PWBA'S Aleta Sill Honored By "Detroit 300" Tricentennial Committee
07/31/2001 - PWBA
ROCKFORD, Ill. - Dearborn, Mich.'s Aleta Sill, the first professional woman bowler to earn $1 million in her career, is one of 10 Detroit-area athletes recognized as the city's greatest ever in connection with "Detroit 300," the city's tricentennial celebration this year.
The 38-year-old lefthander was the only bowler and one of four women named to a "Dream Team" of legendary athletes by the Detroit 300 History Advisors, a select committee affiliated with the official Detroit 300 civic celebrations. "Dream Team" members, announced to the public July 18 prior to the start of the New York Yankees/Detroit Tigers baseball game, were chosen for their ability to serve as role models as well as for athletic prowess. Sill's "teammates" include such august superstars as speed skater Sheila Young, a triple-medallist at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games; Dave Bing, an NBA All-Star point guard for the Detroit Pistons; boxing icon Joe Louis, Detroit Lions quarterback Bobby Layne, and all-time hockey great Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings.
Sill, a 31-time pro titlist who has won the Triple Crown of women's bowling twice (WIBC Queens, U.S. Open, Sam's Town Invitational), was overwhelmed to learn of her selection. "I'm speechless; I can't believe I was included with people like Joe Louis, Bobby Layne and Gordie Howe. And to be the only bowler named from the bowling capital of the world-it's a real honor for our sport and especially for women's bowling."
"Aleta's been known for her passion for bowling since she started at age six," said Detroit 300 Recognition Program Manager Addell Austin Anderson. "It was such a tough choice, given all the great bowlers that have come from Detroit; but I think what impressed the History Advisors the most was that she really persevered in her desire to break away from her environs and become the great athlete she dreamed of being."
Sill is midway through her 21st year as a professional bowler. She has been the Professional Women's Bowling Association's earnings leader six times and its Player of the Year once (1984). Sill is a member of the Women's Professional Bowling Hall of Fame, the Women's International Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, and the Michigan and Detroit Women's Bowling Association halls of fame. She has four WIBC national championship titles to her credit (1983 singles, 1982 and 1985 all-events, and 1995 team) as well as 27 perfect games and a high three-game series of 815. She remains the all-time female earnings leader in bowling, with a career total of $1,066,499 at the conclusion of the 2001 Spring/Summer Tour July 26. Her most recent title came in 2000, at the Greater Atlanta Open in Marietta, Ga.
Detroit 300 Tricentennial "Dream Team"
Bobby Layne, Detroit Lions - Quarterback, led Lions to three National Football League championships (1952, 1953, 1957) Held NFL records for most pass attempts, completions, passing yardage and touchdown passes at the time of his retirement in 1962.
Aleta Sill - Professional bowler, first woman to win $1 million in her career. Owns 31 national professional titles, four Women's International
Bowling Congress National Tournament titles and was the Professional Women's Bowling Association Player of the Year in 1984.
Meg Mallon- Professional golfer, fourth woman in Ladies Professional Golf Association history to win $1 million in a single season.
Eddie Tolan - Track and field star, first African-American athlete to win two Olympic gold medals for the United States (1932 Summer Olympic Games, Los Angeles) while setting Olympic records for the 100- and 200-meter races.
Dave Bing, Detroit Pistons - Former National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year, set Pistons' individual scoring record in 1971-72 season with 2,213 points. Now owns several companies in the Bing Group that creates jobs for Detroit residents.
Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings - National Hockey League's Most Valuable Player seven times. Oldest person ever to play professional hockey, Howe's career spanned six decades while playing for the NHL and the World Hockey Association.
Sheila Young - Speed skating and cycling star, Sports Illustrated's choice as one of the 100 greatest female athletes in history. Won world championships in both speed skating and cycling; first U.S. athlete to win three medals in the Winter Olympic Games (1976 Winter Olympic Games, Innsbruck, Austria, gold, silver and bronze).
Darlene Quinlan - Paralympic athlete, competed in and won/set international records in sports such as swimming, basketball, field events, ski slalom and pentathlon. Captain of the U.S. Paralympics basketball team in 1976 Toronto Games. Second woman to be inducted into the National Wheelchair Hall of Fame.
Joe Louis - Professional boxer, known as Detroit's "Brown Bomber." Most famous fight was victorious rematch with German boxer Max Schmeling in 1938, two years after the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin and one year prior to the start of World War II.
Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers - Four-time Major League Baseball American League All-Star and two-time MVP who played in four World Series with the Tigers. Career record includes 331 home runs and 1,276 runs batted in. Became a hero in the Jewish community for refusing to play baseball on Yom Kippur, Judaism's highest holy day of the year.
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