Bowling has always been a very popular amateur sport in the City and is becoming popular with a younger generation at hip venues like the Pin-Up and Flamingo Bowls and the lanes at the Moolah.
It has been a while, however, since the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame attracted the sorts of crowds that regularly pack the HOFs of professional baseball or football. As a visitor attraction, the local bowlers’ shrine had become more of a curiosity than a major destination. (Some days, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.) Once the International Bowling Congress decided to move to Texas with the Professional Bowling Association, keeping the museum here was pretty much impossible.
So, it is not as if today’s announcement that museum has sold its property to Ballpark Village and is moving will mean fewer people downtown. Still, most of us enjoyed the guide book asterisk that having it downtown gave us — and we will miss them very much. Fortunately for those with a fondness for small museums, the Museum of the Dog is still in Queeny Park, the wax dummies are still on Laclede’s Landing, and the toys are still on the shelves at the Eugene Field House. And if there is any question about our City’s continuing quirkiness, we can always direct visitors to Bob Cassilly’s City Museum.
I do hope that the acquisition of the soon-to-be-former Hall of Fame property by Cordish Co. and the Cardinals will mean a bigger, better Ballpark Village.