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Action Bowlers

Jeff Kitter Action Bowler - One Of The Best EVER

Memory Lane: Back in the Action with Legend Jeff Kitter
By Gianmarc Manzione  Bowling News Manager  BOWL.com

Kitter -
Long before the World Series of Poker attracted legions of fans to their television sets to watch gamblers crowd a casino card table with millions of dollars in prize money on the line, a place called Central Lanes just a short drive north of New York City swarmed with money and matches whose legends no main event in Vegas will ever outlive, a place where Jeff Kitter bowled future Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia for $2,000 a game equipped with nothing but a 10-pound ball and two fingers as Johnny used only his thumb, a place where you always knew you could find a black jack game out back whenever you had no match inside.

“You still weren’t there at 5:30 in the morning with your date,” Kitter explains. “This was gambling.”


Welcome to Jeff Kitter’s 1960s, a time warp in which Richie Hornreich gathers friends by a rainy window in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge Lanes and places bets on which rain drop will make it down the window the fastest, where a young Mike Limongello borrows enough from Max the Shylock to make it through one more match as long as he agrees to let Max bet on him, and the action at Central Lanes in Yonkers is far too real to be outdone by the manufactured thrill of jackpot sirens and neon lights thousands of miles away.
“There were very few avenues to gamble back then,” action bowling legend Jeff Kitter explains. “There was no sports betting to speak of, the Meadowlands race track hadn’t even been built, Atlantic City wouldn’t become a gambling venue for another fifteen years, there were no lotteries, people didn’t even talk about going to Las Vegas because it was so far away. Just as the place to gamble was the pool hall in the ’30s and ’40s, the bowling alley became the place to go and gamble in the ’50s and ’60s.”
In the time warp of Jeff Kitter’s memory the pharmacies close at five, cell phones are the stuff of sci-fi jokes and the neighborhood turns desolate after dark. But if you’re looking for action after hours, you can find it any night of the week at places like Leemark Lanes in Brooklyn where Richie Hornreich is battling Mike Limongello for enough money to pay the rent for several years, or Central Lanes where Larry Lichstein glimpses Ernie Schlegel for the first time in his life and finds him “pounding his chest like a gorilla, saying he is the greatest bowler in the world.”
“Everything was closed on Sunday, so when you went to Central Lanes on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, the town was desolate. You would drive up Central Avenue-the bowling alley would be on it-nothing was open. There wasn’t a delicatessen open, there were no supermarkets. You were living in an era where there were four or five TV stations and only a handful of people had color TVs and cars didn’t have air conditioning,” Kitter recalls. “But the first time I went to Central Lanes it was five o’clock on a Sunday morning, I took the first bus up Central Avenue and the whole town was desolate, but I got off the bus and the whole parking lot of Central Lanes was packed, and right away I had this strange feeling, like ‘What are all these people doing at five o’clock in the morning at a bowling alley?’”
Now that a parking garage stands on the plot of land in Brooklyn where Leemark Lanes once stood and the 42nd anniversary of the day two tricksters started a fire in a utility closet of Central Lanes and inadvertently burned it to the ground is upon us, many of the bowling alleys Jeff Kitter speaks of endure only in the memories of those who were there. They are the places that Kitter describes as “theaters” in which names like Dirty Bruce, The Hawk and Billy the Kid were as common as names like Joe and John and even “Benny Cigar” the beer delivery man and his 160 average could find a match for hundreds of dollars a game.
“What made the atmosphere almost carnival-like was that you could find a match between two 165 bowlers for a lot of money. Benny Cigar bowled Joe Bera the bookmaker I don’t know how many times, and it wasn’t unusual for them to bowl for four or five-hundred a game, and they were horrible.”
It was a carnival in which Kitter happily indulged, where Iggy Russo, perhaps the most mythical character to emerge from the action bowling scene of the 1960s, drove up to every match with a collection of loaded balls and lead pins which, if you wanted to bowl Iggy for any amount of money, you accepted as part of the deal. It was a carnival in which you bowled for as much money blindfolded as you did throwing the ball between your legs, a carnival in which anything-from the rain in the window to black jack out back-was a chance at getting a taste of the action.
