John Hinkle’s dad loved bowling but never got to experience a perfect game…while he was alive. John wanted his dad to get to be part of a 300 game, so the former collegiate bowler had his father’s ashes put in his bowling ball. And then he used that ball to roll a perfect game.
“I had tears in my eyes in the 11th and 12th frames. I couldn’t tell you where that last ball went, I had so many tears just throwing it,” Hinkle told a local media outlet in Peoria. He’s had 300 games before, but this was the first time he ever used the special ball with his dad’s ashes in it.
John’s dad passed away five years ago, and the family wanted to find a way to put his ashes in a bowling ball. It took John a few years to find someone who could do it. He bowls two-handed, which means he needs to have the third hole filled, so he thought that’d be the perfect way to go.
“I can’t express what tonight means to me,” he wrote on Facebook. “I just bowled a 300 with my ball I put my Dads ashes in. He never had a perfect game until NOW.”
John’s brother joked that this perfect game made up for the nights they spent sleeping in the bowling alley as kids while their parents finished up league night.
Peorian John Hinkle wanted his late father to experience a 300 game. So he placed his ashes in a new bowling ball and the first time he used it in league competition last week… a 300.
— Kurt Pegler (@KurtPegler) April 21, 2021
John, now a school counselor, said this was the most special game he’s ever had, and that he felt his dad’s presence with him.
“He was there. This is the best (300 game), and definitely the hardest. I was shaking,” he said.
Bowling is an underrated recreational activity. Golf is the rightful GOAT, but bowling is a strong and steady option. It’s easy to partake in while drinking and eating, and it’s not trendy (sorry, axe throwers and pedal wagoners).
And then you can have tremendous sports stories like this, coming out of a bowling league in Peoria, Illinois. A son can bowl with his dad one last time, together they can get that truly perfect game, and it can end up on Sportscenter.