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Newspaper article tracing Toots Barger's career

Toots's Duckpin Bowling Ball
about 1953

Three tries per round
This 1953-vintage wooden bowling ball belonged to Mary Elizabeth "Toots" Barger, considered one of America's greatest duckpin bowlers. Toots was the top-ranked woman in her sport 13 times between 1947 and 1958. Named for the small, light pins that scatter like ducks in flight when hit, duckpin bowling originated in Baltimore, MD, in the early 1900s. Although duckpin leagues formed all along the East Coast, the Baltimore-Washington area is still the center of the sport. This five-inch diameter ball weighs less than four pounds; the more common tenpin ball can measure up to 27 inches and weigh as much 16 pounds. Because duckpins are harder to split than tenpins, bowlers get three deliveries per frame.

Mary "Toots" Barger was named the No. 1 female duckpin bowler 13 times between 1947 and 1968.
Duckpin bowling was first introduced in the United States in 1900.
Web display only

Learn more!
· Duckpin queen Toots steers children straight, by Ann LoLordo

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