Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jimmy Goodley -- King of Bowling

I edited the story about Jimmy Goodley and his baseball career because it pertained to how he met his wife, Vivian. What was a big part of Jimmy’s life that I left out was his bowling. He is a star bowler.
Jimmy was 16 years old during WW II. He and the men in the picture with him were known as :"The Traveling Bowlers".  They went from area to area traveling by car even when gas was tightly rationed. Their team won the first place trophy.  Jimmy is the second from the right.
Once they were married Vivian kept a scrapbook of Jimmy’s reported achievements in bowling.
The first clipping written by Lem Holmquist, sports writer for Wilmington's (Delaware) Newspaper. On November 8, 1977, Holmquist wrote about the
  • "leading bowlers rounding out the men's top ten is Jim Goodley, a new member of the top 10, at 195."
January 8, 1978, Holmquist wrote,
  • "Who's the no. 1? bowler in state, then added three men's names who are good bowlers in the state, then added, "Another candidate for "best bowler" would have to be Jim Goodley. Jim Godley is tearing the lanes apart at Prices Lanes, a house that many bowlers stay away from because "it's too hard to hit."
February 21, 1978,

  • "New member in the 600 club named Gray Miller--605. Others were listed who bowled 575, 543, 507, and 474. They don't get much ink here. Nice Rolling! One word for "Gentleman Jim" Goodley '704 -- Terrific!"