“One of the things I never see written about are novelty games, but there was a lot of gambling done on bowling in all sorts of different manners-low ball which involved trying to pick off the corner pins but if you threw it in the gutter you got 10 plus whatever you got on the next ball, then there were matches bowling palm ball, blindfolded, house ball, between your legs, between chairs, with the other guy’s ball, I’m not even thinking of them all.”
But as Jeff Kitter says, a place like Central Lanes was as much a theater as it was a bowling alley, a theater whose audience arrived from “as far south as Philadelphia and as far north as Boston,” a theater whose participants-however far removed from “the action” as they may be these days-tell their stories as vividly now as they did the day after they happened.

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... other posts by Gianmarc Manzione

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Jeff Kitter and Cliffy Burgland bowled some off the biggest doubles matches in the history of action bowling, this was the elite of the elite doubles teams.
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Charlie Faino absolutely right. The best around from 70 until 75 when Urethane lanes came in and the full roller was not as effective. Kidder took over in '76. Jeff was second best when Faino was the best. Saw George Pappas walk off the lanes agaist Faino after practice. He had come in the house with his backer looking for Faino. Faino got up on the front desk and told Pappas how he sucked as he was walking out with his backer.Faino was a character but a great bowler.

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Jeff Kitter got really good when urethane lanes came in 1976. Jeff retired from gambling a few years ago, lives in Hilton head and plays the market for a few clients as told to me by his former partner Bill Daly. Daly also kept a diary of all the matches they were involved in. To say kidder was the second best, you probably never saw much of Hornreich. He beat up on better bowlers. kidder did not have alot of tough competition, although he did crush Roth at Rainbow in a doubles match. And he never went on tour, because he gave up the game to become a professional gambler. he was one of the biggest around, betting 10g a game and up.
 
Kitter and Burglund against Roth and Petraglia in '76.
The match you referred to happened at rainbow. Jeff and burglund clocked roth and rags in mark's own house. Rags was never that good in action because he needed oil. And roth never bowled kidder that night as I was told. did spallone really bowl the beeper. hard to believe beeper got on the same pair with him. so so so much better. spallone terrific action bowler. would rather go to ac.
 
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Schlegel and rags had bowled kitter and johnny bell in white plains bowl about a year before the roth match. kidder and bell destoyed them. they were one of the best doubles team I ever saw back in the day or even today. no matter where they bowled doubles, they were usually good for about 480. Johnny bell was a real good bowler, at that time better than kidder in my book. the only deuce bowler I ever knew that looked at the pins. Bell won alot, especially in singles but he never bet. He'd bet $5 or $10 on himself, but at the track I saw him generally bet $100 on a horse.
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This old dog was also at the great match at Rainbow Lanes. It was like a TV show, they bowled upstairs on the left side. All the lanes were closed down except the center pair where they bowled the match, the house was full of on lookers, the air was thick with electricity.  
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I was at the great roth petraglia vs kitter and burgland match. there was more excitement watching the beeper and spallone. Kitter was good so was roth but my opinion is roth was not a good action bowler. funny thing is bowl him in the finals on tour he was tough but have him take some cash out of his pocket well that was a different story. I believe he did not even have a bet on the match that night. I could be wrong but I sat right there and I even had a bet on the match. and I was just a kid then. cliff and petraglia did not break 180 any game taht night . kitter was bowling low 200's to 220 and mark was 200 to 210 . I truly enjoyed the beeper - spallone match more.
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Jeff Kitter: Question: As good as these great sixties action bowlers were, how do they stack up against Jeff Kidder, I could be wrong but I think Jeff bowled in more big action matches than anyone else and stayed on top longer than the rest. Why didn't Jeff ever turn pro. Answer: To me Jeff was second to Dewey who only bowled for a year or so and Jeff bowled forever so hard to say. As far as why Jeff never turned pro is very simple. He made a lot more money betting basketball and football then he could ever have made on tour. Most of you don't know this but Jeff is a genius. He had bookies in many states and would bet both teams in their home town and catch middles for BIG money. I used to play golf with Jeff, Joey B. and Teata every Wed. in Paramus. We played partners and switched every week. Teata is about a 4 handicap and the rest of us were about 12's so whoever had Teata got strokes. Jeff had ice in his veins I swear. If he needed to make a putt for the $ he made it....period. Last I heard he owned a couple of restaurants and would use his plane to back and forth....yes he is a pilot. Till next time.....
