When this reporter joined the sports staff of the Buffalo Evening News 51 years ago this week, there was a veteran lineup of columnists, writers and copy editors.
The roster included Charley Young (editor), Allie Cohen (horse racing and assistant editor), Steve Weller (lead columnist), Larry Felser (Bills), Dick Johnston (Bisons hockey and college sports), Cy Kritzer (Bisons baseball and Little Three basketball), Bob Feeney (autos, outdoors), Dick Stedler (high schools), Bob Schreiber (high schools), Frank Wakefield (boxing and golf), Bob Federspiel (high schools, overnight desk), Lowell Keller (copy desk), Sturgis Hedrick (copy desk) and Maury May (bowling, amateur baseball, harness racing).
May, who died at age 92 on Dec. 8 after a period of declining health, was the last surviving member of the staff I joined as the "baby" in December 1967.
Oddly, even though we were on the same sports staff for more than 25 years, Maury and I hardly ever worked side-by-side in the same locale. He worked the overnight sports desk, and handled the Buffalo Braves copy that I filed from various NBA outposts.
Until he left the News in 1993, May covered the golden years of bowling in Western New York. He chronicled the exploits of players such as Nin Angelo, Mike Hanes, Dick Ciprich, Pete Cambio, Jimmy Schroeder, Tom Harnisch, Tom Baker, Mike Neumann, Doris Coburn, Cindy Coburn, Betty Maw, Phyllis Notaro and so many others.
In those years, 300 games bowled locally were major events and called for interviews and feature stories almost in The News. There were reports almost daily on what was going on at the City tournaments for men and women. Visits by the PBA Tour or the ABC held at the Connecticut Street Armory in 1963 were major events and reported as such.
That bowling era has passed and, now, so has the man who witnessed most of it.
USBC Open to Houston
The United States Bowling Congress filled a hole in its future schedule with an announcement that the 2022 USBC Open Championships will be held in Houston.
The national tournament, which was held in Syracuse this year, had previously been scheduled through 2026 with the exception of 2022.
The 119th edition will be held in Houston for the first time at a new mixed-use, state-of-the-art sports facility being developed in North Houston.
Initial plans include enough lanes for the Open Championships; the tournament's premier side event, the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC; and team practice sessions.
It will be the fifth time the Open, once known as the American Bowling Congress, will be held in Texas. Fort Worth, Corpus Christi (twice) and El Paso were previous hosts.
The 2019 Open Championships begins March 9 at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, where organizers expect up to 55,000 bowlers.
Future host cities are: Reno, Nev. (2020), Las Vegas (2021), Houston (2022), Reno (2023) Las Vegas (2024) and Baton Rouge (2025) and Reno (2026).
- The Greater Buffalo USBC Association Youth Team Tournament continues today with squads at 2:30 p.m. and 5 pm. at AMF Airport Lanes. Today's noon squad has been canceled. Walk-ins are welcome. See rules on the GBUSBC website. The tournament got under way Saturday.
- Several rule changes are in store for three New York State USBC adult tournaments in 2019 – New York State Women, Queens and Open championships. The 83rd NYS Women's Championships will be held over five weekends in April and May in South Glens Falls The NYS Open will be held over four weekends in Waverly, near Binghamton. The Queens will be April 13 in Saratoga Springs. For the first time, the champion of the Open Division will receive a paid entry to the 2019 USBC Queens on May 15-21 in Wichita, Kan.
- The PBA announced a 15-tournament 2019 schedule for the PBA50/60 Tour. The senior tour will feature three majors and three new venues. It begins with the USBC Senior Masters June 2-9 at Sam's Town in Las Vegas followed by the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open in Las Vegas June 9-14. It concludes Aug. 7-9 with the PBA60 Dick Weber Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Story topics: Maury May