Tributes: Wiley Bell kept 66 Bowl open 24/7 in its early years

Two years after bowling alley closed, Bell died at age 95.
by Scott Munn Published: October 1, 2012
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A salute to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience.

*Army Airman Wiley Bell returned from World War II with a Bronze Star for heroism. He soon started a career with a cattle commission company based in the Oklahoma City Stockyards. Bell would then join an investment group that in 1959 opened 66 Bowl. The bowling alley sat along original Route 66, which is now known as NW 39 Expressway. Bell was manager of 66 Bowl from 1964 through 1978; he told The Oklahoman in a 2009 interview that the house remained open 24 hours “in the early years” because bowling was so popular and everyone wanted to learn how to play.

Bell was quite the player himself — in 1962, he pursed $1,000 for rolling the first perfect game (300) in the 30-year history of the Men's Singles Classic at the Hilander Bowling Palace. He was inducted into the Oklahoma City Bowling Hall of Fame's performance division in 1983. The Drumright native also fished for bass in the waters of Mexico, Canada and South America.

Bell was a resident of Oklahoma City when he died at age 95, two years after 66 Bowl closed.

*Ray Bond starred as a sophomore catcher for Oklahoma State's 1959 College World Series championship team. The Cowboys were not expected to contend that season but finished 27-5 after defeating Arizona for the title. He helped OSU reach the 1960 Series and caught Jim Wixson's no-hitter, which is just one of two thrown in CWS history.

Bond graduated from Capitol Hill High School, where he helped the Redskins win the Class A state baseball championship in 1957. Bond's single in the 10th inning drove home the winning run as Capitol Hill beat Northwest Classen 3-2 in the final. The 1957 All-Stater also played summer baseball for Herman's Sporting Goods in Oklahoma City.

Before working in the oil field service business by trade, Bond had a brief professional baseball career. He played the 1961 and 1962 seasons with the Tulsa Oilers, then the Texas League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. “I caught a few Grapefruit League games and got to meet people like Mr. (Stan) Musial, Ken Boyer, people like that,” Bond told The Oklahoman in a 1988 interview. “I could catch, but I couldn't hit. They threw too hard. I can identify with Bob Uecker.”


by Scott Munn
Sports Assistant Editor
Scott Munn joined The Oklahoman/Oklahoma City Times sports staffs in October 1982. He spent a year as a formcharter, three years on the desk and 16 as a reporter. Scott has spent the last nine years as an evening assistant sports editor. Scott's...
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Milestones

*Former Oklahoma City Blazers star Marty Standish has decided to play a 14th season. The 34-year-old center signed with the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League. Standish, who will be in his fourth season with the Oilers, had 36 points last season. He's become more of a defensive player compared to his days with the Blazers, where he often skated on a line with the great Joe Burton. During the Blazers' 2000-2001 championship season, Standish and Burton were a nasty 1-2 punch. Burton had 110 points in 69 games, and Standish added 87 points in 63 games. During the offseason, Standish remains an Oklahoma City resident who flips houses.

It figures

0: The Seiling High School football team struggled in its Class B district game Friday against No. 5-ranked Garber, losing 46-0. The week before, on Sept. 21, the Wildcats' offense mimicked a runaway train. Seiling scored 90 points in its victory over Waukomis.

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