July 24, 2002
The history of Skee-Ball is truly the history of America. Over nearly 100 years, Skee-Ball has delighted and enraptured millions of fans, and etched countless moments onto the American tableau. To help celebrate this remarkable legacy, Discover® and the National Skee-Ball Association® invite you to be part of history by voting to determine the most memorable moment in Skee-Ball history.
A panel of experts including rollers, executives, and sportswriters have selected ten moments for our ballot. Simply use the ballot box to your left to select your most memorable Skee-Ball moment. We'll announce the winner at a special ceremony during this year's Atlantic City Championships.
- 1909 J.D. Estes replaces 40-pound steel ball with nine smaller wooden balls, introduces Skee-Ball's "modern era."
- 1922 Joey "Spats" Murphy wins inaugural NSBA event, the first of his 22 titles.
- 1928 Mickey Merkin throws record 1340 series in Championship Finals, caps greatest comeback in NSBA history.
- 1935 One-armed roller Jehoshaphat Smith breaks arm during tournament, ekes out gallant third-place finish using only his feet.
- 1947 Frederick "Frenchy" Frechette shatters the "Border Barrier," becomes first Canadian to appear in an NSBA event.
- 1951 17-year-old prodigy Zachary "Kid" Brinton eaten by coyotes during last outdoor Championships.
- 1963 Syphilis-ravaged Al Galvin delivers famed "God, how I've hated you all" farewell speech to sellout Atlantic City crowd.
- 1969 Sammy Syrop becomes first roller to win Grand Slam: Atlantic City, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Southern California.
- 1974 Tank Zimmerman wins 437th jumbo stuffed bear, breaks Al Galvin's career mark.
- 1993 Jock Casey rolls an 810 in the finals to cap off 1890 series — both records.
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