Count Gengler (1919)

Gengler, Count-#1

(1882-1957)

#26 Bowler of the 20th Century

Bowlers Journal 1910-1925 Special All-American

Bowling’s Greatest Hustler

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8 Responses to “Count Gengler (1919)”

  1. RayRay Says:

    I have heard many things about him. I bowled with a guy K.S. Allane, who claims to have known Mr. Gengler personally. K.S. lost his two bowling fingers and bowled with his thumb, index and pinky finger only. He threw a total spinner ball. Anyway, He told me about how the “Count” would throw the ball with just 2 fingers and no thumb. He was truly the first of the high-rev bowlers. Funny how it took so long for people to adapt to a like-style. But, K.S. witnessed the Count bowl a 300 game. Back in the 60’s and early 70’s K. S. was 75 years old. That did put him in the right age group but a little younger than the Count. So, I knew of the Count before I ever read a line about him. Just a story to share. I have more stuff K.S. shared with me but not enough time to remember it all in this writing.
    Ray

  2. Leroy Butler Says:

    I too heard of the Count in my early years in the 1950s. The first man who mentioned him to me was at the old, long gone house in downtown Longview in East Texas. He claimed to have witnessed the Count in Shreveport, Louisiana. Supposedly the Count threw 3 Brooklyn strikes to win a big money match and announced to the observers afterwards that he was purposely going Brooklyn. It always fascinated me that the count seemed to be using the weight block in the photo for advantage and this was before bowlers cared about weight block position.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      Good point! Since Gengler usually bowled palm-ball—as in this photo—he could easily manipulate the action of the weight block. Maybe that’s why he was so good.
      –JRS

      • RRay Says:

        which pic? is there any recorded video of the count actually bowling? would love to see that.

        yes, if you had a point of reference on a ball you knew really well you could hold it various ways to get the ball to do different things

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        As far as I know, there are no films of Gengler bowling. To access the Gengler pictures on my blog, go to the home page, type in “Gengler” on the SEARCH THIS SITE link at the top right of the page, and hit ENTER on your keyboard. That will take you to another link, and you can go from there.
        –JRS

  3. RRay Says:

    with all the fanfare associated with mr gengler there should be silent video somewhere. I’d bet on it, but, where? descendants? old sports video? surely it could have been recorded.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I have a clip of Jimmy Smith delivering a shot, but I’ve never heard of any Gengler movies. Gengler retired from bowling after losing a match against Smith in 1926. A Gengler movie would have to be before then, and I doubt if anyone would have spent the money to film a minor sport like bowling. Plus a bowling movie would have to be shot indoors, and that would make it expensive. Remember, we’re talking about the early, silent-movie days!
      –JRS

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