The origin of duckpins is a subject of some debate.
One possible origin is that duckpin bowling began in Baltimore around 1895 at a bowling, billiards and pool hall owned by future baseball Hall of Famers John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson, both of whom, at the time, were members of the Baltimore Orioles.
According to an article in the Lowell MA Sun newspaper referencing a 2005 baseball book by Howard W. Rosenberg, the existence of duckpins can be traced back to 1894,
Articles can be found in The Boston Globe earlier than May 1894—the newspaper itself being founded in 1872—showing the existence of the sport around Boston. According to Rosenberg, the earliest Globe reference to duckpins was on January 2, 1893.
Rosenberg's book methodically accounted that in 1899 and early1900 the Baltimore Sun reported that duckpin bowling suddenly appeared in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun of December 28, 1899, said that at the McGraw-Robinson bowling, billiards and pool hall the night before, the facility's manager had introduced duckpins.
In 1927, Patterson Bowling Center a two-story edifice was built which housed 14 lanes; 7 on the first floor and 7 on the second floor. Today Patterson Bowling Center is the oldest duckpin center in the entire country, maybe even the world.
Rumor has it that the mighty Babe Ruth bowled here often where he consumed large quantities of hot dogs and soda. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. Who really knows?
For more than 90 years, Patterson Bowling Center has been part of the community, hosting families from the local area. From Fells Point to Patterson Park to Little Italy to Canton to Federal Hill and parts east, north, south, and west,
Patterson Bowling Center has been the “go to place” for folks of all ages whenever they are looking for some old school bowling fun and a chance to spend real quality time with friends and family.
Yup, Patterson Bowling Center has been over 90 years and we’re still proud to show families in the Baltimore area a good time.
So why not join us for some nostalgic family and friends fun or join one of our fun leagues or as a destination for unique kids or adult parties and special events