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Ron Bell

Many a young Akron bowler had the dream – get a crack at the pro tour, win a tournament on TV, qualify for the world’s biggest tournament in your hometown. That dream came true for Akron’s Ron Bell. Bell was one of the Akron area’s top bowlers in the late 1970’s and early 80’s counting two Akron Open, two Stark County Masters and three Beacon Journal Classic titles among his more than 40 tournament victories. Bell made history in 1978 when he became the first amateurs to reach the TV finals of the U.S. Open. He placed fifth in Greensboro, N.C., losing to eventual champion and PBA Hall of Famer Nelson Burton Jr. A year later in a tournament in Rochester, N.Y, Bell set a then-world record for a four-game series, rolling 1,127 on games of 279, 300, 258 and 290. But Bell still yearned to prove himself on the PBA Tour, where he had played in 13 events in his first venture in 1975. Recommitted to his game, Bell went back out on the tour in 1984, this time coming home a champion. Bell recorded five top-five finishes from 1985-88, before finally breaking into the winner’s circle in 1989 by capturing the Fair Lanes Open in Baltimore. That fulfilled Bell’s dream, qualifying him for an appearance in the Firestone Tournament of Championships at Riviera Lanes where he finished 38th in the field of 52. A series of back problems forced Bell off the tour in 1990but he finished with career earnings of $220,995 and 11 TV final appearances.

Inducted 1997 | Bowling