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Lemon was better than all mentioned. Schlegel second best. How could you forget about the best, Richie Hornreich? Kitter was the best in the late seventies when all mentioned were on tour, except Lemon who did not  bowl much then. kitter did crush Roth in a doubles match at rainbow in 1976.
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Answers for some questions: The other real big backer was the guy that came with Dewey Blair....Steve do you remember his name? The match at Skytop ended at about 6am not 8am and he didn't destroy Ralph I think he came up 2 games. But your right he did destroy Mike L. and Ernie and everyone else he bowled during that short period of time. For my money the best I ever saw and I would put Jeff Kidder 2nd. See you Friday Steve.
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As good as these great sixties action bowlers were, how do they stack up against Jeff Kitter I could be wrong but I think Jeff bowled in more big action matches than anyone else and stayed on top longer than the rest.
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Why didn't Jeff ever turn pro.
Steve, what did you think of Jeff Kidda, I thought he had ice water in his veins, the best I ever saw.
Do you know of any bigger backer than Bill Daley.
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Action bowlers, before & after 1980 How do the pre 1980 action bowlers rank against the post 1980 action bowlers...Bernie There were more action shooters prior to the 1980s. rudy revs probably the best in the last twenty years. Richie Hornreich, Mike Limongello, charlie Faino, Jeff Kitter would have beaten Rudy if he had been around then...Old Timer I believe you cannot compare athletes of different eras...that includes bowling....Equipment, conditions and the athletes themselves are unlike they were years ago...The question might be if todays players were put into the 1960-1970 senario and reverse how would they all do... Would they be as dominent as they were in their time..  I do think however that the many of the action bowlers years ago were bigger gamblers than now. Some bowler who would take out of his pocket $ 200 to bet on a bowling match and only earned $ 275 at his job is a much bigger bettor than a guy today who bets $ 200 a game out of his pocket, but earns $ 950 at his job. Action years ago pitted bowlers of equal quality in many matches. How often can we say that happens today.... For the most part today we have a bunch of committee betting locksmiths who in many cases would never bowl a player of equal quality. Many action  bowlers today won't bowl a singles or doubles match if there is a lefty involved, or the lanes must be conditioned a certain way or no match, or if he got out of the wrong side of the bed that morning...no match...  Then you have the rarest breed of action bowler of all.....the guy who bowls a guy who he knows is better than him but loves the tough competition, and wants to take a shot at making some real money..Knowing all of his be...Anonymous
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A Question For Bill Daley Was Jeff Kitter the best action bowler you were associated with, I don't know if back would be the correct phrase. If not, who was the best one you partnered with and who do you consider the best of all time.  Who was the best in the 50s - 60s - 70s - 80s - 90s  And last but not least, what was the best doubles team, meaning two guys that really bowled a lot of doubles matches together,  ala (Mac & Stoop)(Fats & Deacon)(Jeff & Cliffie)  Your the man Dollar Bill, The real Mr. Action...  I hope you reply to this post. Thanks... Kevin jeff and cliff in doubles, 50s iggy, 60s richie, 70s lemon, 80s mark, 90s rudy...lennyd cane was not around in the seventies. so he does not know. lemon was gone in the seventies. faino was the best from 1970-1975 and jeff kidder took over when urethane came in 1976. jeff quit in 1981 to become a professonal gambler who now resides in hilton head and plays the market for three big clients. jeff no longer a gambler. just info. anyone want to contact jeff, check with daly, i'm sure he has his E-MAIL address.  as to the 80s, mark was on tour and do not remember him bowling action. hank berhbom may have been the best after jeff retired. hank moved to florida late eighties, maybe 1987. rudy took over. but then duke was still bowling action. so when he came here, he may have been the best, but he could not beat Hank. they split twice at Pequa...Just Browsing
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To me Jeff was second to Dewey. Again Dewey only bowled for a year or so and Jeff bowled forever so hard to say. As far as why Jeff never turned pro is very simple. He made a lot more money betting basketball and football then he could ever have made on tour. Most of you don't know this but Jeff is a genius. He had bookies in many states and would bet both teams in their home town and catch middles for BIG money. I used to play golf with Jeff,Joey B. and Teata every Wed. in Paramus. We played partners and switched every week. Teata is about a 4 handicap and the rest of us were about 12's so whoever had Teata got strokes. Jeff had ice in his veins I swear. If he needed to make a putt for the $ he made it....period. Last I heard he owned a couple of restaurants and would use his plane to back and forth....yes he is a pilot. Till next time.....
