‘Dollars’ returns

by Bob Johnson 0

If you were a bowler during the 1970s, and lived in a fairly good-sized metropolitan area, chances are you had the opportunity to watch a program called "Bowling for Dollars."

Some of the most famous names in broadcasting served as hosts of the show's regional editions, including Los Angeles Lakers' play-by-play man Chick Hearn and Dallas Cowboys' announcer Verne Lundquist (who went on to a long, still-in-progress career with CBS Sports).

In Minnesota's Twin Cities, the host was a local sports reporter, Tom Ryther, who presided over the proceedings on KSTP-TV.

Last night — for one night only, as they say in show biz — Ryther revived "Bowling for Dollars" during an appearance at Bryant-Lake Bowl. The evening's festivities included showing clips from the program, a Q&A session and even the chance for attendees to win prizes.

"I put my heart and soul into that show," Ryther, now 72, told the Pioneer Press. "I still have a gold jacket I used to wear."

- - - - -

Do you have memories of the "Bowling for Dollars" program in your city? Who was the host? Leave a response below or on BJI's Facebook page.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

BJI Subscribe Now