Jim Schroeder

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Professional Bowler

The quality of an athletic career is often determined not only by accomplishments and rewards, but also by the depth of on-going commitment to the sport, or the extent to which the athlete “gives something back” to those who endeavor to follow in his footsteps. Both of these attributes were present in full measure in Jim Schroeder, Buffalo’s first member of the Pro Bowling Tour.

Schroeder’s milestones on the lanes include team, doubles and all-events Buffalo Bowling Association City Tournament titles as well as singles, doubles and team New York State Tournament titles and a second-place finish in the ABC Classic Division all-events in 1968. His crowning personal achievement was the 750 series which captured the singles title in the 1976 American Bowling Congress Tournament in Oklahoma City. Jim has appeared in this tournament every year since 1949.

Jim was the first bowler from Buffalo to join a nationally recognized professional team when he signed on with the St. Louis Falstaffs and led the team to a world title in 1958. The following year, he joined the equally renowned Detroit Strohs, and paced that team to a city title. The Strohs also claimed a second place in the five-man team event in the Classic Division in 1961.

Over the years, Schroeder has been a tireless contributor to the sport he loves. As one of the 25 charter members of the Professional Bowlers Association in 1959, Jim was instrumental in the growth of the pro tour from humble, cash-starved beginnings into the lucrative enterprise which it is today. He helped publicize bowling through his frequent appearances on “Beat the Camp” and “Make that Spare.” Jim continues to introduce young bowlers to the sport through the operation of his pro shops. Like a pied piper of bowling, Schroeder has reached out to promote the sport in Mexico. Through his television commentary and clinics (the first ever conducted by a pro bowler in that country), at forces and civilians in West Germany. A commentator once noted that few have spent as much time at clinics – local, national and worldwide – as Jimmy Schroeder. In addition, Jim’s role as a Director of Special Olympics International has brought the sport to children who might otherwise be overlooked.

Schroeder’s talents and activism have been acknowledged by his election to the New York State and ABC Bowling Halls of Fame. In 1995, Jim was honored by a hometown whose residents appreciate his enthusiasm for a sport which is so widely enjoyed.