Bowling: Hall of an honor coming for John Dudak
By Anthony Nasella For Sun-Times Media November 3, 2013 4:24PM
The Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association has voted John Dudak to its prestigious Hall of Fame. | Anthony Nasella/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 5, 2013 6:14AM
The bowling resume of Orland Park’s John Dudak is quite impressive.
His list of accomplishments over a career that’s spanned almost 40 years includes impressive league averages and awards, Association, State and USBC National success, as well as a solid PBA senior career that has gained him respect from his peers.
Yet this self-taught bowler, who competed in his first league in the 1970s at Lakewood Bowl in Richton Park, never thought he would have an honor bestowed upon him such as the one the Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association extended to Dudak by voting him into its Hall of Fame.
Dudak, who will be inducted into the Hall at the Association’s Hall of Fame and Award Banquet at Dynasty Banquets in Hammond in December, has 19 career 300 games, five PBA perfect games, nine 800 series, a GCABA team title in 2009 and an 18th-place team finish at the 2009 USBC Tournament.
On the Professional Bowlers Association Senior circuit, now known as the PBA50, Dudak has competed for almost a decade, finishing second in numerous Senior Regional tournaments and posting top-20 finishes at the 2005 Senior U.S. Open, the 2006 Hammond Open (where he qualified first) and the 2008 Decatur Open.
“I don’t like to say it’s a whole lot, but it’s almost hard to believe that I was voted in because I wonder if I’m worthy of such an honor,” Dudak said. “There’s so many great bowlers in the GCABA Hall of Fame (Don McCune, Pete Tountas, Alfie Cohn and Joe Trombetta).
“I never really thought I would be considered. I love the game, and I think I’ve done some good things. Still, I never expected it. I’m in shock that I’m being honored by my peers.”
In league play, Dudak consistently has averaged in the 220s at bowling centers in the region, especially at Lan-Oak Lanes in Lansing, which has a reputation as a hard house. Dudak shot back-to-back 800 series there during the 2010-11 season.
“I always try to bowl in a league at Lan-Oak every season because it’s more of a challenge,” Dudak said.
In the most recent PBA season, Dudak finished second in two regional events. He typically finishes in the top 10 in PBA50 Regional points.
“My motto seems to be ‘always close’,” Dudak said. “Many PBA senior bowlers keep telling me my time will come. Hall of Famers like Dick Weber and David Ozio have complimented me in the past on my shot.”
Early in his career he was helped along by Joliet’s Jim Stefanich, when the PBA Hall of Famer and 14-time national champion ran a pro shop.
“Jim really got me on track with the right equipment,” Dudak said. “I tried different hand patterns and layouts, and nothing ever felt good. He got the right layout for me. He never coached me, but he gave me some good tips.”