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Marble Dynasties!

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It's that time again! The National Marbles Tournament is almost here. This article in the Beckley, WV Register-Herald is way cool.

Straight Shooters

I wanted to say more about it but I can't organize my thoughts very well right now. It's just cool. It mentions Debra and Whitney - shows that adorable baby photo where Whitney is already trying to shoot marbles at 9 months of age - and already has better form than I ever will! LOL

And it talks about George Springer of Beckley, including a story of how he helped Debra on her quest for the national title.

I've read so many articles written by him, from back in the 50's and thereabouts. He was a sportswriter. At times he called himself the marbles editor. Sixty years ago Beckley, WV showed how community support built marble champs. I don't remember right at this moment how many national champions their area had but it was at least a few. AND Debra shows how community support builds marble champs now. Since her win in '73 she has coached 15 more national champions starting when she was still a teenager. In a sad development, her town has lost its 80-year sponsor due to the tough economy, but I'm sure she's gonna get her local kids to nationals.

This article is a window into the past, present and possibly the future of marble playing.

So enjoy!

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When I wrote Marble Dynasties in the title I meant to also mention families with more than one champion. But I didn't have my material anywhere near organized enough for that so I dropped that theme.

But here's a little bit along those lines.

Debra Stanley-Lapic (1973) and Whitney Lapic (2009) of course are on the list as the first parent-child pair of national champs, but Debra also has two nieces who went all the way to the top - Brenda Schwartz in 1980 and Darlene Schwartz in '82.

The Stamm family had three champs: Danny in 1979, Lisa in 1982 and Nicole in 1984.

Looking through the list of winners, I see many surnames which appear twice. Richard Ryabik in 1943 and his brother Raymond in 1946 when the tournaments resumed after the war. In this century there have been the Miller family, the Ricci family and the Nees family. Having names such as Ryabik to work with makes googling easy. :-) Looking for Ryabik led me to this article, History center puts out a call for mibsters. Seen it before. Worth looking at it again. :-) That article has an emphasis on winners from Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a lot of winners. Colorado has made a nice showing recently though. That's where the Nees family is from.

I think there might be more families with multiple winners who were cousins or such. And I can't even begin to touch the families who dominated locally and sent members to nationals year after year even if they didn't win the overall title.

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Yes, Steph, there have been quite a few families that have had multiple National Marbles Champions. My family with 4, Stamms with 3, Nees with two. Ryabiks with two. Many, many families have had many compete but I am only naming the ones with National Champions. Ricci's have one NMC, Amber and her father was a semi-finalist. Miller's have quite a few, and I think they are all cousins.

As for sponsorship, we did get the funding for two kids to go this year. One is paying thier own expenses and the other is being funded by a former National Marbles Champion and a noteable collector.

Last year, at the Amana show, money was collected for my marbles program and it sent one child to the nationals. I sincerely thank those collectors that donated last year.

I used to go to each school to conduct a tournament.....50 schools in total. This year without sponsorship I only went to the Middle Schools....and had quite a good turnout.

I will not let marbles die in my community.....the Reading Marbles Tourament is the oldest continually running marbles tournament in the country.....this year being the 88th Annual Reading Marbles Tournament......quite an accomplishment. And it's not going to end.....the interest is there, we just need funding.

Anyway, feel free to ask me any questions about our program. I can always talk marbles, lol.

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Many, many families have had many compete but I am only naming the ones with National Champions. Ricci's have one NMC, Amber and her father was a semi-finalist.

I don't know why I thought I saw the name Ricci twice in the list. Maybe because Christina the actress made the name so famous! lol

And it might have been reinforced somehow from something else I read - lots of articles on file from NewspaperArchive.com. Local stories have made some players seem sorta of "well-known" to me even though they didn't become champ.

Which of the past players have stayed on the circuit somehow? Coaching or playing as adults? I use the term "circuit" loosely! Take the question any direction you want!

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  • 2 weeks later...

And we have winners!


source(s): Marbles winners share a special tradition . & . Mibster’s Delight

The new National Marbles Champs are Penelope Bauer of Bloomfield, PA and Corey Goolsby from Standing Stone, Tennessee. Or maybe that's Hanging Limb, TN.

FWIW, in keeping with the title of the thread, it appears that Penelope is the sister of the 2007 champ Alexandra. Also, both boys in the final were from the same town as each other, next door neighbors even.

Charlie Mott, the winner from 1942, was at the tournament. Very cool.

More articles, in no particular order, as I run across them while I search for details:

Bloomfield girl wins U.S. marbles tourney

Bloomfield girl goes for all the marbles

Tenn. boy, Pa. girl crowned king and queen of marbles



National Marbles Championship Finals (lots of pix)

[maybe more to come, but I might be done now lol]

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