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Bowling News USA - August 12, 2014 Illinois State Bowling Hall of Famer, Former Senior PBA Rookie of the Year Makes Great Catch on Homer, Then Throws Back Different Ball

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Whether you agree with it or not, tradition dictates that if you're a Chicago Cubs fan and you catch an opposing home run at Wrigley Field, you need to throw the ball back. That's why Cubs fan Mike Pullin came prepared to Monday's game and showed us twice just how slick he is.

First of all, Pullin, 65, made a great catch on a Mark Reynolds home-run ball in the second inning of the Cubs' 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He was sitting in the last row of Wrigley's bleachers and reached over the railing to make the catch — essentially like an outfielder making a grab over the wall. It's a catch that many men half his age wouldn't have made, so Pullin deserves plenty of props for that alone.

In the moment after his catch, Pullin had the presence of mind to reach down, switch out his game-used ball for one he brought with him and toss that back. Quick thinking, Mr. Pullin — as in Pullin' a Fast One.  He did it quickly enough that his fellow Cubs fans likely didn't notice, which is all that matters.

He's in the Illinois State Bowling Hall of Fame, so Pullin's Wrigley Field catch and switcheroo isn't even his best athletic moment.

Leave it to a bowler to have a spare with him when he needs it.


Mike Pullin Finally Lands Spot in State Bowling Hall of Fame

By Brenda Young • • Posted March 25, 2012

Mike Pullin thows the ball while bowling Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at T-Byrd lanes in Rochelle. Pullin is being inducted into the Illinois Bowling Hall of Fame in Oct.ROCKFORD, Illinois — It took Mike Pullin longer than he would have liked to get into the Illinois State Bowling Hall of Fame, but he’s happy to say it has finally happened.

“When I received the letter, I was in shock,” Pullin said. “I was very happy about it.”

Pullin is now one of six representing the Rock River Valley as active members of the Illinois State Bowling Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in October at the Hall of Fame banquet in Decatur.

It was 11 years ago that the 62-year-old first put in his application to be considered for the Hall of Fame.

“I was hoping that maybe in five years, I would get in,” Pullin said. “They tend to look toward USBC national records and amateur tournaments more so than the PBA, but I’ve made it and I don’t worry about it anymore.”

Pullin, who started bowling 50 years ago in the junior leagues in Rochelle, is the owner of 18 sanctioned 300 games and 11 sanctioned 800 series. He is also the only bowler to win the five Northern Illinois U.S. Open qualifiers and bowled 43 200 games in a row during his first Senior PBA National Tournament in 1999.

It was in 1999 that Pullin was named Senior PBA Rookie of the Year and he capped that the following year with his first national PBA title at the Hammond Senior Open. He just gave up his tour card for health reasons this season.

“I still bowl one or two tournaments around the area,” said Pullin, who had a 300 game at T-Byrd Lanes in January.

Pullin, who started the Rochelle boys and girls bowling teams in 1992, said when his sister started bringing home bowling trophies as a youngster, he knew he wanted to do the same.

“I thought that was neat,” he said.

Now he has another award to add to his vast collection.

Reach staff writer Brenda Young at 815-987-1388 or

Profile: Mike Pullin
Age: *62 
Sport: Bowling
300 games: *18
800 series: *11

Career highlights: Inducted into the Rockford Bowling Hall of Fame (1993), Rochelle Bowling Hall of Fame (2001), Illinois Bowler of the Year (Rockford) 1989 and 1993, won the singles title at the Rochelle Men’s City Tournament (1998), earned over $80,000 in PBA earnings, has won two Christmas Eve Classics at the Cherry Bowl, won the King of the Hill Tournament at Don Carter Lanes for the 2008-2009 season 4 times and the Senior Kings of Hill 7 times, made the TV finals and finished 5th at the Burnswick Senior Slam (2000), Bowled 939 in senior singles to finish sixth at the Bowlers Journal Tournament in Las Vegas (2009). 

Note: (*) Denotes at time which article was written

Photo Credit | Max Gersh |






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August, 2014