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The 11th Frame: The Phantom Radio Show history of PBA lane maintenance series compiled here

JEFF RICHGELS | Posted: Monday, August 27, 2012 5:00 am

If you’ve been listening to the series I've taken part in on the Phantom Radio Show over the last year-plus, you’ve heard the Phantom tell some of the most entertaining and amazing stories in bowling history.

With me asking a few questions and then getting out of the way, the Phantom (Len Nicholson in real life) recounted the history of PBA lane maintenance — he was there for a gigantic portion of it — as well as many other topics.

We mostly went chronologically, starting with how Nicholson, as a friend of Billy Hardwick, began traveling on the PBA Tour as a “go-fer” for the players.

He recounted the beginning of the PBA lane maintenance program, which was pushed forward by the infamous tournament where every match play finalist was left-handed.

Nicholson covered the changes as bowling went from rubber and plastic to urethane to resin to particle to today’s super-balls.

Some of the best stories were Nicholson talking about when the new technologies hit the scene and what they caused.

We also covered ideas to combat the many problems advanced technology has caused over the years, from a standard ball to oil-less lanes to special pins.

The site where Phantom Radio resides was hacked a while back and remains down, but the links to all 11 shows are below.

If you missed them and are a bowling fan, trust me when I say you won’t regret spending a few hours listening to them.

It was an honor to be the interviewer who got to ask the questions that got this history on the record from the PBA Hall of Famer who was there for much of it.

NOTE: The links below no longer work, but you can go to the Phantom Radio Show archives 2010-17 and find them: just look for the shows with my name on them with the dates below.