Sean Rash shows soft side

Bowling fans may know Sean Rash as the current “bad boy” on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, but what they may not know is that the bad boy has a soft side.

Rash displayed that soft side the moment eight-year-old Dan McCarty joined Brunswick players during a photo shoot as the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling got underway at South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

McCarty suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, otherwise known as “brittle bone disease,” and is in a wheelchair.  The congenital disease causes extremely fragile bones and can lead to severe bone deformities and shortened life expectancy.

Thanks to Brunswick photographer Jim McGinnis’s affiliation with the organization Best Buddies, which seeks to partner physically or intellectually impaired people with non-impaired people in a mutually beneficial relationship that cultivates leadership and social skills, McCarty was invited to join Brunswick’s players on the photo shoot.

What happened next is an experience neither Rash nor McCarty will soon forget.

“Dan and I were just sitting there chatting and I was like ’Hey, do you want to bowl?’ And he said ‘Am I allowed?’ and I said ‘I don’t see why not,’” Rash explained. “So I got a ball out and his mom took him off the chair and he threw five or six shots, and the next thing I knew I was inviting him to the show.”

The “show” happened to be the most significant event of the 2011 WSOB—the PBA World Championship, a major on the PBA Tour. When the show airs on ESPN on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern, viewers will find McCarty sporting his yellow Sean Rash jersey in the crowd as he cheers on Rash, who slaps him five after several shots throughout the show.

“You look at what that kid’s been through, to be in that position day to day, it’s just inspirational,” an emotional Rash said in a post-show interview.

McCarty enjoyed full VIP treatment during his visit to the WSOB, including a limousine ride with his parents from his home to South Point, an autographed photo and jersey from Rash, a Brunswick Viz-A-Ball, an ESPN interview and photos with PBA play-by-play announcer Rob Stone and PBA Hall of Famer and color analyst Randy Pedersen, dinner at South Point, and more.

“If you were a little older, I could take you to the craps table!” Rash joked with McCarty in the Brunswick media lounge.

The highlight of McCarty’s day was the opportunity to roll out the ceremonial first ball with Rash before the show.

The arrangement was made possible by the Nevada chapter of Best Buddies, which has more than 1,500 chapters around the world. For more information on the Best Buddies organization, visit their website at