SI Vault
 
NOT DEAD YET
Victor Kalman
November 01, 1954
Far from being seriously ill, Mort Lindsey is heading for new records
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 01, 1954

Not Dead Yet

Far from being seriously ill, Mort Lindsey is heading for new records

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

"It's all here," Mort said, indicating time-yellowed clippings, score sheets and other memorabilia in the scrapbooks he has maintained since 1900, "the entire story of my life."

Well, some of "the Lindsey story" was there. How, in 1911, he and George Kelsey rolled a 12-hour marathon in bathing suits in New Haven. Mort spotted Kelsey 550 pins and won by five.... How in 1912 he captured the National Bowling Association all-events with a world record 2,031 that stood for many years...led Brunswick to the A.B.C. team title...repeated in 1914 with the New Haven quintet...won the A.B.C. all-events in 1919...and so on through election to the Hall of Fame in 1941.

But there is more to the story than the scrapbooks tell. There was, for instance, Joe Porto, Lindsey's teammate and friend for 25 years. When Porto died in 1942, Mort sent a floral wreath in the shape of an alley, with a ball heading for the strike pocket.

There was Esther Dugan Lindsey, who married Mort in 1915. Perhaps she did not match her husband's enthusiasm for the sport, but she proved a great asset to his career in the bowling establishment he operated in Stamford for 19 years. When she died here of a heart attack on March 23, 1947, Lindsey was competing in the U.S. team championships in Detroit.

And there was wealthy Mrs. Minnie Lindsey of New York, Mort's mother, who tried desperately to keep him away from the alleys when he was a boy. When he won the 86th Street Y.M.C.A. title at the age of 14, she consoled herself with the thought that some day he would be a great doctor, lawyer or financier.

In 1951, while rolling in the A.B.C. in St. Paul, Lindsey was handed a package containing a pair of tiny, gilded, five-buttoned shoes. A tag on one of them conveyed the message: "I am sending you these shoes for the A.B.C. tournament because they are the first shoes you struck out in." Minnie Lindsey had finally resigned herself to the fact that bowling was her son's life.

1 2