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.”