My love of the silver ball came early. My father and mother bought my older brother, Leon, and I a Bally "Nip-It" for Christmas back when I was about 7 years old. If any of you ever watched the TV show "Happy Day's" you might have seen on of these "Nip-It" machines. It was featured in Al's Dinner and many of the cast were seen playing it. We grew up playing it and really learned how to play and how to take care of them. After growing up and learning more we learned that we took care of it all wrong but we tried and we learned. What we learned the most was how to play. Every nudge of the machine helped the ball go where we needed it to go. We learned how to stop the ball on the flippers and how to aim where to send it next. The flippers were small on this particular game and had the word "flipper" written on it. I still remember that if the flipper was in a certain position that if you flipped it when the ball was between the PP on it it would perfectly place the ball in the advance bonus area which also shot the ball to the top of the machine for more points.
The Silver Ball
Fast forward to today. My brother and I still love and play pinball. We have a collection of machines together that span all eras of pinball. From Electro-Mechanical to Solid State to Modern machines. We have about 14 games in our personal collection and routinely host tournaments with them. Our tournaments can bring in players from 300-500 miles away! We belong to the IFPA (International Flipper Pinball Association) which collects tournament results from all over the country to rank players and host state championships. It is amazing where pinball has gone as it was a fast dying industry for quite some time. When our generation started collecting old arcade games and setting up game rooms and man caves pinball had a resurgence. Now businesses are popping up called Bar-Cades and installing bunches of pinballs and old arcade games for people to come enjoy. What I really enjoy now is combining my two passions as I take pictures of these wonderful machines. I feel that the older machines are works of art and the mechanics behind them are fascinating. I love photographing all sorts of different subjects but pinball is one of my favorites for obvious reasons!