USBC Inducts Five into Hall of Fame

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

2015-HOF-465Five new members of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame had their accomplishments celebrated Wednesday night as they earned bowling's ultimate honor.

Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, New York, Larry Laub of Lincoln, California, Gus Yannaras of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Sam Lantto of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and the late Fritzie Rahn of Chicago were formally inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame at the Ramada Plaza Omaha. The inductions were presented by Haggar Clothing.

Johnson and Laub were inducted in the Superior Performance category, while Yannaras, Lantto and Rahn were honored in the Outstanding USBC Performance category.

Johnson is a 11-time Team USA member who owns 16 professional titles, including five majors - the U.S. Women's Open in 1996, 2007 and 2013, Hammer Players Championships in 2001 and the USBC Queens in 2009. Her resume also includes five wins at the USBC Women's Championships and more than two dozen medals in international competition.

"When I began bowling many years ago I never thought in a million years I would stand before you today accepting this induction," Johnson said. "It's been such a humbling honor to receive this award among my friends, family, teammates and fans."

Laub was a standout on the PBA Tour in the 1970s, collecting 12 titles, including one major, the 1974 U.S. Open. He also owns 12 PBA regional titles, five PBA50 Tour victories and was named PBA50 Rookie of the Year in 1994.

"I'd like to thank the USBC for this special honor," Laub said. "One of the things I learned in my career was you never give up on your dreams and you just keep going."

Yannaras' success at the Open Championships includes Regular Team and Team All-Events titles in 2009, a Team All-Events win in 2000 and a Regular Doubles crown in 1989. He has four additional top 10 finishes on bowling's biggest stage. In Wisconsin, he has collected eight state championships and seven city titles.

"I am very, very humbled," Yannaras said. "Although this may be the most important day in my bowling life, I can truthfully say it's not about me tonight. It was the unselfish acts of people close to me who made this possible."

Lantto has earned 11 top-10 finishes at the Open Championships and been a familiar name on the event's 10-, 15-, 20-year and lifetime average lists, with a current career mark of more than 216. He has two titles to his credit, Team All-Events in 2002 and 2006. As a three-time member of Team USA (1993, 1994 and 2003), Lantto collected nearly a dozen medals in international competition.

"I want to thank the USBC Hall of Fame Committee because they have a very, very tough job," Lantto said. "There are so many qualified players out there and to be able to be elevated and distinguished enough to be selected is an honor."

Rahn was a dominant performer on the lanes during the 1920s and 1930s. Her time at the USBC Women's Championships included eight titles, third behind her teammate Dorothy Miller, also from Chicago (10) and Emma Jaeger of Toledo, Ohio (9). She died in 1985 at the age of 89.

"The fact that she's being recognized 30 years after her passing is truly epic," said Norman Murray, Rahn's great nephew. "The family of Fritzie Rahn would like to thank everyone who helped bestow this honor upon her."

Through 2015, there are 412 members of the USBC Hall of Fame - 276 in Performance, 116 in Meritorious Service and 20 Pioneers.

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.

For more information on the USBC Hall of Fame, visit BOWL.com/HallofFame.

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