Before the creation of the PBA and the popular Pro Bowlers Tour show, bowling was televised weekly on Championship Bowling. The show ran from 1954-1960 and featured two current stars facing off in a 3-game match.
Many of the shows can be found on YouTube and this one features Andy Varipapa and Steve Nagy, circa 1956. An interesting historical fact comes out in the opening introductions. During the practice session Andy rolled the 78th and final 300 game of his career; and we know it was a true 300 because Steve Nagy was keeping score!
Here is a copy of Andy’s letter of acceptance from Executive Director Eddie Elias into the PBA in January 1959, entering in the second wave of incoming members which included his son, Frank Varipapa.
While the PBA came around too late for Andy to make the most of it, he participated in 5 or 6 tournaments until he retired from competition in 1962 at the age of 71. He was a proud member and supporter of the PBA, always present at tour stops when they came to town and regularly interacting with members and fans.
Click on the letter to see a larger version. Also check out the impressive list of bowling luminaries and champions under the Officers list on the left side.