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TSA HOF INDUCTEE - Honor Presented During the 4th of JULY 1997 SOUTHWEST OPEN!!



BILL MELTON was inducted to the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame (NSHF, renamed to TSA - Table Shuffleboard Association) during the infamous 4th of July 1997 Southwest Open tournament.

The following is an excerpt reprinted from "The Board Talk," Vol. 14, No. 8, August 1997 for Bill Melton's Induction into the National Hall of Fame during the 4th of July 1997 Southwest Open shuffleboard tournament in Del City, Oklahoma.

"Bill Melton Inducted into Hall of Fame: Memories are Made of This!"

If there had been any fireworks inside the American Legion Hall in Del City on the 4th of July, they would have been squelched by the tears of emotion that accompanied the induction of Bill Melton, Davis, Oklahoma, into the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. From the opening Star-Spangled Banner led by talented singer Kelly Bartow to the grand finale when Bill made his way through the crowd to accept congratulations from his peers and admirers, it was a moving experience. It was evident that there were few, if any, in that large crowd, who didn't agree that he had earned that honor that placed him along with inductees Bob Miles, Pee Wee Ramos, Earl Kelly, Mickey Mickens, Sol Lipkin and Glen Davidson.

A particularly moving moment came with the testimony from long-time friend and partner David Williams of Texas. Dave took first place in the doubles at The Black Cat in Oregon in 1979 with Bill, who took him along "because he felt sorry for me." Dave continued to be his doubles partner for the next 15 years until it came time for Bill's son, Billy, to take his place. "I was proud to have been his partner," Dave said.

It wasn't strictly the long list of achievements on the boards (a list that took one full page of the 4-page printed induction program) that earned Bill this honor. It was, first of all, his unquestionable integrity. Any time Bill's name was listed as a contact person, players felt confident that such tournaments deserved their participation and the game grew. In 1996, The Shuffleboard Federation presented him with the "SOL LIPKIN AWARD."(to view "SOL LIPKIN AWARD" history and information, CLICK HERE), (its highest honor) for being "one of our sport's greatest players and promoters of the game." Even his non-shuffleboard peers in the dental technician association recognized him as a "true champion."

Second, he is admired for nurturing players who will one day take his place and assure the viability of the future. For example, in his own family, there were three generations of Meltons in the final 3-event tournament: father Bill, sons Billy and Mark, and grandson l2-year-old Tony Bennett, son of Lisa Melton. Tony was participating in his first tournament and Bill said: "He is the same age as I was when Pete Polk taught me the game, and he's a lot better than I was."

This humility, the modesty he displays about his achievements, his dedication to the future game --- that's what earned him this well-deserved honor."

Friends and family were all there to congratulate Bill and join him in the celebration!



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