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wheels

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Guys and Gals,

As you know, i am always on the lookout for New or Vintage Bowling Balls and where i have found them ,last week, while bowling at bowlerama my "home" center i took a break after throwing a few games and was walking around,Checking what was on the racks, Noticed an old columbia Yellow Dot, Picked it up, liked the weight ,And knew all i would have to get is the fingers plugged so, took it up to the Counter and asked Karen, the lady running the counter on Mondays about it Says "It's not a house ball" so, Take it home with you. Took it to Jay, my pro shop guy i go to at Pleasant Hill Lanes, Told me it's a " Bleeder" Yellow Dot. it is a deep reddish or" oxblood" color and the serial # is 6a58319. Jay plugged the fingers and enlarged the thumb $8.00 But, he had leagues coming in so, next Monday, we'll go back to Bowlerama and try "Donna" out for a spare or secondary ball.Have heard about the " bleeder" balls so, I'll find out if it works for me.






Faith,Hope,Charity. Great virtues to have but, Bad Duckpin split.5,7,10
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #2 
What a find!  Are you able to post a picture of it?  Good luck, and please let us know how you like using it!
Bucketofslawski

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Reply with quote  #3 
Those used to be highly sought balls in the 1970s. The "bleeders" had a darker hue, with less red and more purple. The first bleeders were accidents and it took years for Columbia 300 to figure out why some batches bled and others didn't. It was the highest performance ball you could get between the introduction of the hardness rule and the introduction of the AMF Angle, though the original Johnny Petraglia LT-48 could beat it on some conditions.

It has standard 3-piece construction, a high RG by today's standards, and while it hooked compared to other polyester balls it does not match plain urethane. It worked great on 1970s levels of lane oil, but today it might skid too much to be effective.

Bleeders were notoriously fragile, tending to crack and chip around the finger and thumb holes.
wheels

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Reply with quote  #4 
Mr.Bowling 300,

I'll try to get a pic as soon as i can.  "Donna" has some small gouges on her but, no cracking around the holes. She's definitly been used.   Bucket,you said this was a polyester ball? Did columbia make a urethane Yellow Dot? Jay at the pro shop said it was urethane. what about the "legend" ball? i had one of those i found at the scrap yard but, it had some deep cuts and cracking around the fingers so gave it to a lady to make garden art with it, guess i should have took it to Jay first. another house i bowl at aometime in Aberdeen, the last time i was there had a blue hammer I'm sure it was an orig, one, not the remake. another lady owned ball "Ann" .  My friends laugh because it seems all the old balls i find have ladies names engraved on them.Oh well, as long as i can get them for free and can make them work for my style, I do not  care what the name is on it.if the ball dosent work for me, i recycle it to a center if they want them.
Bucketofslawski

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don't recall if Columbia re-used the Yellow Dot name for any urethane ball. They made a number of urethane balls, including the Gold Dot, which was hard urethane with a scarlet coverstock and sort of resembled a non-bleeder Yellow Dot. The Legend was a late version of the Yellow Dot.
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #6 

The first two characters in the serial number, "6A," means it was made in 1976.  And it was part of the first run of Yellow Dots made in 1976 (hence, the "A" designation).

The prime Yellow Dot bleeders were the 5P series.  Something magical about those, or so I'm told.

Interestingly, the original 5 series Yellow Dots that had the bleeder characteristic (meaning they were a darker purple color when new, then turned much darker -- almost black -- as they aged and "bled," or oozed a sticky substance on to the surface of the ball, hence the description, "bleeder," which was never part of the ball's official name, but everyone called them that) were a MISTAKE by Columbia 300.  Some additive was mistakenly mixed into the liquid formula that produced these balls.  But no one at Columbia 300 knew what that phantom additive was or how to replicate the recipe that produced these magical balls.  So once the earliest batch of bleeders were out there, they stopped making them.  Oh, they kept making Yellow Dots, but they weren't bleeders.  And they weren't magic.

You, apparently, got one of the last bleeders from that early batch that ran from sometime in '75 to early '76.  After that, all the Yellow Dots for the next few years were more of a scarlet color and did not have the "bleeding" characteristic of oozing anything.  They really were nothing more than a softer shell White Dot (White Dots were typically around 81-83 hardness, while the Yellow Dots were usually around 75-78 hardness).  These scarlet Yellow Dots were good balls, but there was nothing special about them.

With customers everywhere clamoring for more bleeders, it wasn't until sometime in 1979 that Columbia 300 R&D people figured out the recipe that would replicate the bleeder characteristic again.  And midway through that year, they introduced the next wave of Yellow Dot "bleeders" (again, the word "bleeder" was nowhere on the box or in the official marketing of the ball, it's just what everybody called them).  I had a 9P Yellow Dot bleeder (the first, I believe, of this second wave of bleeders), and it was magical for me.  Maybe the mystique of the ball led to me throwing some magical games with it, but I've always attributed the magic to the ball, since I never had such good fortune with anything else previously.  I bowled several 300s with that 9P bleeder (including my first) and all three of my 800s, including an 847 (278-280-289) on a day that I'll never forget.  Why I ever got rid of that ball I'll never know.  I also had a 9Q and a 9R Yellow Dot.  They were all phenomenal balls that performed like no other plastic ball I ever owned, and certainly were better than any of the "non-bleeder" Yellow Dots I had (and I had a few, looking for that magical combination).

