Earl Ball Speaks: 1000 points the Morning After
It’s not yet 6:30 a.m. and I can’t help but reflect back on the tournament and how fortunate or outright lucky I am to have this goal completed. My partner, Ruthie Brown and I, each got a lucky break to win our match on Monday evening against Jerry Miller and Ruth Stewart. We won the 1st game when I got a 22 and 10 off to get back into a game in which they led 37-26. The 2nd game was a clean game and they won. In the 3rd game they lead 40-28 and Ruthie got a 22 and 10 off to flip the game and we won earning a chance to play the ¼’s.
On Tuesday morning we played Doug and Pat Stockman in the ¼’s. I played Doug; the last time I played Pat she beat me up something awful. The Shuffleboard gods were with us as everything we did worked and by then, they had used up their luck on the 1st day, and we won. If you don’t know Doug and Pat you are losing out, they are wonderful people! Yes they were pulling for me but are also highly competitive. Ruthie and I had to earn our way past them.
By now the crowd is beginning to grow and the journey isn’t over; I have two points but need to win another match to earn the 3rd point. We will play Marion Lohbusch and Gus Bondi. Marion and I started in the game of shuffleboard together, as partners; we won the State Amateur Tournament in Hawthorn two decades ago. Gus can hardly stand up but is shooting the eyes out of the shuffleboard disc’s. In the 1st game we threaten to run away and hide getting to 47 in short order and don’t you know, we didn’t score another point! In the 2nd game we are about even. We have 59 and they have 54. I’m at the head and get two disc’s partly hidden on Gus but he makes a great shot taking both of mine off and hiding a seven, I miss the hammer. The score is now 59-61 and Ruthie needs to win the game on her own and she does. Marion put out a St Pete hide and it was a good one but Ruthie didn’t hesitate, she ran the alley for a good seven. Marion removed the cover and Ruthie had to stop and think, she still needed 10 to win. She decided to cover again hoping for a chance to shoot a 10 with her hammer. Marion removed the cover and Ruthie deliberated on her next move. She decided to put one on the other side of the board. I am sure she meant to put in an eight but wound up in the seven. Marion shot it for the kitchen but rolled off a little leaving our seven on but her’s stayed in the high 7 giving them 68 with two hammers coming depending on what Ruthie would do next. She decided to leave their good block and go for the win. She took a deep breath and shot another perfect seven for the win and to salvage the day to that point. The third game went the same way. We trailed 62-59 with two hammers coming and I was able to get a seven hidden but Gus used his last block, to block off the board leaving a shot at a 10 as the only option. Of course I went for it and the shuffleboard gods made it stop in the high 10 for victory and it was over; I had the three points and the crowd all headed to my end of the court; everyone happy that I finally ended the journey.
We went on to play the finals which dragged on to the point that our opponents, Don and Pat Hartford, had to leave for another commitment. They had won the 1st game and were leading in the 2nd game but had to concede and we were Champions.
Submitted by Earl Ball with THANKS!! Stan 2017 11 22.