PBA member Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., escaped serious injury when he was struck in the head by his own bowling ball and knocked unconscious during a recent league bowling accident.
After leaving a 4-6-10 split, O’Grady said he was trying to throw his spare ball hard in hopes of bouncing a pin out of the pit, but the ball hung up on his thumb. His hand went straight up, poked a hole in the ceiling and the ball came loose, striking him in the head. He said he lost consciousness momentarily and remembers waking up in a nearby hospital trauma center.
Two weeks later, he’s still suffering from periodic headaches and bouts of nausea, but nothing serious enough to keep him from bowling in the PBA Al Jones Memorial Eastern Open where he finished second to Patrick Allen.
“During roll call before our squad, I knew I was getting the 2016 East Region Player of the Year award from (PBA East Region manager) Russ Mills,” O’Grady said, “but he also presented me with a hard hat with a Storm logo. Everybody got a good laugh, including me. It was pretty funny.”
Ironically, less than two weeks earlier, two-time PBA Tour titlist and periodic PBA50 competitor Kent Wagner of Bradenton, Fla., had a similar experience during the USBC Open Championships in Las Vegas. In a widely-distributed video seen on social media outlets, Wagner’s ball also stuck on his thumb, went straight up in the air and just missed hitting him in the head.