Holmquist wrote, "February 26, 1978,
  • "Big Jim" Goodley turned in a big "super-sub" effort this past week at Price Lanes. Rolling in the Price Lanes Kirkwood Men's loop, Goodley dazzled the competition with an opening of 258. He came right back with a 234, and game three a big 10th frame carried the veteran righthander over the 700 mark. His final game was 212 for a 704 series.
  • This winter league has got to be one of the most enjoyable seasons for Goodley, who has registered several 700's."
February 21, 1978,
  • "New member in the 600 club named Gray Miller--605. Others were listed who bowled 575, 543, 507, and 474. They don't get much ink here. Nice Rolling! One word for "Gentleman Jim" Goodley '704 -- Terrific!"
April 16, 1978, Holmquist wrote with very large letters in the headline,
  • GOODLEY scatters pins at 203 average "It has been a very big week for '"Big Jim" Goodley. The veteran righthander has really found the "strike zone" at Prices Lanes, his home-away-from-home. Last Monday night, in the house Mixed Major League, Jim smashed out a gigantic 700 series, his first in the league this season. After a 259 opener, Jim came back with a 237, then followed with a 255 for a 751 total.
  • "It was second in the league this year, and is the new league high series. Tuesday night he traveled to Fair Lanes in Towson, Md., to compete in the pro tour stop Pro-Am. He got off to a bad start--157 -- but he managed to edge pro Roger Tramp by two pins.
  • "PBA member Butch Soper was no match for Jim in game two, as he bunched strikes for a 243 while Soper hit 192. In his final game Jim had a little deuce, 205, and was edged by Jerry Smyth who hails from Alaska and has only been on tour for a year. Smyth bowled 211. Goodley's series total was a respectable 605.
  • "Thursday night, back home at Price Lanes, Jim had them buzzing for a fourth time this season in the Men's Major League when he struck for 717 on games 204-245-268. The week's summary for "Big Jim" looks like this: nine games, 2073 tota pins, a 230.3 average!"
April 15, 1979
  • Big Jim Goodley 663.
Written on March 20, 1978 was
  • "Jim Goodley had 201 - 222 - 200 for 623. Team totals "Why Not? Goodley 547.
Sunday News Journal April 23, 1978
  • It took him almost all season but Jim Au (Jimmy Goodley’s son-in-law) finally posted a 600. A little one at that, but still a '6'. Thursday night in the Men's Major League at Price Lanes Jim had a 258 single and looked like he wouldn't have any trouble beating '6'. But he slumped in game three and barely made it woth a 159 for a 603 total. Shortly Jim Au will stop rolling bowling ball and start hitting two other balls: soft ball and golf ball.
April 23, 1978, Holmquist said,
  • "Remember I told you last week about "Big Jim" Goodley beating two out of three pros he competed against in the pro-am at Fair Lanes, Towson, Md.? Well, one of his victims, Butch Soper, went on to win the pro tourney stop. Jim Goodley beat Soper 243--192."
May 18, 1978,
  • The name of the team WHY NOT saw Jim Au bowling 571 with Jim Goodley bowling 540.
Jimmy Goodley & Jimmy Au partners in more than bowling.
May 21, 1978
  • The Adam's4 team swept the championship in the Price Lanes Major League by taking first place in both halves . The league, which has a prize fund of over $10,000, saw "Big" Jim Goodley set a record season high average mark of 2 01. He also posted the highest three game series with a 716. ( A hand written note said, "Jim, This is for rolling the highest three game series in the WBA for the 1977-78 season. Nice Going, Bill.")
November 8 and November 23, 1978, Again, written by Holmquist,
  • "Rounding out the top ten men bowlers in the state is Jim Goodley, a new member of the top 10, at 195."
December 17, 1978, Holmquist wrote,
  • "42 men will enter in the U.S. Open qualifying tournament today. Several top name local keglers in Newport will include Jim Goodley."
December 31, 1978, Sharon Au, daughter of Jimmy and Vivian Wright Goodley, invited the family for a New Years party and asked everyone to bring a New Years Resolution. Orville Wright brother of Vivian, chose to write a poem about everyone in the family. He wrote about Jimmy Goodley,
"The perfect game is rare, eluding him so far,
Even though his game is well over par.
But a firm resolution from Jim Goodley is clear,
Unlike the Phillies - he won't wait until next year.
April 15, 1979, Holmquist wrote,
  • "Across town Thursday night at Price Lanes, seven members of the Price Men's Major League put on quite a scoring display. Chuck Colvin topped the "sensational seven" with a 757 series. A 289 middle game was the key to his success. It gained him a Century Award for bowlng 100 pins over his average (182). In all the years before I only remember one other bowler getting a century patch in this league. Rounding out the sensational seven included Big Jim Goodley, 663."
April 22, 1979, Holmquist said,
  • "Literally thousands of strikes had been recorded at Price Lanes 52 lane center. But no one had ever been able to string 12 straight strikes in a single game. That all came to an end Thursday when Dick Purdie of Elkton, Md., buried the final three balls to record Price's first 300, and broke 700 for the evening.
  • "It was really something to see, said veteran Price bowler Jim Goodley, who holds top average in the league. 'He got a break in the ninth frame when a late four pin fell. But the final three were all there. The final strike was really something; it just tore the pins apart.' '
May 6, 1979,
  • Holmquist wrote about a 15 year old junior bowler Hudak who 718 who had bowled "lots of 600's" Hudak wasn't the only bowler in the league. "Big Jim" Goodley, the best house bowler at Price, scored his first ' 7' of the year with a 701.
June 1, 1979, Holmquist wrote,
  • "Adams team delivers an encore . . . The Adams 4 victory ended the most exciting year the league has ever had. It was the year that saw Dick Purdie bowl the first 300 at Prices. Adams came within two pins duplicating that feat a couple of weeks later as he bowled a 298. Two weeks ago seven 700s were bowled in the league, one of them a 768 by a 17 year-old sub Andy Anderson. And while he didn't average better than 200 like he did last year (201), "Big Jim" Goodley again won the league high-average title with 196.4.
September 16, 1979,
  • Al Cartwright, sports writer for the New Journal, wished Jimmy Goodley Happy Birthday on 52nd birthday.
November 24, 1979
  • Lem Holmquist wrote with pride about the outstanding play for Delaware entries in the world's No. 1 participant indoor sport, Bowling. Perfect games, super high games rolled one right after another, and some outstanding tourment play marked the competition. Three 300s were recorded - all in tournament action - and another 800 series, whch is even more rare than perfecto, was fashioned. It was in tourney play that the high trio was fashioned. You do not need anything more than the ten fingers on your hands to count the number of 800s that have been bowled in Delaware. Just for the record, Jim Goodley and Jim Skinner were the divisional winners.
  • After more than 20 years of bowling Jimmy Goodley "known as one of the most well known bowlers in the area" was asked to write a column to become a feature in the Sunday Paper every weekend entitled Good Bowling Advice. He wrote about proper equipment; shoes should fit properly with proper soles on shoes--for right-handed or left-handed bowler; a ball drilled just for you; and, older bowlers should be willing to help junior bowlers, etc. Jimmy Goodley has given free lessons to all who need help.
January 20, 1980
  • Jim Goodley, Newark, has been re-elected president of the Delaware State Men's 700 club.
In 2008, he is 81 years old and gives free lessons to the elderly, usually driving to their homes to see they have a ride. Often he has to stand behind older ones to help them if they start to fall.

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