|Birth Day:||July 25, 1941|
|Death Date:||Nov 16, 2013 (age 72)|
|#1||Chris Hardwick||$15 Million||N/A||49||Media|
As per our current Database, Billy Hardwick died on Nov 16, 2013 (age 72).
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He had great success even before his triple crown, tying a bowling record in 1961 by winning seven titles in a single season.
Hardwick joined the PBA Tour in 1961, and amassed a total of 18 PBA titles during his career. He was the first player to capture the PBA career "Triple Crown," which is achieved by winning the three primary PBA major tournaments: U.S. Open, PBA National Championship, and Tournament of Champions. Hardwick captured all three between 1963 and 1969. There have been only six other Triple Crown winners since: Johnny Petraglia, Mike Aulby, Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Chris Barnes, Jason Belmonte.
Hardwick was named PBA Player of the Year in both the 1963 and 1969 seasons. A 22-year old in 1963, Hardwick is still the youngest bowler to ever win PBA Player of the Year honors (through 2019). In 1969, he matched Dick Weber's 1961 PBA record by winning seven titles in one season. The record would stand until 1978, when it was broken by Mark Roth's eight titles. Another record, which still stands even in this high scoring era, is the 2165 for an eight-game block achieved in Japan in 1968.
For this seemingly contradictory ability to roll straight and still carry strikes, he was nicknamed "The Magician" when he was competing on the 1965 "Championship Bowling" TV show. During the 1976 Firestone Tournament of Champions title match, where Billy faced a young Marshall Holman, analyst Nelson Burton Jr. remarked to Chris Schenkel on seeing Billy throw his second opening strike in a row with his slow straight shot, "How does he do it, Chris?! Everyone wonders how Hardwick does it." After his third strike in a row, Nelson further commented, "It is almost unbelievable the control and accuracy of Hardwick. He does not depend on the power strikes like Marshall Holman, he depends on splicing a small target out there at the arrows. When Hardwick is right, he can hit a half-board, consistently, 20 foot down the lane, Chris. Put it right in the pocket. All three strikes he's got so far are perfect packed strikes."
Billy was ranked #12 on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years". He retired relatively early from the PBA Tour after developing arthritis. Billy's final PBA title came in April, 1976 at the Monro-Matic Open in Toledo, Ohio when he was still just 34 years old. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1977, and was the proprietor of Billy Hardwick's All-Star Lanes in Memphis.
According to his son, Chris, speaking on the Opie & Anthony Show on August 12, 2010, Hardwick was the last athlete to film a beer commercial profiling athletes. Chris added that his father originally had lines in the commercial but, "got a little intoxicated after so many takes that they cut out his lines for the commercial." A decision was made after that commercial that it would make a bad impression on the youth to give the message that if you want to become a champion, you should drink.
Billy Hardwick died on November 16, 2013. He was preparing to return from Sarasota, Florida to Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife Rebecca, when he suffered an apparent heart attack and died shortly afterwards. He was 72 years old.
Currently, Billy Hardwick is 81 years, 2 months and 1 days old. Billy Hardwick will celebrate 82nd birthday on a Tuesday 25th of July 2023.
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