By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – He started bowling when he was 13 years old, fell in love with the game and has continued to be active in it through the years. And this past summer, Bill Baker of Marlborough was inducted into the inaugural class of the New England Bowling Association (NEBA) Hall of Fame for meritorious service.
Baker, started bowling in his hometown of Braintree, Mass., where he worked at the Braintree Lanes at age 15 and remained there until he entered the U. S. Navy. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Seabees and ended his military career as a supply petty officer on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saratoga.
Immediately upon his return to civilian life, Baker assumed his bowling activity and got involved in NEBA, which was newly created at that time.
“When I returned from the service I set a goal of competing in all of their monthly tournaments because I knew that if I was going to get better and compete with the best, I needed to bowl with the best,” he stated.
He was involved with the Association through the years holding various positions and it remained an integral part of his life.
“In 1987, with growing children at home, I knew I knew I needed to move on from my tournament activities. It was a 10-year run that was challenging but rewarding. Even though my participation was limited over this time, I was lucky enough to become a tournament champion in 1986,” Baker said. “Even though I don’t compete anymore I am proud that the tournament has continued to grow over the years. All the way back to the beginning in 1963, NEBA was the premier bowling tournament in New England and still is today.”
In expressing his thanks to the committee for electing him into the inaugural induction, Baker said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t include an even bigger thank you to my wife, Janice, and my children Tina, Jo-Ann, and Chris for allowing me to be an ‘absent’ parent during those 120 weekends I was away from home.”