By Tim Binnall
An Illinois man who threw a perfect bowling game may have had a little help from above as he happened to be using a ball which contained the ashes of his late father. According to a local media report, John Hinkle pulled off the heartwarming feat last week during his league night at an alley in the city of Peoria. As a two-handed bowler, rules require that his ball not feature any finger holes and, as such, he came up with a clever way of both adhering to regulations as well as honoring his dad, who introduced him to the game, by having his father's ashes included in the material that filled in the spaces.
Although his father passed away in 2016, Hinkle was only able to find someone willing to make the macabre modification a few years ago and, amazingly, last week was actually the first time he had ever used the customized ball. Perhaps sensing that something special was in the air, the man predicted to his brother that he was going to throw a perfect game and, remarkably, proceeded to do just that. As the evening progressed and he got closer to bowling perfection, Hinkle grew increasingly wistful to the point that "I couldn't tell you where that last ball went, I had so many tears just throwing it."
The achievement was additionally special to Hinkle and his brother because their father was an avid bowler who came maddeningly close to throwing a perfect game on more than a few occasions, but was never able to seal the deal. "Dad shot 298, 299, never had a 300," he recalled, and joked that "this makes up for so many nights growing up when we slept in a bowing alley while our parents were finishing league night." As one might imagine, Hinkle had little doubt that his father was looking on as the unforgettable evening unfolded and maybe offered a little nudge from the 'other side' to ensure that the game wound up being perfect.