Thorbin enters hall of fame


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



Jim Thorbin was Jim Thorbin on Saturday evening as he was honored by the Lima USBC Bowling Association for superior performance as he entered the Hall of Fame.

There was no braggado, no rambling on about this honor or that – despite the fact that he could have done so to extend his 15 minutes of bowling fame. He was simply Jim, it was like he was chatting with you as he painted a room in your house or even a ceiling.

His voice cracked as he thanked his family for their support and mentioned as many that helped him in the game from Dave Perrine and later with Don Boyed to help get the ball to stop rolling over finger holes.

He also told a great story as some in the room stopped to reminisce about days at Moreo Lanes.

“I remember the first year that I bowled I averaged around 147 and saw how much better so many of the bowlers were in the Elks League, averaging around 180 or even more. I knew that if I was going to compete that I would have to get better.”

In one of his references to his wonderful wife Marlena, he mentioned how his first love was racing, a love he shared with his family. “She really did not want me to race, so figuring that bowling was safer and I did enjoy I decided to get better at it.”

While Perrine and Boyed get some credit, he talked of his bowling ‘lessons’ on Saturday morning at Moreos. The lessons on those days were taught by now fellow hall of fame members such as Boyed, Ron Mericle, Herk Lane, Bodie Boroff and the talented Dick Moreo.

“Anytime that I even finished second back then I felt it was an honor!”

The lessons helped as Thorbin became one of only four individuals to ever roll an 800 series at the House on Circular. In so many ways I am not sure that this may not have been his one singular great accomplishment.

The lesson learned here was that he saw that he had to get better, so he put the work in and took his beatings in match plays as he learned those lessons. He was not going to be average.

Tobe Cardone supplied some added motivation. “I remember when I first wanted to bowl in the Lima City Singles. Tobe told me I could not get in because I did not average 175.” That too supplied motivation for Thorbin.

Whenever I think of Jim I think of that trait. He was not a natural. The road to the hall of fame was not paved for him. He did the paving. Where many became happy just to hang out with friends and enjoy bowling evenings being ordinary, he took those same opportunities and became one of the best ever in our community.

Congrats to you Jim for all the work that you have done.

Jim shared the love on this evening with Bob Edwards and Junior Johnson. Edwards is his driver as they roll in different PBA50 events throughout our region and Johnson he chided for an evening in tournament play when he rolled a 300 to Johnson’s 299. He chuckled as he teased, “I spoiled that night for him.”

His praise for Johnson came immediately there after. “Junior has taught me that this is just a game that life is so much more important.”

Thorbin has meant a lot to so many in the game. He is a current member of the board of the Lima USBC and feels it is important to meet the needs of bowlers in our area. I for one feels he has those needs in mind as he enters every meeting.

He has also been a coach for youth bowlers. The records show that he performed that task for 12 years at least but I trust that he is available at this time as well. The key of course is that the youth or the adult is going to have to be willing to put the work in. When you reflect upon his career, you will understand that it cannot be any other way.

So honored to share this evening with you Jim! The Hall of Fame seems a little more complete,

It was an honors banquet with the Lima USBC also honoring Bryan Slaughter as Bowler of the year, He and his beautiful and talented wife Bethany now have bookend Eagles as she took the honor last season. Nathan Cheney was B Division bowler of the year.

Slaughter and Drew Ambroza were honored with clocks from the association for their first 800 series and Timothy Potts was on hand to receive his ring for his first 300 game.

Youth was served with Abbey Ambroza and Robert Blake grabbed medals for being youth bowlers of the year with Ethan Ramsdall, Olivia Miller, Ann Marie Harmon, Tugg and Lilly Sifrit honored as future stars of our game.

Breaking News … This just in …

Lourdes University in their first collegiate event captured the Ladies division of the Railsplitter Classic hosted by Lincoln Memorial University.

Torrie Bartalone shared, “Bri (Briana Twining) paved the way and Jordyn (Stewart) through the tenth frame strike to give us the title!”

This is a big first win for a program that clearly will rise even higher. Nice job Grey Wolves.

It will be great to see them in competition with UNOH in Muncie next week for the Cardinal Classic.

See you around the lanes …. I really need to get this copyrighted …

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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