CHICAGO (Jan. 8, 2019) – Boston Red Sox All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts is planning to return to Professional Bowlers Association competition for the first time since bowling a 300 game in the 2017 PBA World Series of Bowling IX when he competes in the PBA Hall of Fame Classic Jan. 13-19 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
Betts, who also competed in the PBA WSOB VII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, was invited to participate in the PBA Hall of Fame Classic on a commissioner’s exemption by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. The HOF Classic is the first event on the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour schedule. The finals will air live on FS1 at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Jan. 19, kicking off the PBA’s second season of television coverage by FOX Sports.
Betts, who turned 27 in October, has been an enthusiastic and talented bowler most of his life. He was named Tennessee High School Bowler of the Year in 2010 and began developing his relationship with the PBA in 2014 when he made it known he wanted to participate in the annual Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational, an annual fundraiser hosted by the National Basketball Association superstar in partnership with the PBA. Betts has subsequently bowled in the CP3 event three times, winning the doubles title in the 2019 event with PBA partner Tommy Jones who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 18, as part of the PBA HOF weekend.
Betts is destined to become one of baseball’s all-time great players if his career path remains on track. In 2018 he became the first player in Major Baseball League history to win the Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, batting title and a World Series ring in the same season.
Betts, who has been practicing three to four days a week over the winter, is enthusiastic about his return to the lanes to add another chapter to his bowling resumé.
“Bowling is a sport I’ve enjoyed with my family since I was a kid,” Betts said. “It brings a sense of community that’s important in my life.”
The PBA Hall of Fame Classic will be contested in the 14-lane International Training and Research Center which is a joint venture between United States Bowling Congress and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America. It is one of the most innovative and advanced training, research and testing facilities in the sport of bowling, and serves as the training facility for Team USA, among its numerous functions.
Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, is the defending PBA Hall of Fame Classic champion, winning the 2019 title by defeating top qualifier Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., 199-194, in the final match.
Admission and television show tickets, and pro-am information for the PBA Hall of Fame Classic (and other Go Bowling PBA Tour events) are available online. Visit: https://www.pba.com/Tickets.
All preliminary rounds of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic will be livestreamed by FloBowling. For FloBowling subscription information, visit: https://www.flobowling.com/.
PBA HALL OF FAME CLASSIC
(A 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour event)
International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas (all times are CST)
Monday, Jan. 13
2 p.m. – Pre-Tournament Qualifier (PTQ), 8 games.
Tuesday, Jan. 14
10 a.m. – Squad A practice session
2 p.m. – Squad B practice session
6 p.m. – Pro-Am squad
Wednesday, Jan. 15
11 a.m. – Squad A, 6 qualifying games.
5 p.m. – Squad B, 6 qualifying games.
Thursday, Jan. 16
11 a.m. – Squad B, 6 qualifying games.
5 p.m. – Squad A, 6 qualifying games.
Top 14 after 12 games advance to round robin match play.
Friday, Jan. 17
11 a.m. – Top 14, 7 games match play.
5 p.m. – Top 14, 7 games match play.
Top 5 after 26 games advance to stepladder finals.
Saturday, Jan. 18
5 p.m. – PBA Hall of Fame dinner (cocktail reception at International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame; HOF induction ceremonies at Arlington Hilton).
Sunday, Jan. 19
Noon – Top 5 stepladder finals (1 p.m. EST; live on FS1).