USBC Hall of Fame welcomes five new members

RENO, Nev. - The United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame grew by five members as the careers of the new inductees were celebrated Thursday night at the Reno Ballroom.

Steve Cook of Granite Bay, Calif., Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y., John Gaines of Orlando, Fla., and Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., were elected for performance, while the late Woody Woodruff of Long Island, N.Y., was elected posthumously for Meritorious Service.

Cook collected 15 Professional Bowlers Association titles from 1979-1992, including three majors - the PBA Tournament of Champions (1981), PBA Touring Players Championship (1983) and U.S. Open (1986). His efforts earned him election into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1993.

"I sure am glad I walked into that bowling center in 1975," Cook said. "Bowling has been everything to me, and I wouldn't have what I have today without it."

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Kent had a career year on the PBA Tour during the 2006-07 season. He earned his second USBC Masters title and took home the PBA Player of the Year award. He owns 10 PBA titles, including four majors - the USBC Masters (1991 and 2006) and PBA World Championship (2002 and 2007).

"From junior leagues until now, this has been an incredible ride," Kent said. "Bowling has been my life for so many years, and it's so hard to put into words just how special this night really is. I feel like I just won the Masters again, only 10 times better. This is the greatest reward a bowler can ever receive."

Gaines helped Lodge Lanes Too to the highest team score in 110 years of Open Championships history (3,538) and the 2013 Regular Team title. It was the fourth title for Gaines in his 25-year career, which includes Team All-Events wins in 1997 and 1998, and Regular Singles in 1998. Gaines was the 1997 USBC Team USA Trials champion and was a member of Team USA from 1998-2000.

"Bowling owes me nothing, and I owe everything to bowling," Gaines said. "Getting elected to the USBC Hall of Fame might be an individual achievement, but it is far from an individual effort."

Traber's four titles at the Open Championships include Regular Doubles in 1999, Team All-Events in 2000 and 2009 and Regular Team in 2009.  He also won the USBC Senior Masters in 2009 and 2011 and owns 51 PBA regional titles.
"It's an honor to be inducted tonight into the USBC Hall of Fame," Traber said. "I have been fortunate to win so many titles, and that might not be possible if not for my teammates."

Woodruff played a major role in the commercial development of AMF's Automatic Pinspotter, created AMF's pro staff and supervised and operated the installation for the 1957 Open Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, the first major bowling tournament to be completely automated. He also worked closely with PBA founder Eddie Elias to bring PBA competition to national television. Woodruff retired in 1984 after nearly 40 years of bowling-industry service and died in 2009 at age 90.

"He was the president of our family's fan club, and in turn, a member of our hall of fame," said Woodruff's daughter Barbara Mandelbaum. "Tonight we are proud to share him in your hall of fame. If he were here tonight, he would be incredibly proud and sincerely grateful for this honor."

The USBC Hall of Fame was created in 2005 by merging the former ABC and WIBC Halls of Fame. With the five new inductees, there will be 407 members of the USBC Hall of Fame - 271 in Performance, 116 in Meritorious Service and 20 Pioneers.