2020 - Ruth Johnston

Ruth Johnston was born September 2, 1895 and died March 14, 1977.

Her bowling career spanned from 1928 to 1950 in Detroit.

Ruth was a member of the Metropolitan League, the forerunner to the Ladies Majors League, which bowled at Garden Recreation on Woodward Avenue.

In 1939, Ruth would become the first women to bowl a 700 series in a sanctioned league, a city record that would stand for nine years. She bowled a 721 series which included games of 245, 245, 231.

In the Detroit News article which researcher, Eric Hartman referred to in Ruth’s nomination, they credit her with scores of city, state, and national titles. In 1931, she won the prestigious Central States Championship Singles Title. In the highly competitive Detroit market, Ruth was the highest average female bowler three times.

At the state level, she won all-events in 1930, 1937, and 1939. During her career Ruth also won six state doubles titles, and at least two team titles. She could have possibly won more team titles as the records are incomplete in this era.

Her highest recorded finish at the WIBC National would be in singles. Ruth finished fifth with a 635 series at the 1947 Tournament.

Ruth was inducted into the Detroit Bowling Hall of Fame in 1973 at a ceremony which was held at the Detroit Historical Museum with a dinner reception at the Pick Fort-Shelby Hotel. It is stated in her obituary during her 23 year bowling career, Ruth never missed a night of bowling.

We welcome the accomplishments of this true Pioneer of Bowling to the Michigan State USBC Hall of Fame in the Superior Performance category.