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Jeff was making big gambling bets before he started to bowl action. He quit the action because it was hard to find big money matches.
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jk, that is not true. I first met Jeff when Charlie tuna brought him to Raceway when he was about 15 in 1969 or 1970. Jeff started making those big bets on sports after 1975-I knew him from 1969-1975. We used to call him Young Jeffrey. HE bowled alot of doubles with JOhnny Bell during the early seventies. They rarely if ever lost. He quit the game in 1981 to focus on being a professional gambler. These are facts. I came back to the game in 1982 and he was gone.
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More on Jeff. You should locate his partner, Bill Daly. He has a diary of all the matches they were involved in. Heard, again only heard that he carried his own pins. He did challenge Earl Anthony at Garden City. Earl told him to come to Seattle. He did. For reasons unknown, the match never took off. He did not always win the big ones. In 1978, he traveled to Baltimore and either bowled Pete Couture or george Pappas. Jeff lost around 5g.
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Great stories Butch. one correction, however. Jeff was in his early 20s(maybe 21) when Daly started backing him. Where did Daly get all his money. A ton was from gambling. You can figure out the rest. About a year ago, he avoided doing hard time.Again, somebody would have to get a hold of Daly and he could give you Jeff's e-mail address in Hilton Head. ALOT do not know, but Jeff is a college graduate with a degree in accounting. Guess being a numbers man, helped him make all that moolah betting sports. Daly made a ton himself. They always did their homework. From what Daly had told me, they kept statistics on all the games, like hundreds of sheets. They may have also had inside dope on who was hurting which gave them a big edge in making their selections. Daly also told me that he kept a diary of all the matches they were involved in.
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great action bowlers, here are a few of the best and any time they bowled with or againest each other was like a great game in any sport you loved to watch. joe s,frank medici ralph engan(the most feared), jake charter, dewey blair, lemongello,ritchie hornriech,jack clemente,rich pizzutti, jeff kitter,john massaro,ernie schlegel,doc iandolli,jimmy mChugh, pete mylenki,mike derose,and many more that i'm probably other people can add to this great list. each one of these bowlers had alot of talentand when they bowled each other it was beautiful to watch no matter who one the clutch strikes the jibeing was worth the price of admission
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Kitter beat em all including Roth in his own house. Robert Smith is the best Scianna ever beat and he won three straight. So it's no. Rudy was the best around until he hit the tour. And Scianna was there. One thought is that he will bet it up even when he's behind. He's the best now since rudy is on tour but there is not much around to beat.
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Green acres closed before Scianna was bowling action. Lemon was the best ever from the island and in all houses. Mchugh was never better than him in any L.I. house. Kitter was great after Lemon was out of the game, otherwise Lemon would have kicked his ass also.
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Rudy lives in Mississippi now. For whatever reason, Scianna rarely bowls in tournaments.He bowled in the regional in Florida last weekend. Mack was probably bowling some easier competition in Singapore. Ya hoss, believe me these guys never saw Kitter bowl. Is Woodmere the place where the action is Saturday? Expensive weekend for Smith. He travels 3,000 miles to see his girlfriend and then gets waxed on the lanes. Action is just a whole new ballgame. Now Scianna is real good and the best around these days. I'm sure if he keeps bowling Smith, he will go down in the long run. And kitter feared nobody. He challenged Earl at GC one year. Earl said come to Seattle. Kitter and DALY went. For whatever reason(s), the match never took place. Remember, when Rudy was here, Joe was second best. And Rudy beat Pete Weber on three different occassions. Twice here and once in Texas. Kitter, Lemon and hornreich were better. You had to be there to believe. Rudy never bet alot. the three bet thousands.
