By Emil Williams Jr.
LAS VEGAS – After waiting for more than two years, the six members of the 2020 United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame class were celebrated during their induction ceremony Tuesday at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.
Marianne DiRupo of Succasunna, New Jersey, and Patrick Allen of Garfield, New Jersey, were inducted in the Superior Performance category, and Patrick Healey Jr. of Niagara Falls, New York, was inducted in the USBC Outstanding Performance category. Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pennsylvania, was inducted in the Veterans category, and Andrew Cain of Phoenix and Jim Zebehazy of Leesburg, Florida, earned their spots for Meritorious Service.
The six inductees originally were scheduled for induction in 2020, before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 USBC Convention, along with all supporting activities and events. The 2021 Convention was held virtually, and inductions were delayed to 2022.
Four of the six members of the 2020 class were on-site for the ceremony Tuesday, with DiRupo and Healey Jr. unable to attend.
DiRupo, 55, joined the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour in 1992 and was the rookie of the year that season. She won the first of her eight career titles at the 1993 Ebonite Three Rivers Open at Princess Lanes in Pittsburgh.
She won the first of her three major titles at the 1997 Hammer Players Championship in Rockford, Illinois, beating Wendy Macpherson in the title match. She also won the Miller High Life National Players Championship in 2002 and the USBC Queens in 2004.
DiRupo owns a USBC Women’s Championships title, teaming with Timi McCorvey to win doubles in 1999, and she also has eight other top-10 finishes at the event. She earned Bowlers Journal All-American first-team honors in 1996, 1997 and 1999.
Allen, 51, is the owner of 13 Professional Bowlers Association titles.
He captured his first PBA title at the 2001 Greater Detroit Open. He had multiple wins in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Allen had his best season in 2004-2005, winning three titles, including his first major at the 2005 Denny’s World Championship, and finishing in the top five of the other three major events to earn PBA Player of the Year honors. He earned his second major title at the 2009 H&R Block Tournament of Champions.
The 13 titles in the 2000s tied Allen with Parker Bohn III for most PBA Tour victories by a left-hander.
“I want to thank my father, who always wanted me to get to this point,” Allen said. “He was the one that really pushed me to keep bowling and keep pushing myself to bowl against the guys that I probably wasn’t ready to bowl against. But, he needed to make sure I made that happen.”
Allen was No. 44 on the list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History, released in 2009 as part of the PBA’s 50th anniversary, and was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2019.
Allen also was a Team USA member from 2008-2012.
He was part of the “Dream Team” selected for the 2008 International Bowling Federation Super World Championships in Bangkok, after the world governing body decided to allow professional athletes to compete in international events. He won gold in doubles and team and a bronze in trios and captured two more golds (trios, team) a silver (Masters) and bronze (doubles) at the 2010 event in Munich.
Healey Jr., 53, was a three-time member of Team USA (1991-1992, 1995). In Pan American Games competition, he brought home two gold medals (team, Masters) from the 1991 event in Havana, Cuba, and won three golds (doubles, team, Masters) and a silver (singles) at the 1995 event in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He won gold in doubles and trios at the 1991 World Championships in Singapore, gold in Masters at the 1991 United States Sports Festival, and took the title at the 1995 QubicaAMF World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also earned six gold medals at the 1995 Tournament of the Americas.
The 1994 U.S. National Amateur champion, Healey Jr. took third at the 1995 Brunswick World Tournament of Champions as an amateur and also is a two-time World Team Challenge champion (1995, 1997). He is a two-time World Amateur Bowler of the Year (1995, 1996) and was named to the Bowlers Journal All-Century Team for the American Zone (1999).
He was selected the United States Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year for Bowling in 1991 and 1995.
A regular on the PBA Tour for nearly a decade, Healey Jr. won three titles, including the PBA Tournament of Champions in 2003. He officially retired from competition in 2008.
Healey Jr. started bowling in international tournaments in 1990 and has earned 24 wins in international competitions. He has a 300 game in nine countries and won titles in 14 countries and on six continents. He was invited to be part of the 1992 Olympic Games American Bowling Congress team to help promote the sport of bowling and the sport’s quest to gain medal status.
He was a member of the Lodge Lanes team that won the Team All-Events title at the 1997 and 1998 USBC Open Championships. He has four additional top-10 finishes at the event.
The 1986 Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow award winner, he attended Wichita State University from 1986-1990, and was a National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) first-team All-America selection in 1988.
Learn Jr., 60, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, currently serves as the head coach of the men’s and women’s bowling programs at the University of Tennessee Southern in Pulaski, Tennessee.
He joined the PBA Tour in 1981, winning five titles, including the 1999 U.S. Open. In 1996, he rolled a 300 game in the opening match of the PBA Flagship Open finals, the 10th perfect game in a televised PBA event, to earn a $100,000 bonus and the nickname Mr. 300. He then posted games of 270, 280 and 279 to win the title and shatter the highest two-game (570), three-game (850), and four-game (1,129) series in PBA television history.
He also owns three PBA50 titles and, in 2017, made the stepladder finals in six of 11 events.
A three-time member of Senior Team USA, he earned a gold medal in team at the 2015 IBF Masters World Championships in Las Vegas and captured gold in doubles and team at the 2017 event in Unterfohring, Germany.
