The date was March 7, 1981 at the Imperial Lanes in Toledo, Ohio when Earl Anthony qualified number 1 for the PBA National. He faced Ernie Schlegel, who was wearing one of his famous outfits. Ernie was coming off wins against Dave Davis, and Dick Weber. It was an exciting match that came down to the final ball that saw Earl win his 35th career title, and his 4th PBA National Championship up to that point in time. Both players had their trouble in the 10th. You gotta love how Earl looks to the heavens and says "thank you" when the match is decided. The '81 PBA National was Earl's 3rd victory in 4 weeks, and he won a 4th title a few weeks later in Garden City. He was dominate in 1981 after coming back from the heart attack. In my opinion, Earl was the best. He accomplished more in a shorter amount of time than any other bowler in PBA history. I hope you enjoy the action.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6puJGE6X2Q
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQjNESICswM
$135,000 PBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Having already won the PBA National Championship a record three times (1973, 1974 and 1975), Earl Anthony added another to his collection by outlasting Ernie Schlegel, 242-237, in a tense, spirited championship match in the $135,000 PBA National Championship in Toledo, Ohio.
Anthony could not claim victory until Schlegel, shooting last and needing a strike to win, left a 2-pin on a shot light to the headpin.
Anthony had kept the door open for Schlegel by leaving the 1-3-6-10 spare combination in the 10th frame which he converted. Still, as he sat down to watch his destiny being decided by his opponent, Anthony prepared for what could have been another in a long series of second place finishes.
"It isn't often you can sit on the bench and win," said Anthony after the nerve-racking triumph.
"I really wanted to win this bad because it gives me four National Championships and it's going to be hard for anyone to top that," he added, savoring the prestige of a major tournament win as well as the $21,000 first prize.
It was also Anthony's third win in his last four tournaments on the Winter Tour and he had finished third in the event he didn't win.
Anthony took control of the 56-game qualifying and match play event after the fourth round and went on to build a 285-pin cushion over Dick Weber, the 51-year-old bowling legend and hero of a generation past. Weber had out-maneuvered Schlegel for the second-seeded position with Schlegel getting third, followed by two-time PBA National Champion Dave Davis, in fourth, and Gary Dickinson, runner-up in the 1980 National, in fifth.
It was a veteran and much revered finals cast with three having already been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame (Anthony, Weber and Davis) and the other two debating about who was the youngest (both 37, Schlegel was 15 days younger than Dickinson).
Despite a foul midway through the opening match, Davis edged Dickinson, 204-203. Then Schlegel stepped in to crush Davis, 245-171, and eliminate Weber, 236-204, to move into position to win the first major title of his career.
As nearly 2,000 people watched first-hand at Imperial Lanes in the enthusiastic bowling city of Toledo, Anthony and Schlegel stood even after five frames. Anthony pulled ahead with strikes in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames which proved to be enough to win the 22nd annual National Championship of the Professional Bowlers Association.
PLAYOFF RESULTS - Davis defeated Dickinson, 204-203;
Schlegel defeated Davis, 245-171; Schlegel defeated Weber, 236-204; and
in the championship match, Anthony defeated Schlegel, 242-237. 56-GAME TOTALS