1977 Midas Open – Don Johnson vs. Earl Anthony, pt 1

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The date was Feb. 12, 1977 at the Expressway Lanes in Gretna, LA for the $100,000 Midas Open. Two PBA Hall of Famers going at it for the title, Don Johnson vs. Earl Anthony. It happened to be Don's son, Jimmy's (PBA titlest himself) birthday. Don qualified 5th, and plowed through the field of Mark Roth, Cliff McNealy, Marshall Holman to meet #1 qualifier Earl Anthony. The winner would get $14,000 with the loser $8,000. "Three or four times each game I kept reminding myself that I had to win for Jimmy, who was celebrating his eighth birthday," Johnson said. "I've never wanted to win a tournament so badly." If Johnson or Anthony had rolled a 300 in the title match, they would have received a $250,000 bonus from sponsor Midas International. Eight perfect games were recorded during the tournament. I'm sure Earl Anthony was disapointed in losing this tournament. As the #1 qualifier, he led the field by nearly 400 pins. But in a one game match, anyone can win. Let's join Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton, Jr. with the call.

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18 Comments on “1977 Midas Open – Don Johnson vs. Earl Anthony, pt 1”

  1. I enjoyed watching both these guys bowl. I’m shocked that Anthony never had a televised 300 game. Watching him was a little like the anticipation of Nolan Ryan pitch (ie: perfect game/no hitter).

    I always wondered about Johnson’s follow through, until I found out that Johnson had a nerve problem in his wrist, and he actually could have thrown a gutter ball at any time because of it. Never saw him do it, though.

  2. I just looked at the names of the finalists…it’s like…four legends, and then “What’s THIS guy doing there?”, referring to McNeely.

  3. I think Earl has bowled 300 on Japanese television. He alluded to that when he was commentating on C.K. Moore’s match when C.K. shot 300.

  4. I heard somewhere that he had a terrible nerve condition that made his shooting very unpredictable. One shot would be right on the money, the next would be straight in the channel.

  5. Chris had a great baritone voice. To me, he was the perfect man to call these games. Keep the match going, always insightful. Just had a great voice.

  6. Let me get this straight. By the 1974 Midas Open, Earl had 8 titles. By this tournament in 77 he had 27 titles. In 3 years he won 19 titles? Those other pros must have hated him. ‘Why’s the square guy winning every other week?’ He stared in ’70(27 titles in 7 years!). Man those were good times.

  7. Hi Mike. Yes 240 average is unheard of, especially back then. There were no reactive resin’s or Urethane balls back in 77 to the best of my knowledge. So 240 is incredible!

  8. I miss this place so much Katrina destroyed it and it’s been closed since. I worked there and bowled there for years.

  9. @Tata996 They didnt know what the think in this center, Brunswick returns and AMF machines

  10. And Don Johnson does not get enough credit for his talent and teaching methods. Check out the tutorial on utube.

  11. If you look at Earl’s release look where his left hand is he had a tendency to suitcase the ball your hand is not supposed to be over the top of the ball and that is why it is called suitcasing

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