Bucketofslawski

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Reply with quote  #7 
Randy-

I owned one of the legendary 5P Yellow Dots, for a while. I bought it used from a bowler at the lanes where I worked. It must have been in 1978 or so. I saw him using a VERY dark Yellow Dot, ran in back of the machines to pull it out and check the serial number, came out front and walked up to him and offered to buy it. He accepted, for $30, which I think was the price for a new Yellow Dot back then. I had it redrilled and used it for several months. Unfortunately I didn't have the hardness checked when I redrilled it, and it was illegal. It was 68 hardness, and the minimum after 1976 was 72. I ended up selling it to somebody else. It hooked more than any other plastic ball I owned. I cannot remember if I shot any big scores with it, since I bowled in late leagues on dried up lanes and often got my best results with a White Dot.
wheels

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Reply with quote  #8 
Randy and Bucket,

Thanks for the info. Well, Took "Donna" up to Bowlerama to try.only threw 4 games because i forgot they are having both their Monday league and the Special Olympics bowling tournament. Decided to throw it as my strike ball,Just to see what she'd do. Bowlerama has synthetic lanes just installed a year or two ago and they were freshly oiled for tonight. first game was in the 140s so, was looking promising,even though i missed a couple of spares  2nd game got it going.threw it nice and slow and she came in the pocket nicely, left easy single pin spares though i did miss 1 between strikes then, got 3 strikes in a row .finished in 180s then, the bottom fell out. 3rd  game, 130 something  last game was 112.     full on "Joan Rivers" shots, through the nose,light hits,way left. think i just got out of focus, no excuses, think i started speeding it up too much then,Just could not get my timing back. that is one of my biggest problems i have had with my tenpin bowling since coming back from my illness. i for some reason do not seem to have the timing issues as much with the duckpins.oh well, we'll go back Thursday night, they have a 2.1/2 hr special for $ 13.00 so, we'll try again, if nothing else. " Donna" may make a great new spare ball.


Faith,Hope,Charity.Great virtues to have but,Bad Duckpin split to leave.5,7,10
Aldrnari

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi guys,

Chance threw a couple of vintage bowling balls, shoes, and case my way. I'm not a bowler myself, so I was hoping I could find someone here who'd appreciate the find a little better. The balls are a couple of old 300 Yellow Dots from '73 and '74 (according to the serial numbers). I suspect that they're bleeders, because they're coated in a greasy, sticky residue. The color is very dark, almost black, and the surface of the balls looks a little bit flaky; quite brittle. Would anyone be able to shed some more light on these? If anyone was interested, I'd love to be able to give them a home with someone who would appreciate them more, but I don't know if there's still a market for them out there.
avabob

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Reply with quote  #10 
The yellow dots by name did not come out until 1975.  Prior to that the Columbia balls were white dots in various colors including scarlet.  Some batches of the white dots were softer than others, but it was a quality control issue relating to the fact that Columbia cured their balls in a non climate controlled setting.  This caused balls coming off the line in summer months to cure out faster in a hotter environment.  A batch of 4D scarlet white dots in 1974 came out particularly soft, prompting Columbia to try to duplicate the process which they did beginning in 1975.  Part of this apparently involved adding some type of resin that impacted the curing process to yield softer shells.  Columbia was also making the Shore D, and later the Sur D during this period.  These were even softer and were subsequently outlawed.  The outlawing of the Shore D and Sur D did have an impact on the Yellow Dots.  Yellow dots in 1976 could still be found in the low to mid 70 hardness range.  By 1977 it was hard to find a yellow dot much under 80 hardness even though balls down to 72 were legal in ABC competition.  The PBA had a higher 75 hardness standard which probably prompted the harder shell yellow dots. 

In 1979 Columbia reformulated the yellow dot to more prominently bring out the bleeder qualities found in many of the 1975-76 editions of the ball.  Though not much softer than the 1977-78 batches, the new formula yielded a much harder hitting ball.  I had 9P, 0R, and 0S yellow dots over the next couple of years, and had great success with them.  These balls again clearly had some type of resin additive ( not seen in the 77-78 batches ) to enhance the surface friction. 

Just a couple of trivia notes.  Glenn Allison shot his 900 series with a bleeder 0R Yellow Dot.  Also, quite a few Crown Jewels from Brunswick came out really soft in the 60's.  Nobody really appreciated or seemed to gain any advantage from the soft Crown Jewels on the lacquer finishes of the 60's.  However by the mid 70's scratch bowlers were scavenging garage sales to find these vintage soft balls.
Bucketofslawski

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Reply with quote  #11 
The Yellow Dot remained in production for a long time, from the mid-1970s into the early 1990s I think. If the serial number begins with a 3 or 4 it was probably a 1983 or 1984. Later balls had the "Legend" logo on the visible side away from the label, following the practice introduced by Hammer in the early 1980s. By the early 1980s Columbia had figured out how to produce a more consistent ball from batch to batch. The color is one clue. The bleeders were darker, with less scarlet and more purple in the color. Many of the 1970s series balls never bled, and some balls produced before the hardness rule went into effect in mid-1976 were too soft. Bleeders were also prone to cracking around the holes, which helped kickstart the use of finger grips and thumb slugs. PBA rules prohibited the use of plugged equipment, so plugging and re-drilling a damaged ball made it unusable in a pro tournament.
Rich49

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Reply with quote  #12 
Purchased an undrilled Columbia yellow dot #4Q10853 (very dark scarlet-non-bleeder) from ebay. Only markings are the Columbia 300 yellow dot & Serial #. Its probably '84 vintage (guess) reading from your info. Came in original box 16.03 / 3.4 TW  4 Q 26 3 0900. I would like to know  if I should have it drilled or just keep it in present state.
Hogs

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Reply with quote  #13 
A yellow dot just cam up for sale locally. Serial # starts with 9E. It’s brand new in box. I’m wondering if it’s one of the desired ‘bleeders’ and how much it’s worth. It’s 15#’s. Thanks in advance

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avabob

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Reply with quote  #14 
9E could have been a bleeder. I know the 9P was
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