Missouri bowler celebrates 50 years at USBC Women's Championships

By Ryne Navarro
USBC Communications

- Marcie Baker of Fredericktown, Missouri, became the latest bowler to join the 50-Year Club at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships after making her milestone appearance Monday at Northrock Lanes.

The 87-year-old right-hander made her tournament debut at the 1968 event in San Antonio, and her journey has taken her to 33 cities and 23 states. Baker received a plaque, chevron and commemorative necklace to recognize her longevity at the event.

For Baker, it's been the friendships that have kept her coming back to the USBC Women's Championships.

"Once I got started, I couldn't stop," Baker said. "The team you bowl against is probably going to be from all the way across the United States, yet you're still cheering for one another and making friends."

Baker's start in the sport was helped by a pair of USBC Hall of Famers.

"I bowled with Dick Weber and Phyllis Notaro at the house I worked at," Baker said. "I just thought it was great and joined a league."

She was joined on Monday by her brother, Wayne, who used to drive Baker and her sisters to the event each year.

"My brother and his wife came because they knew it was my 50th year," Baker said. "He used to drive my sisters and I every year until they passed away."

Many things have made the event special for Baker, highlighted by the people and host cities.

"We all get together and bowl and enjoy each other," Baker said. "When we aren't bowling, we like to go around the city to see the points of interest, which are really neat."

In her 50th appearance, Baker rolled sets of 440 in doubles, 438 in team and 415 in singles for a 1,293 total. No matter the final score, though, she encourages all bowlers to enjoy their tournament experience.

"Everyone should definitely come and participate," said Baker, who helped her team to a fourth-place finish in Division III at the 2001 event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "You don't have to be the best bowler. If you bowl well, that's great. If you don't, you get to meet other bowlers and enjoy the host cities."

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