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I never said I was better than kitter just said I won a match . I beat alot of great bowlers but usually never bowled them again. I always thought if I beat them why bowl them again! Geno was a friend of mine. Ask geno about san antonio. doran was a nothing who was pissed i put him 3rd in the line up or some thing. after that match he wanted to bowl me at plainview I was all for it I won a regional there. never happened though.what is your name You can e mail me at [email protected] I bowled the newsday only once I think it was syosset I did not make the finals I think 3/4 of the field made the cut off 1 day, i thought that strange and never bowled again in that tournement. I did bowl me 1st pba 300 at garden city it was the year after i led the ptq squad there. I always loved bowling there. There were alot of tough bowlers men and women that bowled there. and about jeff he was a great bowler no doubt. I mean no disrespect towards any bowler named in these posts they are all truly great bowlers .
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Iggy at his best when he was trying was better than Santini. The horn at his best would have beaten pete weber (why not, rudy beat him three times). Jeff at his best a little better than ralph. Lemon would have beaten holman for money. Roth crushes rags. and the best mentioned so far WRW sends berardi packing. Berardi lost to snake who was tough 20 years ago but no berardi. Now the horn and lemon at their best against wrw. My pick WRW the best I have ever seen...  Lou C
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Billy Red, how do you rate yourself against Bill Daly as a big time better/backer (gambler) Have you ever gone against him in any capacity. How do you rate Rudy vs Jeff I believe Bill has also backed Rudy, if so, who backed him in bigger matches. One last question, how do you rate yourself as a bowler vs Joe Scianna
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daly was a much bigger backer than me. i am not in the backing business, except when rudy revs bowls. when rudy became the best, jeff was gone already. jeff was great but rudy started something in this game that the best bowlers are all doing today, cupped wrist with a lot of rotation. he changed the game. i also think rudy traveled more for matches and became a legend across the country. the megabucks also helped get his name across the country. jeff didnt have that luxury. they were both great in their own right. i will say though that rudy has been great thru 3 era's-rubber, urethane and resin. he adapted to all the changes. not like somepeople on this board that just complain about the equipment changes. i have gone up against daly many times in the action both with me bowling some of his boys at deer park and also with me betting on rudy against some of his guys. those were the good times. now a days you have kids that don't even have jobs taking shots at the money. there is nothing there to win anymore. they quit 1 or 2 down at the most. you are lucky a to get a $300 bet.
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i am in agreement, jeff was abetter action bowler NO DOUBT. the man had ice in his veins. and about Doran I guess you were there after i finished beating him on and off the lanes he wanted to bowl me again and I told him to bowl my wife at the time and if and i mean't if he could beat her i would give him a rematch. but he refused, he probobly would have lost that match too.my ex Debbie could bowl. she thru more ball than he did too.
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roth and rags match against kitter and burgland was not a great match. rags bowled horrible and burgland was worse. i dont think either of them broke 180 that night. i enjoyed the spallone beeper match spallone went berzerk, beeper was beeping and fouling buy a foot and a half drove spallone crazy. last game spallone needs to make a 10 pin goes down to the front of the masking unit on 1 knee and makes the spare the beeper beeped for an hour after that. spallone quit 1 up or so. but funniest thing i ever saw. beeper going wha wha wha wha what was tttttttthat wooop wooooop woooop. spallone telling him 1 ft over the foul line or 55 ft over samething. they are both fouls.
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Do you have any idea why Roth wouldn't bowl Kitter singles after the doubles match was over? I remember Daily saying he would cover the house and Mark turned it down.
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there were alot of great bowlers in the 60's to 80's and maybe even early 90's but the game has changed so much. can we really call this the same game when you shoot 275 and finish 3rd in a pot game with 6 bowlers. every week there was a 300 or 2 in every league (major) there is. i remember there wasnt a 200 avg in my home house for 12 years. and there were great bowlers there. i bowled with or against most of the greats of the game in the 70's and early 80's and a solid 220 could win 99 percent of the time. thats including kitter perry hornreich the whale doc iondoli burgland behrbaum so on and so on today everyone is a 230 avg big deal i came back and bowled for 6 weeks after a 10 yr layoff and avg 230 bowling once a week 3 games. well anyway i am not trying to belittle anyones talent today i am not. but its golf season want action call me FORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!! BIG LOU
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My top pick is Jeff Kitter because he bowled many pros and beat them, had ice water in his veins, beat all the top action bowlers of his time and was a big better. He also traveled all over and bowled in any house.
