It was natural that Dick Gran would eventually be a hall of fame bowler. Why wouldn't he since his father owned the Gran Lanes at the corner of Arlington and Triplett in southeast Akron. Gran literally was raised in the family business and as a result he began bowling at the very young age of five. He could bowl as many games as he wanted and when he wanted. By Gran's calculations, he has been bowling for 47 of his 59 years of life. "The difference is I stopped bowling for seven years, said Gran, to concentrate on building up Seven Hills Country Club's business, which he co-owns in Hartville.
Needless to say, Gran has filled those 47 years with a lot of success and highlights. Rolling a perfect game of 300 is one standard great bowlers are judged. Gran certainly ranks with some of the best with 45 perfect games, 12 of those came in sanctioned competition. Another gauge of a bowler's prowess is a score of 800 and above in a three-game series. Gran doesn't remember the total number but, he knows that he had nine in sanctioned play, including a career high 838.
Gran has won 16 titles in singles and 24 in doubles during his career, mostly while competing in Summit and Stark counties. Early on, as a student and member of the intercollegiate bowling team at the University of Akron, Gran finished second in singles during the 1972 NCAA Regional. Three years later he joined the Professional Bowlers Association and has been a member ever since. Twice he won the Northeast Ohio singles title in the U.S Open Qualifier. In 1987 he captured the singles title at the West Virginia Pepsi Cola Championship in Morgantown and a year later finished first in singles at the Ohio Inner City Championship in Bucyrus. While a team member, Gran helped Kent Lincoln-Mercury capture the National Bowling Association (NBA) title in 1998 and with the Seven Hills Country Club team that he sponsored, won the NBA titles in 2004 and '05. In 2006, he joined with Eric Emerson to win the NBA Doubles Championship over 200 doubles teams. Gran, at the age of 58, became the oldest player to win a major Stark County open singles event when he won the 2011 John Klonowski Memorial.
Gran was inducted into the Tri-County Bowling Hall of Fame in 2004, and this past April he was inducted into the Stark County Bowlers Hall of Fame.