“In 1996, striking out for the (PBA Flagship) Open became a reality,” Learn said. “In 1991, we started having a tour stop in Erie, Pennsylvania. We had the first arena finals in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1993, and then in 1996, I was fortunate enough to qualify fifth in front of my hometown crowd of 4,500 people. You can’t write the script any better. I really was trying not to fall on my face, to be honest. But, as it turned out, I had the day of all days. I dreamt a dream, and I got to live it.”
He won the ESPY Award for bowling in 1997, was a Bowlers Journal All-America first-team selection in 1995-1996, and a USBC first-team All-American in 1996 and 1999. He is a member of the Erie Bowling Association and Pennsylvania State Halls of Fame.
Cain, 40, was a five-time member of Team USA and has bowled on the PBA Tour since 2007, but he made his biggest mark in the sport off the lanes.
He joined the USBC Board of Directors in 2007, was named vice president in 2010, and then took the reins as president in 2012. During his three-and-a-half years as USBC president, Cain was instrumental in the creation of International Bowling Campus Youth Development, combining the youth forces of USBC and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America to streamline and improve participation in youth bowling.
Also, during his tenure, the PWBA was restarted through a joint effort with BPAA, as was the U.S. Open, also with support from BPAA.
Cain served on the BPAA, Strike Ten Entertainment and The Bowling Foundation boards, and, after completing his term on the USBC Board, he continues to serve bowling at the national level as a member of the USBC Equipment Specifications Committee and on the SMART board.
“I never did once think that I would be standing here speaking to all of you,” Cain said. “And to think, this recent journey I’m being honored for tonight started because I got a letter in 2007 inviting me to join the board as a member of Team USA. But, what I’m fortunate for tonight is an iconic group of men and women in this sport, in this industry, believe that what I helped accomplish was worthy of this great honor.”
On the lanes, Cain was a two-time first-team All-American at Arizona State University and was named the 1999 Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow. He won the 2001 U.S. Amateur Championships, is a five-time member of Team USA (2002-2003, 2005, 2016-2017) and was a member of Junior Team USA in 2001.
As a member of K&K Bowling Services 5, Cain captured the Team All-Events title at the 2011 USBC Open Championships.
He joined the PBA Tour in 2007, making the televised finals in his first PBA event (Dick Weber Open), where he finished fourth. He was named the 2007-2008 PBA West Region Player of the Year, as well as 2007-2008 PBA West and Northwest Region Rookie of the Year. In 2017, the left-hander rolled a PBA five-game record of 1,352, including a 300 game, in the PBA Cheetah Championship at the National Bowling Stadium.
Zebehazy, 69, was instrumental in promoting and developing youth bowling and helped lay the groundwork for the Junior Gold Championships.
He started his career in the bowling industry in 1971 as a pinsetter mechanic and pro shop rep at Airport Bowling Center in Buffalo, New York, and later joined the Buffalo Bowling Association board.
In 1983, he became a field representative for the American Bowling Congress, visiting more than 1,500 associations in the Northeast and teaching Certified Lane Inspection Workshops. He took over as ABC’s Group Executive for Field Service in 1989.
In 1998, he was named Executive Director of the Young American Bowling Alliance, overseeing staff, programs and services, and strategic planning. During his tenure, he implemented David Dahm’s concept of the Junior Gold program, provided the vision for the USBC Youth Open Championships and initiated the Gift For Life Scholarship program.
He was directly responsible for the creation of the Registered Volunteer Program, one of the first safety programs put into place in the world of youth sports, and was a key person in improving and advancing the SMART program.
“I get a lot of credit for the Junior Gold program, but it was started by David Dahms,” Zebehazy said. “He was the one who got it off the ground working with the YABA Board of Directors at the time. We had a couple of real strong goals, and one of them was to give youth bowlers something to strive for. In the later years, you would hear the kids talking, ‘I finished 450th last year. I’m going to break the top 200 this year.’ We were setting it as a goal for their development, and it was a gauge for them to see how they were doing against other Junior Gold bowlers from across the country.”
His role in YABA ended with the merger of the sport’s major organizations to form USBC in 2005. He supported the merger and played an integral role in helping to push the initiative to completion. The YABA board created the Annual Zeb Scholarship in 2005 in recognition of his dedication to the organization.
He joined USBC in 2005 as a field representative, a position he held until his retirement in 2015.
In 2010, Zebehazy received the Kerm Helmer Horizon Award, given to leaders in the youth bowling community who have displayed the courage, determination and ability to develop far-reaching programs of national scope that provide fun and exciting opportunities.
Now including the 2020 class, there are 438 members of the USBC Hall of Fame - 225 in Superior Performance, 122 in Meritorious Service, 52 in Veterans, 22 in Pioneer and 17 in Outstanding USBC Performance.
The 2021 and 2022 classes will be inducted Wednesday at The Orleans, starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. The ceremony will be broadcast live at BowlTV.com.
The USBC Hall of Fame was created in 2005 by merging the former American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress Halls of Fame.
Visit BOWL.com/HallofFame for more information on the USBC Hall of Fame.