Back to Hall of Fame
Regarded as the only link between tenpin bowling of the past and tenpin bowling of the present in the Washington area, Rod Thomas has earned his place in the Hall of Fame through his unceasing devotion to the game and its participants. Born in Macon, Georgia, in January 1898, Rod came to Washington as a child and began authoring bowling stories for the Washington Post at the age of 16. In the years that followed, he displayed great zeal for telling the public about the human interest angles, the unusual events, and the stories that went to make tenpin bowling the game it is today in the Washington area.
Rod’s reputation and career has been enhanced by his promotion of the annual Bowlers Victory Legion (BVL) tournaments over the past 22 years. During World War II, he inaugurated the Evening Star bowling tournaments, which sold $15 million in War Bonds in the Washington area alone. His idea spread nationally, with the Treasury Department backing BVL tournaments throughout the country. The seed he sowed through his Evening Star tournaments eventually netted $485 million in War Bond sales throughout the country. In recognition of his efforts, he was awarded the Treasury Department Medal.
In 1962, Rod was the first, and to date the only bowling writer in the United States to be chosen by the awards committee of the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association as the “Sportswriter of the Year.”
Rod retired last February after 34 years with the Evening Star, but that hasn’t dampened his interest in the game he helped popularize through his column in the sports pages.