Bowler John Hinkle Sr. rolled his way to his first perfect game earlier this month, even though he’s been dead since 2016.
That was made possible by his namesake, John Hinkle Jr., who found a pro shop with the know-how to put dad’s ashes inside a ball, which the emotional 38-year-old said he used to bowl a perfect score of 300.
“I can’t express what tonight means to me. I just bowled a 300 with my ball I put my Dads ashes in,” he wrote on Facebook April 12. “He never had a perfect game until NOW. Thank you so much Kayla Marie Johnson for putting his ashes into my bowling ball. Epic Night.”
Hinkle told CNN that controlling his emotions became difficult as he got closer to achieving his goal.
“I was shaking,” the Peoria, Illinois, school counselor said. “I had tears in my eyes the last couple balls.”
Hinkle’s brother Joe was the first to hug his twin once that special ball knocked down its last pin on the big night. The Hinkle twins lost their mom in 2014. Continuing the family tradition after half the team had moved on wasn’t easy for the bowling brothers.
“My mom and dad were always there for me and my brother when we were bowling in leagues,” Hinkle said. “You’d look back and you’d see one of them there, or both.”
While being part of a 300 game was a first for John Sr., his son has reportedly done that at least a dozen times with regular bowling balls. He plans to retire the one holding his father’s ashes after the upcoming Tournament of Champions. That annual tournament was the last one in which Hinkle and his dad competed together.