SHUFFLEBOARD HALL OF FAME
The Shuffleboard Federation
July 30, 1994
Prior to the above actual induction, there were many supporters and testimonials submitted and printed in "THE BOARD TALK" for BOB MILES just prior to the official induction with some highlights excerpted that follow:
There are strong feelings in the shuffleboard community that there should be a Hall of Fame for our sport (it's nice to find something that everybody can agree on).
Chances are there won't be anybody donating the land and a building for such a purpose anytime soon; but the lack of a building shouldn't prevent the legends of our sport from being honored and recognized as Hall of Famers.
It is appropriate that Bob Miles be the first member of the Shuffleboard Hall of Fame and he shall be. The Shuffleboard Federation is donating an award that will be presented by his peers in an induction ceremony in Reno, at the 1994 North American Championships. Any players who know Bob and would like to participate in the presentation are welcome.
We sincerely hope Bob is willing and able to receive his award in person. If he cannot, or does not wish to, the presentation will be video taped and sent to him.
Porter White and Hal Perry offered their help and support in organizing this and we're sure other friends of Bob would like to participate.
Hal also suggested that there should be a committee established to induct new members on an annual basis.
We strongly believe such a committee should be established, and that it should be completely independent of The Shuffleboard Federation or any other organization.
A Hall of Fame belongs to the game it honors and we feel it would not be proper for us to serve on such a committee or participate in the selection process.
If this committee becomes a reality, we would certainly lend assistance if asked. Furthermore, we would hope that all members of the shuffleboard community would support it as well."
I would like to
say one thing about the Hall of Fame. I sure would hate to see anyone's
name ahead of Bob's. To me, he was the #1 player!
(Al Stewart, El Monte, California)"
I really believe, like Jessie Owens of Olympic fame, Bob was way ahead of his time. He was a tremendous left-hand player, a great lagger, and had the heart of a lion. He was also a joy to be around, with a wonderful personality and always dressed to the nine's. I miss our battles and I miss Bob Miles.
I wish you well, my friend. You were truly one of the great players in the history of this game. And, you know what, Bob? If I listen real good, I can still hear you say, "You can beat me, but you can't eat me" in the middle of so many sessions.
Robert, I love ya!"
CHAFFIN's "TRIBUTE" to BOB MILES
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By Nick Chaffin
"Bob is a fine person. He stayed with me for a little while in 1979. I would listen for hours as he told me all the interesting shuffleboard stories from the old days.
We took a shuffleboard trip together and had a lot of fun. At that time, he was having some trouble with his health and it took something from his game, but he was still a tremendous player. I have seen him play in long sessions and wear down players who were much younger than he was.
He was a very neat person. Bob would come home very late sometimes from playing and he would always take the time to hang up his clothes very neatly.
I remember him telling me, if you went somewhere and made a few dollars, always stay around a little while afterwards and show the people some respect. Then you could always come back later and play again.
I think it would be good to have a Shuffleboard Hall of Fame and certainly Bob should be one of the first persons selected.
I truly hope Bob
makes a full recovery."
SIMONDS' "TRIBUTE" to BOB MILES
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"As one of Bob Miles' many admirers, I hope he gets well soon. I would like to relate a story about Bob that I will never forget....
I used to be a shuffleboard "hustler" back in the '70s and '80s. I started my shuffle career in Yakima, Washington. Then I moved to Seattle, Washington, where I perfected my skills at the game.
One time at the Northwest Regional Shuffleboard Tournament in Longview, Wash., I was playing on a team from Washington against Bob's team from Oregon. My team beat Bob's and after having a few beers, I started teasing Bob about his "Red Seersucker Pants." One thing led to another and I challenged him to a game for $100.
I can remember when I started playing him, I was real cocky! But, after several games, I was very humble and broke! He made shots and lagged like nobody I had ever seen before.
Fortunately for me, that next weekend, I teamed up with Doug Buhl and won the doubles tournament, so I got some of my money back.
I'll never forget playing against one of the greatest players in the world.
"In the mid '60s, I went to a tournament in Garden Grove, California. I was watching Bob Miles playing Billy Mays. Miles won the game.
Billy turned to Miles and said, "I'Il play y'all one game for $100 -- blindfolded." Bob looked at Mays and said, "You know, Billy, if you weren't such a curiousity, I'd shoot you."
I have laughed over this for years!
"Can you imagine a huge Greyhound bus making a U-turn on a California freeway near San Francisco? This is what happened, according to Bob Miles -- purported bus driver.
