While Mookie Betts works toward making his first World Series baseball appearance, the Boston Red Sox star also has his eyes on this week’s World Series of Bowling IX in Reno.
The event began Tuesday and runs through Nov. 19 at the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno. Betts begins qualifying rounds Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the PBA Chameleon Championship.
“I hope I can do a little better than I did last time,” said Betts, who made his PBA debut in the 2015 WSOB VII in Reno. “I think I understand the mental side of what I need wholesale baseball jerseys to do a little more, but it’s not like I have it down pat. But I can use my experience from last time. We’ll see.”
If Betts finishes among the top 25 percent of the field after 40 combined games on the four animal patterns, he’ll advance to PBA World Championship cashers round next Monday and Tuesday. If he finishes among the top 16 in any of the four individual animal pattern events, he’ll advance to single-elimination match competition Nov. 15 and 16.
“Bowling has been a part of my life forever, so it isn’t going away,” Betts said. “I like to compete, but I also know I need to get better.”
Since the Red Sox were ousted by the Houston Astros in the playoffs, Betts has been practicing regularly, in part to get his hand toughened up for the daily grind of two five-game qualifying blocks. His goal is to finish among the top 150 against the field of 195 on any given day. In his WSOB debut in 2015, Betts averaged 190 for his 36 qualifying games.
One of the best players in the American League, the 25-year-old Betts began bowling in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., thanks to his mother, Diana Benedict.
In 2016, Betts finished second in the AL MVP race after hitting .318 with 31 homers and 26 steals and winning a Gold Glove. This season, he hit .264 with 24 homers and 26 steals. He also surpassed the century mark in runs and RBIs and was voted into the All-Star Game for the second straight year.
Betts sees similarities between baseball and bowling.
“I think the short bursts of focus are a key,” Betts said. “I’ve played baseball in front of thousands of people, so I’ve learned to get over those little moments pretty quickly. It’s the same in bowling. If things aren’t going well, you get your focus back and get back on track.”
The WSOB IX concludes Nov. 17-19 with the finals being live streamed on ESPN3 (and also recorded for Sunday telecasts on ESPN beginning Dec. 10). Bowlers from 27 countries are expected at the event.