A 78-year-old legally blind man bowled a perfect game on Thursday, May 8, 2008 in Alta, Iowa. Now at first glance it doesn’t seem like a typical “Ladies…” post, but for this WWII veteran who reportedly weighs only 115 pounds, it was a big deal! It was the first 300 scored since the alley’s current owner took over the lanes in 1984. It was reported on Mike and Mike and SportsCenter. It’s all over the internet. So why is it here? Just a sweet story to boost your spirits this weekend!
Dale Davis has faced adversity before: in the service of the Navy, after losing half his stomach to a tumor removal, having bypass surgery on his left leg to improve circulation, going through a divorce, losing his sight. And he’s come close to a perfect game, rolling a 299 many years ago. All this history came together on Thursday and resulted in the perfect outcome. “It was quite a thrill,” Davis told the Storm Lake Times in Storm Lake, Iowa. “When I got to the tenth frame, I said ‘Lord, let me throw three more good balls.’ When I did, people on other teams were yelling and cheering. A few guys were hugging me and almost broke my skinny bones.”
According to James Benton, president of the American Blind Bowling Association, in the association’s 60-year history he only knows of four such times that individuals who are legally blind have bowled a perfect game, and never for someone with complete loss of vision.
Davis’ first job was as a pin-setter making 45 cents a night, and he has a 188-average. His nickname is “The Hammer” for his forceful shots (he uses a 16-lb. ball), and with what little vision he has left he can spot the dots where he should start but not much else. He relies on his hearing and others to tell him how he’s done. But with the sound of 12 strikes last week, he didn’t need much help to know. He bought a round for all those who stayed to watch the end of his game, but doesn’t drink himself as it’s bad for his health.