cover of book

They Came to Bowl: How Milwaukee Became America’s Tenpin Capital
by Doug Schmidt
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-87020-387-9 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-554-5
Library of Congress Classification GV908.U6S36 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.358220977595


A frozen rope. A urethane split on the drives. Chicken tracks on the telescore.* Do you know your bowling lingo? You will along with much more when you read They Came to Bowl: How Milwaukee Became America's Tenpin Capital. From the thrill of the perfect strike to the agony of a ball gone astray, anyone who has rolled a ball down the lanes will find themselves or someone they know in the people, places and stories covered in this book.

In this authoritative and lively book, Doug Schmidt traces bowling's roots from a German religious rite centuries ago to the sport that made Milwaukee famous. From the taverns and saloons that housed recreational games to the sell-out crowds and million-dollar beer sponsorships of televised tournaments, this well-illustrated book covers both sport and city, charting the changing face of bowling over the century. Packed with memorable showdowns and improbable heroes, They Came to Bowl will take you back to the changing lanes of bowling in Milwaukee — and the sport as a whole.

* frozen rope=a ball rolled with excessive speed almost straight to the pocket; urethane split=2-8-10 or 3-7-9 split caused by sharp breaking point of reactive resin balls; drives=alleys; chicken tracks=string of strikes

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