Pete David Weber
, nicknamed “PDW”,
(born August 21
in St. Ann, Missouri
), is a famous bowling
professional on the Professional Bowlers Association
(PBA) Tour. Weber is one of the sport's most popular active players and is well known for his maverick, rebellious personality. Weber also featured in the ten-pin bowling sports documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Pete Weber grew up in Florissant, Missouri
, and, as the son of bowling legend Dick Weber
, was introduced to the sport at the age of two. At the age of 15, Weber was already winning local bowling tournaments against adult players, and, with the help of his father, was able to join the PBA tour at the age of 17 (the former policy required a minimum age of 18). In 1979
, Weber started his first year on the professional circuit and participated in 21 tour events, including making one TV appearance. Weber won Rookie of the Year honors in 1980
. By 1982
, he had won his first PBA title, winning two that season. By the time he was 25 years old, he had already reached the 10-title plateau (becoming the youngest player in PBA history to reach that mark). At age 26, he won the PBA National Championship, giving him all three jewels of the PBA's "triple crown" (achieved by winning the U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and PBA National Championship).
Despite Weber's talent, he was not popular with his bowling peers and was even denied Player of the Year honors in 1987
despite winning the Tournament of Champions and leading the tour in earnings; the award was instead given to Marshall Holman
. By 1989
, Weber had won 13 PBA Tour titles and had reached over $1 million (USD) in earnings, but his personal life was plagued with problems. By the mid-1990s, Weber had been through two divorces and suffered from alcoholism
. At the same time, the PBA tour itself was in decline.
In 2000, the PBA Tour was sold to three former Microsoft executives; Weber was not on the tour during this transitional phase, as he was still serving a six-month suspension given by the former PBA leadership in 1999 due to behavior related to his drinking problem. The new tour ownership saw Weber's flashiness as a potential tool for marketing the PBA to a new audience. By the 2001-02 season, Weber had his career back on track, winning three titles in all. On December 4, 2005, Weber overcame a year of trying times both personally and professionally by clinching what was, perhaps, the most emotional title of his career at the 2005 Bowlersparadise.com Classic at Stardust Bowl in Hammond, Indiana. This marked the first television appearance for Pete Weber in 666 days, and it was his first title after the death of his father on February 13, 2005. Pete honored his father after the victory by looking into the ESPN cameras and pointing at the "DW" patch on his sleeve.
Overall, Weber has won 34 PBA Tour events, including eight major titles. His 34 tour wins put him in a tie for third place on the all-time PBA wins list with Mark Roth
. His eight majors place him in a tie with Mike Aulby
, second all-time to the legendary Earl Anthony
, who has 10. Weber has a 219.38 career average in television appearances. He has also won the most modern-day U.S. Open titles (4).
Pete joined his father in the PBA Hall of Fame in 1998, and he became a member of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2002. His career PBA earnings of over $3.2 million place him second all-time, behind only all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams, Jr..
Pete Weber was the victim in two momentous victories by Walter Ray Williams, Jr.
Williams defeated Weber, 236-213, on March 26, 2006, in the title match of the PBA World Championship to tie Earl Anthony's
original all time tour titles record of 41.
Williams also defeated Weber, 289-236, on September 24, 2006, in the title match of the Dydo Japan Cup to break Anthony's all-time tour titles record and establish the all-time mark of 42 titles.
- Weber has many superstitions when bowling, including: sitting in the same spot the same way when bowling well, not having his wife Tracy wear red on TV, and folding his towel the same way.
- Weber's most embarrassing moment came on national television on April 13, 1991. As Pete explained to Sports Illustrated on November 7, 2006, "After I won the 1991 [BPAA] U.S. Open, I went to lift the trophy over my head. The eagle toppled down and busted into a million pieces. People came up and grabbed pieces to take home."
- On ESPN's "Cold Pizza" he mentioned that he has made the 7-10 split four times in his career, and also has six career holes-in-one in golf.
- Likes to follow all the St. Louis professional sports teams: Cardinals, Rams, and Blues
- After winning his first title of the year in 2001 (Great Lakes Classic), during his post tournament interview, he addressed the bowling world with the statement: "I want you to take a look, I'm back and I am P.D.W." During the telecast, Weber shot 299, leaving a 4-pin on the last ball, falling one pin short of a perfect game.
- Wears sunglasses while bowling on television to reduce the glare of the TV lights.
- His style is a power stroker, which combines the high backswing of a cranker with the smooth timing of a stroker.