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1 st time i bowled richie he had just come back from vegas and haddent bowled in a few years. came to maple and challenged the house so me being a big shot bowl him. i lost that match before we ever threw a ball. and i was at that time twice the bowler he was. but he still won. he mentally beat me before the match. he taunted me in front of all the maple bowlers. luckily for me he gave me a rematch saturday afternoon. and i beat him 8 straight. that was the day we became friends. and he became the teacher and me the student. like joe s was to him. unfortunatly being a thick headed 18 yr old , i would forget my teachers lessons and end up bowling someone like behrbohm or burgland or kitter in an actyion rich bowling alley and never get an easy match in that house again. hornet was the best, when i was growing up i spent time at bay ridge and all the great stories were about hornet. i was lucky i got to bowl around the real greats of the game. Petraglia, joe's, hornreich,roth, etc.
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heres my oppinion hornet lemengello kitter berardi rudy revs. that would be my a list. these guys were awsome. the only one i really never saw was lemongello. but there were hundreds of great bowlers. perry, schlagel, pappas, snake, engan,val macari, spallone,viale,neumann, killer, johnny meyers ira katz charlie venable joe s, fats and deacon,buffalo,god the list can go on forever.. i only bowled from 73 to81 and than again from 84 to 89 on and off. but had the pleasure of bowling many of these guys. and beating most. so i will put myself in here . but there are still many many more guys who were awsome not from the ny nj area. cane mentioned cammillari, tom was a charter member of the pba and an awesome bowler with great knowledge of the game. he invented many parts that are still in use by bowling alleys today. funny thing is everyone would pick some one different...  Lou C
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Joey was a great bowler but I don't remember him being a great action bowler. I was one year younger than Joe when he bowled for Mt. St. Michaels in the CHSAA league at Stadium Lanes accross from Yankee Stadium. In addition we both bowled in the same small house Steele Lanes. When he made the Pro's his bio said he bowled at Parkway as he grew up but that is not the case. His family lived across the street from Stelle Lanes and he bowled their all the time. I don't remember him bowling much action. Only leagues and constantly practicing. His dad was really devoted to his becoming a pro and worked a side job as a bartender I believe so he could practice. Early in his pro career he was spnsored by Max from Kusky's on the tour receiving a weekly salary, expenses and a percentage of the purse's he won. The biggest match I saw him bowl was at Kusky's when Max backed him against Jeff Kidder. Jeff beat Joey that night pretty easily. Max also backed Petraglia and Butch Soper among others on the tour and would bring them in to bowl against Jeff but very rearly did they win. The story about Max is that Petraglia introduced Mark Roth to Max early in his carrier when Roth wanted sponsorship but Max did not like his style. I don't know if that story is true maybe someone can verify if it was or not.
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Tony I remember Jeff doing a real job on Butch Soper, wiped him out. How old was Joey in 1975, that's the year I saw the horn walk off the lanes at Raceway against Joey before the match began. Joet buried 10 straight in practice and Richie put his ball away. Obviously this wasn't the horn of the sixties.
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I was there old dog when Jeff beat beat Soper. In the space of a few weeks he beat Joey, Soper, Tom Baker from Buffalo all who were sponsored on the tour by Max and backed by him in action. The worst beating was one the night Jeff beat Petraglia 7 out of 8 games. Jeff was the best I ever saw my father alway's talked about Lemongello being the greatest but I never really saw him in action. The best match I witnessed actually was at Bridge Lanes in Queens between Jeff bowled Doc Iandoli. I had the pleasure of keeping score and they both played a real gutter shot. They were both lined in but Doc seemed to have a little edge because the gutter was not Jeff's natural shot. I remember Doc going up two games and it came down to the tenth frame of the next game with Jeff needing a strike. He moved back inside to the fourth arrow for that shot and got the strike. He won the next two games and the match was over. It was a great match to watch up close. Those were the good old day's.
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At his peak, Richie or Lemon would have beaten Berardi on any condition. You had to see Hornreich at his best which was prior to 1969. berardi at his best in action not even close to Hornreich. Richie beat Godman on more than one occassion at central where the lanes were dry, with Godman averaging in the 240s. Richie in the vargo on oiled lanes with 4 lb wood shot 1080 for 5, iincredible. The great EARL ANTHONY won that tournament one year with a 1020. Richie played anywhere from the gutter to the fourth diamond in the good old days. In those days, he had a very high backswing. Lemon was just as good, no matter what the conditions. I have not seen anybody here talk about the late Charlie Faino from Philly who was the best around from 1970 through 1976. He supported a family off the action and beat everybody around. Jeff never beat Faino, although they rarely bowled each other. Urethane lanes came into play in 1976 and the full roller that Faino through was not as effective.
