Columbus – April 2019 – Ohio Sports History

The Ohio History Center recently opened an exhibit on the history of sports in Ohio. It featured both professional and team sports, as well as sports geared toward participation, such as these classic old roller skates.

The Cincinnati Bengals came into existence as part of the American Football League (AFL), a couple of years before they merged with the NFL. The exhibit had a rare referee’s uniform from the AFL days.

A classic bowling shirt from the 1960s.

One of the most famous annual events in the state is the world soap box derby championships in Akron.

While the NBA was in existence in the early 1960s, college basketball was bigger. An offshoot of that was big time AAU basketball – Cleveland had a team that was the National Champions in 1961.

The 1970s Cincinnati Reds were a powerhouse team, lead by catcher Johnny Bench and the now disgraced Pete Rose.

High School football is big time in Ohio, and are none are bigger than the Massillon – Canton McKinley rivalry.

Probably the most famous athlete from Ohio today is LeBron James.

The exhibit was ok, but given how much sports history there is in Ohio it seemed lacking in depth and detail.

Columbus – February 2017 – PBA Bowling Tournament Pro-Am

Reviewing the various events in Ohio for this mid February weekend I found that they were having a Professional Bowling Association tournament¬†at a bowling center called Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in the south end of town, giving me a new challenge in photography.

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The PBA is not like the PGA where the players regularly earn millions, and the venue was in an older area of town, so the atmosphere was very different that most professional sporting events I have attend, more personal. When we arrived there was a long line out the door of people coming in with small roller bags with the bowling balls and equipment.

I found that this center had interesting lighting of the pins. Instead of harsh white light across the entire area, it was direction on the top of the pins. With a 600mm zoom I was able to capture the reflection of the pins on the lanes, as well as the ball arriving. Even emphasizing shutter speed the pins that were hit blurred, but those missed stayed clear.

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While most of the people who had come to town and paid $69 were good bowlers, it was easy to tell the pros as their form was just smoother. The pro’s also had their PBA tour patches on their colorful shirts.

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When they announced the players involved, I had only heard of one of them, Pete Weber. But in the end everyone was friendly, with the PBA event crew even letting me wander around the unused lanes for their scheduled Sunday televised event, with the entire stop providing a few cool shots. Who knew the reflection of pins and balls on the oiled lanes could look so good.

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