Friday, March 27, 2009


Bob Johnson of Chicago has been selected as winner of the 2009 Bowling Writers Association of America (BWAA) Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his career of distinguished contributions to bowling journalism.

BWAA also has announced Johnny Petraglia of Jackson, NJ, has been selected by BWAA's membership as winner of the organization's 2009 Meritorious Service Award, honoring his years of off-the-lanes dedication to the sport.

Both award-winners will be recognized during the Columbia 300/BPAA/BWAA Awards Dinner at the Luxor in Las Vegas, NV, on Tuesday, June 23.

Johnson served a brief term as editor of the American Bowling Congress' (ABC) Bowling Magazine before returning home to his native California where got his start at age 15 helping Joe Lyou produce the weekly Pacific Bowler. After serving four years as editor of California Bowling News and terms as assistant executive director, executive director and president of Southern California Bowling Writers, he was founding editor of Bowling Industry International magazine, holding that position for five years. A long-time contributor to Bowlers Journal International, he returned to Chicago in 2000 as international editor and was promoted to editor in 2007.

Johnson ranks third all-time in the US Bowler national writing competition with 48 awards and he won another eight awards in the former Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) writing competition. Johnson also edits BJI's weekly eBowler electronic newsletter.

Petraglia, who will be inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in early May for his on-the-lanes performances, will be honored by BWAA for what he has done off the lanes.

For more than 30 years, Petraglia has mentored young PBA players as a long-time member of Brunswick Pro Staff and he fought for their rights as a two-term PBA president, when he helped heal wounds during its most turbulent era of lawsuits that threatened to fracture the organization.

In 1993, he served as coach and advisor to Michael J. Fox for his lead role in the bowling-themed movie, Greedy. He spoke on behalf of the sport as a member of the ABC Ambassadors staff. He created the Reichert Cup - a bowling version of golf's famous Ryder Cup - in honor of long-time Brunswick chief executive and Olympic Games advocate Jack Reichert.

After serving a tour of duty in Vietnam, he worked with a group called "Athletes for Very Important Patients," visiting VA hospitals with other prominent sports stars. He organized and still oversees a special pro-am event for paralyzed veterans and PBA stars in conjunction with the PBA's annual visit to North Brunswick, NJ. Since 2003, he has been a BVL "teaching pro" staffer, visiting VA centers and again helping hospitalized veterans.

Petraglia's little-known, behind-the-scenes dedication to veterans across America is even more impressive when you consider that he refuses to fly and travels everywhere by ground transportation.

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