THE STORY OF 1000 POINTS: HOW DOES IT HAPPEN??
Earl Ball Speaks: I’m sure no one starts out playing shuffleboard with any thought of scoring 1000 points or winning a hundred tournaments any more than Babe Ruth started out to hit 700 home runs, let alone 60 in a season; it just happens!
Here’s the bare outline of how I did it with many, many side stories for a later time! In 1999 around the Labor Day time frame I was in Hendersonville North Carolina to play the Eastern National Singles. I took 2nd but beat some great players in doing it. Among others were Dave Minnich and Skip McCoy before Mickey Henson beat me for the Championship; leading to Tournament Director Glen Peltier advising me to try the Pro circuit in Florida that winter. I did and as they say the rest is history. I lined up Don Darwin, a great Zephyrhills Player, for the 1st Tournament in Pt Charlotte, we didn’t place. I had Ken Offenther for the 2nd Tournament in St Pete and Ken worked his fanny off and dragged me to a 3rd place finish in Consolation, I had placed in only my 2nd tournament. The 4th Tournament was in City Island which is Daytona. My Partner was Stan Williamson and we took 2nd place making me an instant Pro; we only lost because I made a terrible mistake late in the 3rd game. Stan and I went on to win the 1st National Championship of the new Millennium in January. I was living the whole experience so I didn’t realize I was doing anything special but when I won the Tournament of Champions, giving me 42 points for the season, I qualified for the “Masters” as a rookie. I’ve qualified every year since and am the only one ever to do so. Stan became my partner for most tournaments and in January 2002 I earned my 100th point with Stan. Point number 200, and qualification for the “Hall of Fame”, came with Mel Erb in 2004 at Clearwater. Number 300 was with Joan Cook at Winter Haven in a Mixed Doubles Championship in November 2006. I made number 400 with Henry Strong in Leesburg during 2008; Henry and I were playing several tournaments together by that time. 500 came with Stan in 2010 at St Cloud and 600 was with Judy Ross in Clearwater in October 2011. Number 700 came at home in Betmar with Henry Strong during the 2012 season. 800 was also with Henry, once again in Betmar during the 2014 season. Henry was also with me for #900 at Leesburg in February 2016. The general census of opinion is that I will make #1000 this season (I need 13 more points) if I stay out of the cemetery this summer and in all likelihood Henry will be my Partner since we play them all together, except the possibility exists that I will make it in one of the early season Mixed Tournaments.
That’s how a 1000 point career happens!
Earl Ball 2017 08 17.