PBA Champions Patrick Allen, Mika Koivuniemi Elected to Hall of Fame Along With Bob Johnson, Jim Doty

by Bill Vint October 1, 2018 13:52

CHICAGO – Professional Bowlers Association champions Patrick Allen of South Salem, N.Y., and Mika Koivuniemi of Finland have been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame along with veteran bowling journalist Bob Johnson of Las Vegas and long-time Indianapolis tournament host Jim Doty in the Meritorious Service category, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced today.

The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, as part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament that will be contested at the International Research and Training Center Jan. 2-6. The finals of the first tournament on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will be televised live on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. EST.

Allen, a 13-time PBA Tour title winner, and Koivuniemi, one of the most successful international players in PBA history, were elected by an elite panel of veteran bowling writers, industry leaders and PBA Hall of Famers in the Superior Performance category.

Allen won PBA’s 2004-05 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year after becoming the second player in PBA history to finish among the top five in all four PBA majors during the same season – finishing second in the USBC Masters and U.S. Open, fifth in the PBA Tournament of Champions and winning the PBA World Championship.

“I don’t know exactly how I feel yet,” Allen said. “People are always saying you’re a lock (for hall of fame election), but you don’t know until it happens. I’m just happy I finally got there. I’m going to embrace it, and now I’ll have to figure out a speech.

“It was a helluva ride,” the 48-year-old left-hander said. “It just went faster than I would have liked. You blink your eyes and wonder, where did it go? But the time comes for every professional athlete, and the results show that. Your mind says you can do it, but your body won’t respond. You have to know when to say when.”

Koivuniemi, who now resides in the United Arab Emirates where he is coaching the UAE national bowling team, is a 14-time PBA Tour champion who earned his nickname – Major Mika – after winning two majors before he won his first “standard” PBA Tour title. In his first PBA television appearance, Koivuniemi defeated PBA star Pete Weber by a pin to win the 2000 USBC Masters. A year later he won the U.S. Open, and he claimed the crown jewel of his PBA career in 2011, when he won the $250,000 first prize in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions.

“I’m having a really good day,” the 51-year-old Koivuniemi said. “It was a really great call (from Tom Clark).

“I was 32 when I joined the PBA, but I had my experience around the world before I joined. But back then bowling on tour was something you needed to learn about. To bowl every week and to realize how good the players really were was different. Even when you had a good week, making the top 24 or a (TV) show was really hard. I knew I had to get better.

“It’s amazing how fast time goes,” he added. “I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I bowled on tour for the last time. But being in the hall of fame now is a great, great honor.”

Johnson, who began his journey into bowling journalism at age 15, is the only person in the bowling family to serve as editor of four national bowling magazines, winning 75 national writing awards for his news, feature and editorial compositions, many of which directly involved the PBA. Currently Senior Editor of Bowlers Journal International and editor of the BJI Cyber Report, he is a recipient of both the International Bowling Media Association’s Luby Hall of Fame Award and the Mid-America Bowling Writers Golden Quill Award.

“I have been blessed to be able to cover bowling competition at the highest level, to see the best players bowl in the most pressure-packaged situations, and to be able to talk to them and write about them is a privilege I’ve never taken lightly,” Johnson said. “To be honored for the work I’ve done is really something I don’t have the words to describe. If I was talking about someone else, I could describe, but myself? Well, that’s difficult.”

Doty, who has served as general manager of Indianapolis’ Royal Pin Leisure Centers chain since 1996, has served as host for every major championship tournament conducted by the PBA at least once over the past two-plus decades. The 1971 Indiana University graduate joined the Royal Pin group in 1978, working under Royal Pin founder and 2018 PBA Hall of Fame inductee Don Mitchell as marketing manager until his promotion to general manager.

“It’s a nice way to start your week,” said Doty of his congratulatory call from Clark. “It was a surprise. I wasn’t thinking about it, actually. I don’t think you do what you do with the hopes of someday being put into the hall of fame, but it’s always nice to be recognized for what you do.

“It’s not only me; it’s having a great staff of people who make these things happen,” Doty added. “It’s a continuing process. At Woodland Bowl, we have endeared ourselves to the PBA over the years. The bowling industry is changing, but traditions need to be retained and honored, and that’s what we try to do.”

Additional career details for the four inductees are included below.