Bob, at the time, was a professed bus driver, which fit into his pattern very well -- free transportation to anywhere, and with his ability to gather up loose money, it was a natural. It happened that, since Bob was only using the Greyhound as fret: transportatiion, plus getting paid for it, he heard that in the great gambling town of Reno, Nevada, there was also some shuffleboard action. Checking the listing of schedules, he asked for the next trip to Reno. He had never driven a bus to Reno before, but that was of no concern to him. Anyway, he got the trip from San Francisco to Reno. He confessed to me that he didn't even know where the bus station in Reno was, much less the intermediate stops.
He left San Francisco in the huge bus and proceeded in the general direction to Reno. Just after he had crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, some lady jumped up and said, "Hey, I wanted to get off at San Rafael and you missed the turnoff." Bob told her he was sorry and immediately looked for an opportunity for traffic to allow him to actually U-turn that Greyhound bus on a California freeway just north of San Francisco!
He got that turn accomplished without any casualties and delivered the lady to San Rafael. Upon returning to the freeway heading for Sacramento, Bob informed all the passengers that due to extreme emergency for bus drivers, he was making this trip for the first time and did not know all the stops along the way, and would certainly appreciate any help from the passengers. He also informed the passengers that he only took this trip because the regular driver had been killed in a bus wreck and the company had to take whatever driver was available. He offered his apologies and got everyone's promise that they would not mention this trip to the Greyhound Bus Company.
After that explanation, most of the passengers were standing around the front of the bus offering all kinds of directions and instructions. He made all the stops, thanks to the passengers' help, and also picked up quite a bit of small money by picking up anyone along the road, collecting cash for the rides, hut issuing no tickets.
He said: "Did you know that those damn Greyhounds will do 120 miles an hour with a full load of people?"
Yes, Bob Miles was not only a great shuffleboard player, he was a masterful storyteller -- and most of his stories were actually factual!"
The champs of that era were: 1941-1946, Jimmy VanOrden, Patterson, New Jersey; 1946-1947, Larry Botts, Paisac, New Jersey; 1947-1952, "Kid Spooks" (Leonard Pernowski), Patterson, New Jersey.
A rule change in 1952 was responsible for two world champs that year. The boards were being changed to have two lines on them (as we know them today) and 1-2-3-4 came into effect. This was known as the Western Rule. The Eastern Rule was 1-2-3. In 1952, "Kid Spooks" held the title by the Eastern Rule; John Fabre of Bellflower, California, had the title by Western Rule. In 1953, Bob Miles won both titles.
Bob Miles held this title from 1953 to 1959, defending it 16 times and retiring in 1959 as the undefeated champion. This was the last of what was known as a "Sanctioned World Championship.
What a tremendous
and challenging undertaking this would be to have even a Northwest
Championship event in which each player was required to play every player
in order to determine their rating rather than the eliminations we now
By Porter White
By Glen Davidson
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
"Bob Miles was one of the greatest players of all time and a gentleman all the way. They used to call him "Mr. Shuffleboard" and that was an appropriate name for him hecause he had class. The man never turned down a game. Even when he wasn't in the best of shape, he would still play and he would not quit. I've seen him lose 12 games in a row and he'd come hack and beat them if they stayed hooked up long enough.
I saw him and Leroy Ledford play for 30 hours one time in Yuba City. After 30 hours, they were even up and neither of them could hardly walk. Thirty hours of walking a board is a lot of hours ! Finally they were so tired, they could hardly stand up, but they wouldn't quit. So I made the suggestion that they each put up $500, play 2 out of 3, and then So get some rest or you're gonna fall over dead. They looked at each other and said, O.K., let's do it. It went right down to the wire in the last game and Bob lagged a 2 or a 3 to go out.
Leroy said to me: I was doing all right until you came in here and suggested that we play 2 out of 3; you caused me to lose $500. I said, well, it was either lose your $500 or lose your life!
Another story about Bob Miles. Bob had a heart attack in the early '70s and hadn't shot much since Setting out of the hospital. He walks into this bar in Longview, Washington, where this guy named Curt Kastigans had been beating everybody. Bob comes in and says I'll play anybody for $1,000 on this board here. Curt had been playing on the other board, but he puts up his $1,000 and starts playing Bob. It was getting down to the wire. Curt was 14 and Bob was 12. He had missed a 3 and Curt covered it with a 2. Bob missed that one and Curt put another cover on. Bob always lagged with his left hand, but he outlagged the 3 with his right hand for the $1,000. Nobody in the house, including Curt, could believe it! Waving his left hand, Bob said: "These guys can't play!"
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