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Weber defeats Belmonte for ESPY’s top bowler award

Pete Weber outpolled three other candidates to win bowling's ESPY.
Pete Weber outpolled three other candidates to win bowling's ESPY.Photo by Skip Bolen

Give credit to Pete Weber.

He’s not the best bowler in the world – even if sports fans around the country say he is

But Weber, a Professional Bowlers Assn. Hall of Famer, acknowledged that point after winning the 2014 Best Bowler ESPY Award on Wednesday at the 22nd ESPY awards ceremony at L.A.'s Nokia Theater.

“It’s not necessarily based on whoever did the best bowling because Belmo (Jason Belmonte) should have won, hands down,” said Weber in a PBA press release. “But that just goes to show I have more fans around the world than he does.

“That said, it’s absolutely a nice thing,” he added. “I’m honored, I’m humbled, I’m grateful, all of the above. It’s neat to see I actually do have that many fans.”

Weber got more votes than the three other candidates, which included Belmonte, Wes Malott and Sean Rash. Voting for various sports categories took place on espn.com.

Winning the bowling ESPY has been a common occurrence for Weber, who also was the top vote-getter in 2002, 2004 and 2013. Walter Ray Williams has won the award seven times, more than any other bowler.

Weber absolutely deserved strong consideration. He became the first player to win the PBA Triple Crown for a second time by winning the PBA Tournament of Champions in March 2013.

The victory allowed Weber to tie Earl Anthony for most major PBA championships with 10. And he won the Tournament of Champions by defeating Belmonte, 224-179, in the championship match.

Belmonte won the Bowling ESPY in 2011 and he, frankly, is not as well-known as Weber.

But Belmonte has won four PBA major titles over the past two seasons and he recorded the tour’s highest scoring average at 228.81 last year.

Belmonte, the franchise player for the Los Angeles X the past two years, also won the 2013 Chris Schenkel PBA player of the year award.

Additionally, Belmonte outclassed Weber, 234-208, this year during the singles competition of the X’s PBA League semifinal victory over Weber’s New York City WTT KingPins that lifted the X into the Elias Cup finals.

Belmonte continued his fine bowling in the Elias Cup where he thrashed Silver Lake Atom Splitters’ Chris Barnes, 279-259, in the singles match.

No matter that Belmonte didn’t get his due Wednesday.

There are plenty of other ESPYs for Belmonte in the future.