The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies will be live streamed by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling. Tickets for the event will be available online in the future (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

PATRICK ALLEN CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Patrick Allen, affectionately known as “P.A.” among his peers, had 40 top-five finishes in the 300 PBA Tour events he entered, cashing in 214 of them and averaging at a 218.9 pace for more than 6,300 games. He finished in the top 10 in PBA earnings six times, and won the 2005 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award after earning $350,740 – the second highest total in PBA history (behind only Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s $419,700 for the 2002-03 season.

Allen won his first PBA Tour title in the 2001 Greater Detroit Open, and has two majors in the 2005 PBA World Championship and the 2009 PBA Tournament of Champions. The 2004-05 season was especially memorable because he became the second PBA player ever to place in the top five in all four majors in a single season (second in the USBC Masters, 2nd in the U.S. Open, first in the PBA World Championship and fifth in the PBA Tournament of Champions.

As a full-time competitor, the New York native also won 30 PBA Regional titles including posting victories in the PBA’s East, South, Central, Southwest and West Regions. He has earned $1,539,260 during his career.

MIKA KOIVUNIEMI CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Mika Koivuniemi, who didn’t join the PBA until he was 32, quickly earned the nickname “Major Mika” after winning the 2000 USBC Masters and 2001 U.S. Open before winning his first “standard” PBA Tour title in 2003. His most memorable feat might have been his historic 299-100 victory over Tom Daugherty in the semifinal match of the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions, followed by a victory over Tom Smallwood in the title match of the $1 million event, winning the richest first prize in PBA history ($250,000).

Despite his reasonably-late start in PBA Tour competition, the native of Finland bowled in 405 PBA Tour events and finished in the top five 45 times on his way to $1,851,503 in career earnings. He finished in the top 10 in earnings eight times, averaged 219.21 for 6,774 games and won the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award in 2004 and 2011.

A member of the World Bowling Writers and Finland Bowling Halls of Fame, Koivuniemi has won titles and bowled 300 games in 21 different countries. He bowled the 17th nationally-televised PBA 300 game during the finals of the 2003 Cambridge Credit Classic – the first standard PBA Tour event he won. He is the only foreign-born player to win both the USBC Masters and the U.S. Open, and he was the first European bowler to win the Japan Cup.

In his second year as a PBA50 Tour competitor, he added another major – the 2018 Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open.

BOB JOHNSON CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Bob Johnson started working for the Pacific Bowler when he was 15 years old, and he’s still writing about bowling 45 years later. He is the only person to have served as Editor of the American Bowling Congress’ Bowling Magazine, International Bowling Industry, Bowlers Journal International, and Bowling Center Management.

During his tenure at Bowlers Journal, he produced BJI’s historic 300-page 100th Anniversary Issue and he wrote several key chapters in the PBA’s “50 Greatest” book published by Luby Publishing.

Through the years, Johnson has covered every PBA major tournament among other important events and has interviewed dozens of PBA players. He has written countless editorials and columns suggesting ideas or changes for the betterment of the PBA and the enrichment of its players. He has delved into some of the PBA’s most sensitive moments, including Scott Norton’s decision to “come out” as a gay bowler, how Ryan Shafer dealt with his wife’s suicide, and Mark Baker’s battle with addiction.

JIM DOTY CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Jim Doty is general manager of Royal Pin Leisure centers, the Indianapolis chain that includes long-time PBA host Woodland Bowl, Western Bowl, Expo Bowl and Southern Bowl. Doty, who graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with a business degree, worked at Nora Bowl while attending high school and college. He joined the Royal Pin group in 1978, serving as general manager of 421 Bowl and Woodland Bowl while also serving as marketing director for the chain. He was promoted to general manager of all Royal Pin centers in 1996.

Under Doty’s leadership, Royal Pin Leisure Centers has hosted PBA events over a span of 20 years, including the U.S. Open, PBA Touring Players Championship, USBC Masters, PBA World Championship, PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA League Elias Cup finals among other events. Woodland Bowl is the only center to host all five PBA major Championships.

The Royal Pin group also has hosted the USBC Junior Gold Championships a record five times, the 1999 USBC Women’s Championships and Queens. Nearly 20 local high school teams call one of Royal Pin’s centers home. Doty also is a past president and currently a director with the Central Indiana Bowling Centers Association. He served multiple terms as a BPAA board member, serving on BPAA’s marketing committee.

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