1996 - Joseph J Norris
Joe came to Detroit in 1916, at the age of eight. He quickly took to bowling, and was known as the “boy wonder”, having became an excellent bowler as a teenager. He organized the Stroh’s Beer team in 1933 and was their captain until he left Detroit in 1947. Joe lead this team to many league and tournament titles.
The team was “World Match Game “champions four times, won city tournament in 1936 and 1944, state tournament four times (1938, 40,43, & 45) central states tournament winners twice, and were league champions sixteen times. His Stroh’s team won the ABC Tournament in 1934. He also competed in the international exhibition before the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
He led his leagues with high average in 1939-40, 40-41, 42-43 and 45-46.
He has rolled 13-300 games but only two are sanctioned. He was the youngest bowler (in 1927) to bowl a 300 game.
He was selected on Bowlers Journal all star team for eight straight years ,1940 through 1947, and was also picked on Wazlter Camp’s all-time bowling team.
Norris, still an active bowler at 92, (1996) became the third person in USBC Open Championships history to knock down 100,000 pins on March 12, 1986. He set the record for all-time pin-fall on March 10, 1992 and 123,770 pins in his final appearance in 2000. Norris averaged 193 for 71 Open Championships events, tied for the most years of participation in tournament history. On Dec. 14, 1994, he became the oldest person with a 300 game at age 86, a record that stood for more than four years.
Not only has Joe been an outstanding performer on the lanes but he is also an outstanding promotor of the game. He is an excellent goodwill ambassador for the game and has represented Brunswick and the American Bowling Congress all over the world. From 1950 -1963, Joe was in charge of the ABC tournament lane installations for Brunswick.
Joe has been elected into six Hall of Fames, including:
1954- ABC Hall of Fame
1958- Detroit Hall of Fame
1973- Michigan Sports Hall of Fame
1985- Sand Diego Bowling Hall of Fame
1990 -Southern California Bowling Hall of Fame
1992- Senior Athletic Hall of Fame- Bradenton, Florida
And now a member of Michigan State BA Hall of Fame- June 1996