Stan McCormack Speaks: I have had a close association with Earl Ball as a writer, as a human being beginning in 2002. No one has submitted more positive information; no one has worked harder at getting the word out about Shuffleboard and The Shuffler. I believe the article below is a start at explaining Earl Ball, the man about to earn a Green Jacket. I have elected to post a pic of Earl and his very attractive wife Vivian, at the top. It was Vivian’s father, Paul Bush, that got Earl into Shuffleboard!! Paul Bush Story Stan McC. 2017 08 21.
“I AM SCHEDULLED FOR A HIP REPLACEMENT ON Aug 9th, 2004. I’ll DEFEND IN LAKESIDE 1st; I WANT TO FOLLOW WITH THE LEFT HIP ASAP. THEN WE’LL KNOW WHERE WE STAND ON THE BACK!! Thx, Earl”.
Stan McCormack Speaking in July of 2004. Talk about calling the “difficult shot”, talk about “goin for it with gusto!!!” In this matter of fact fashion, Earl Ball announced that he would begin the process of renewal, of rebuilding a good portion of his body, and that, in the intervening period, between now and August 9th, he would defend in Lakeside!!
I have often reflected during my life that there are 3 Characteristics in an individual which determine the degree of success in any venture, any task”!! Depending on the task at hand, the relative importance of each will vary ~~ However; the degree to which the individual applies/demonstrates these characteristics, will determine his/her success.
The 3 characteristics are: JUDGMENT, ENTHUSIASM, and DETERMINATION. On the Courts, in his budding Writing Career, or in dealing with this particular Medical Situation, Earl Ball has exercised, has demonstrated and applied the 3 characteristics appropriately. Take Earl’s comments as published in the Tampa Tribune: Listen to the DETERMINATION when the suggestion is made that shuffleboard is anything but challenging: Take all those images of shuffleboard that might lurk in your conscience, wind them up with the stereotypes and opinions that seem to smudge the sport’s validity – at least with younger audiences – and present them to Earl Ball. The 60-year-old Betmar Acres resident will gladly pound those prejudices into fine granules with a conversational flurry – plaudits, terminology, even strategy – about the sport he has come to embrace. It’s highly competitive, said Ball, who retired from a major automotive corporation seven years ago with the idea of playing golf every day. “[In] golf, you’re playing against the course and yourself. But in this game, I expect you to knock me off and you expect me to knock you off, so it takes you back to the days of sticks and bats and balls – all those types of things.” Now there is a statement of strength, by someone who believes in his sport, someone who is not shy about saying so!! And he goes on, ENTHUIASTICALLY making his point: “Location is essential, but so is foresight and a cold willingness to “hammer a foe into the kitchen” (10-off area). “It’s a physical chess match,’’ And here comes the JUDGMENT: “To be a champion at this game is all in your head,” Ball said. “Physically, there’s a lot of people capable of being champions. But mentally, if you don’t know what to do and can’t pick out the correct situations according to the scoreboard … you are not going to win.” Earl will be inducted into the FSA (Florida Shuffleboard Assn.) this winter.
This is probably an appropriate time to relate a “tale” about Earl, an absolutely true story that started in Brazil in 2002and ended in Lakeside, OH in 2003!! Since I come from the same “district” as Earl, I was aware of his prowess on the Courts!! While participating in the Brazil Inaugural, 2002 in Rio de Janeiro, Michael Zellner, President of the Brazilian Shuffleboard Assn. and I often discussed shuffling and as quite often happens, when you discuss shuffling, Earl’s name surfaces!! We each had an opinion re his skill on the Courts!! Just prior to last years National Singles Event in Lakeside, Michael and I got together online, and made a wager ~~ I selected Jacques Bergeron to win the event!! I did not tell Michael that Jacques was the 2002 Champion and had to be a tower of strength, a formidable opponent!! Michael, demonstrating better judgment, selected Earl Ball. I don’t think I need to tell you that Earl won the event!! I was to have paid my debt~~with a Canadian $2.00 bill, (yes, we used to have them); at the International in Mesa!! However; the right time never seemed to occur~~so Michael is still earning interest on Earl’s ability!! There are a dozen stories one could tell about Earl~~but the message is constant, AND EARL IS THAT MESSAGE! He is forever promoting the sport of Shuffling. As Earl goes to Lakeside to defend his National Singles Title, as Earl begins his surgery ~~All Shufflers Everywhere, and this time we mean “everywhere”, wish Earl a rapid recovery to his surgery. Hey Shufflers, Did You Ever Think That He Just May Be Even Better When He Gets “FIXED UP”??
Stan McCormack of THE SHUFFLER. 2004 07 16.
Posted 2017 08 21. Stan McCormack.