HALL OF FAME
INDUCTED at 4th of JULY 1997 SOUTHWEST OPEN!!
"SOL LIPKIN" AWARD WINNER
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:"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.
Memories are Made of This!"
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,
(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
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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