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hers my list bowlers i bowled the horn,kitter,burgland,dirt,keith,doran,snake,perry, roy garcea,the ferraro brothers,doc iondoli,larry starr,tony attenasio,joe albanese,frank longo,buffalo bowlers i didnt bowl but would have liked to johnny meyers,lemon,ira katz,jimmy mack,ditolla,sliker,petraglia,roth,george pappas,wrw.
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All I can say is Jeff Kitter was the best I ever saw I was an action bowler in the old days I one time sent schlaegel packing after throwing 10 in a row on two seperate lanes. Anyway I am a has been but I know that if Jeff decided to bowl instead of make real money figuring out gambling odds and real estate he would have been a legend in the tri state area. Just ask Bill Daley he was Bill's horse since Jeff was about 15 years old I have seen the two of them make wads of money in a bunch of house's ranging from Pel Park lanes to van nuys to MSG to stadium etc. etc. etc.
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rags bowled kangarroo at fortway one night after kangaroo beat him rags threw all his equiptment down the lanes bag,shoes, everything. kangaroo was a friend of joe s and was a solid 170 bowler. rags was an average action bowler at best, but then again he was young when he bowled action. remeber he went on tour at about 19 or so. to win on tour you bowled 24 match games and no matter how well you bowled, without winning at least 70 % of those matches you werent going to make a show. big lou bowled action at about 14 yrs old and he was co*ky and loud, but he was just a kid, in my opinion he was superior than rags in action. at the roth-rags vs kitter-burgland match i think he actually wanted to bowl any of them after the match. his father had to stop him. he had balls, and game.
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I agree in their prime Horn and Lemon were the best doubles action bowlers in the world, but in 1975 or so Lou and Jeff were better... In 1975 the Horn and Lemon were still young, not old men yet but wouldn't have beaten Lou and Jeff over any period of time...
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Nominate The Greatest Action Bowler Of All Time and then we'll vote the top 5 nominations. My nomination is Jeff Kitter, he had nerves steel and didn't back down to anyone for big $$$ of his own, along with Bill Daly of course... He also beat the best around...
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I was their with Butch, the sixties for sure were the heydays of action, the only thing that brought the seventies in it were the likes of Jeff and the whole Bill daly crew, Joe Breardi, etc, plus Max the backer of course, but it still doesn't come near the 60s, not even close, the Horn was in there but had already seen his better days go by him... Nothing can compare to Central lanes and Ave M Bowl plus many other great action houses from the 60s, almost to many to remember...
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Saturday afternoon and evening at Falcaro's in Lawrence was the premier action house during the mid 70's and early 80's. Guys came from all over to challenge the house bowlers. The true house action bowlers at Falcaro's were as follows and not necessarily in order of the best. Tommy "Triple" Yadanza Bruce "The Dipper" Pastor Gibby ("The matchmaker") Pastor Sr. Gibby Pastor Jr. Barry Clare Phil Caporusso Jr. Al ("Ironman") Pinola John The Pollack Joe Viverito Big Al Julio Curra John Dugan Maury Berger Steve Weiss Steve Gowa Paul Katz Ira Katz ("The Whale") John Kurkemelis Steve Reiss Aaron Goldfedder Louis Rothman Michael ("The Sailor") Sperber Dino Star Freddy ("The Silver Fox") Mayo Freddy ("The Ox") Arbolino Andrew Castardi Mike Kilgannon Mike Lemingello Ray Shell Anyone who remebers more .....please let me know.. Action Bowlers who came down to Falcaro's during this era to bowl either house bowlers or other bowlers from the region were as follows: Jeff Kitter Bill Dailey Tavie Joe Cologna Cliffy Berglund Tony Devito Ricky Papandrea Gino Papandrea Louis Prisco Big Earl Bobby Simonelli Jr. Hank Behrbom Snake Les Shirwindt Jimmy McCue
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