Laid-off GM Worker Wins PBA Championship

This story seems ready-made for a Disney adaptation. Former GM line worker Tom Smallwood lost his job at GM’s Truck and Bus Plant in Pontiac, Mich., about a year ago. Now he’s won his first major title from the Professional Bowlers Association, capturing the $50,000 prize in a nail-biter in Wichita, Kan.

Unable to find a job in Michigan’s flailing economy, Smallwood, a 15-year recreational player, finished third in a qualifying tournament in May, allowing him to join the PBA tour for a year. Few bowling analysts gave him a credible shot at winning the title as he headed into the championship in Wichita.

Yet Smallwood squeaked out a win against PBA Player of the Year, Wes “Big Nasty” Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, by a score of 244-228. His run included four consecutive strikes, with a clutch two strikes in the 10th frame.

Not long after the win, GM offered the champ another job. However, Smallwood turned it down to pursue his newfound bowling success. He’s headed to Vegas for the PBA Tournament of Champions Jan. 19-24.

Now the only question is who will play him in the movie. We here at KickingTires vote for British comedian Ricky Gervais to start working on his Detroit autoworker’s accent.

From Laid-off to PBA Champ (Detroit News)

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