ARE YOU A GOOD PARTNER? A tough question and always hard to respond to! Many players prefer singles just so they don’t have to deal with a partner; I prefer doubles because of the complexity and uncertainty that dealing with a partner brings to the table. Anyone that’s ever played with Stan Williamson knows how complex and uncertain the game can be, but you’ll never have more fun or a better chance to win than when you play with a Stan Williamson type player. Always the unusual shot, always “Showtime”, always very good, which brings us to “chemistry”. Yes, that seems to be the answer to what makes good partners. How many times have you said to someone they could do better if they played with a different partner only to have them respond that they like playing with the person they are playing with! There are lots of those cases and there are lots of cases where the “chemistry” just isn’t right. I’m told that Glen Peltier and Skip McCoy teamed up in the mid 90’s for a season. Now on the surface you’d say they’ll win ever week, well they didn’t. They finished with the fewest points either had had in many a season, it just doesn’t always happen. Some players are upset because their partner shakes his head, I say forget it, you’ve got a great partner. Some are put off because their partner gets upset like Mel Erb, I say give him to me, at least I know he always wants to win. There are many cases where it’s always the partner’s fault when you lose, those people don’t win in Singles either. I always tell a partner to “do what you do” and we’ll be fine, just don’t copy me. I’m a little unorthodox, as Stan McCormack would say.
You want to have a good time, play with some of the legends when you get a chance, what a thrill! I had the chance to play with Lee Jordan, he always apologized for not being as good as he used to be, wow he must have been good because he rarely missed a shot when I played with him. I played with “Jac” (Jacques) Bergeron and didn’t score a point in the first game, I was so nervous; he scored them all and we won the game. In-between games the only thing he said to me was “you’ll be fine now” and I was; we never lost a game in the tournament. Lary Faris and Glen Peltier were fun to play with, even though we didn’t win. Glen always takes the right shot; I don’t know how he does it. I was too nervous when I played with Joan Wheeler and when I first played with Joan Cook; she doesn’t bother me any more. I still get nervous playing with Mike Vassalotti and even though Dave Minnich and I play well together, we seem to lose the big ones. I found Dale Williams and Jack Grant to be easy to play with and win with but I’ll take Stan Williamson at any tournament because I know I have a chance to win and I know I’ll have fun!!
Earl Ball writing in June of 2004.
Remember, click on pix to expand. Also, this article, and others related to instruction and advice, can be found in the Category INSTRUCTION. Pic on left taken on the occasion of Earl’s Induction into the CD HOF. Induction by Stan McCormack. The pic on the right is of Earl’s frequent partner, Grant Boshart, now deceased. Earl inducted Grant into the FSA Hall of Fame on Jan 15th, 2007. Pic taken in ON Canada. Stan McCormack, 2013 03 21.