6 – 10)

  1. John says:

    Hard to compare eras in any sport. BUT….none of the pros today match up with the 70’s and 80’s. They actually had to put their thumb in the ball. Ridiculous

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