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Our History Page 2
In 1920, after WW1, women started making an appearance at the Palace alleys. Because the women were too self-conscious about the men looking on, the management of the alleys set aside two alleys on the fifth floor for them to use. They were alleys 15&16. Also to ensure privacy for the women, there was a curtain from the ceiling to the floor installed from the seats all the way down to the pits so that no one could see them.

In the mid1920's, the first notable women bowlers were; Mrs. Brewster, Martha Rompf, Lena Kratz, Nina Speickoff, Dora Knaus and Elsie Schramm. They would bowl under the banner of "Bernie Maurer's Ladies Team".

During the early 1920's, there were several bowling alleys built in the Syracuse area. They included six alleys at the City Club on South Warren St., six alleys at the Chamber of Congress, American Legion, The Eagles Club, the Polish Community Home, Sacred Heart Athletic Club, Solvay Recreation and Eastwood Sports Center.

In 1923, the readers of the "Herald" cast their votes for the areas first all-star bowling teams. The teams for the 1923-24 season were as follows:
First Team- Martino, Cattalane, Shaul, Beckwith &Wiler.
Second Team- Schlie, Love, LaTessa, H. Williams & J. Williams.
Third Team- Parslow, Wolfe, Collins, Reichel & Gaspy.

Prior to the 1925 season, Syracuse belonged to the Atlantic Coast Bowling Alliance. In 1925, Syracuse became a member of the American Bowling Congress, and the Syracuse Bowling Association was formed. The "Herald" all-star team was,
First Team- Martino, Monarski, Clausen, Parslow & J. Williams.
Second Team- Love, Carey, H. Williams, Shaul & LaTessa.
Third Team- Winters, Schlie, Cattalane, Reichel & Gaspey.

When Syracuse first began bowling under the rules of the American Bowling Congress in the 1925-26, they patterned their by - laws after the Buffalo Bowling Association, which was already a member of the A.B.C.. The first officers of the Syracuse Bowling Association were, H. W. Smith (President), James Mulheran ( 1st Vice- President),Leon Beckwith ( 2nd Vice- President), E. P. McGreevy ( 3rd Vice- President), E.E. Young (Secretary), and E.T. Eshelman (Treasurer).

On April 20, 1926, Lyle Jackson became the first person to bowl a 300 game to be recorded in the Syracuse Bowling Association. The all-star teams for that year were, First Team- Martino, Jaspers, Carey, H. Williams, & J. Williams. Second Team- Shaul, Schlie, Bernet, Monarski, & Beckwith. Third Team- Parslow, Domres, Jackson, LaTessa, & Thater.

In 1927, Leon Beckwith became the first Syracusan to serve as an executive committeeman of the A.B.C.. During the 1927-28 season, the Commercial League had 32 teams, which made it the largest league in the United States. In later years, it grew to 72 teams, which made it the largest traveling league in the world.

In 1928, Anthony " Butch" Burgett, bowled a 258 triplicate, which was the highest triplicate ever recorded in the A.B.C.. It would remain the highest until 1936. The Herald All-star teams were, First Team- Martino, Shaul, Parslow, Liss and LaTessa. The Second Team was Rutkowski, Burgett, Jackson, Domres, and J. Williams. The Third Team was Thater, Cattalane, Reichel, Jaspers, and Gaspey.
The Jefferson Bowling Academy was built in 1929 and had 36 alleys. This was the largest bowling alley in Syracuse and had its' alleys on two different floors. Paul Stein and Frank Shaunessey won the New York State doubles with a score of 1317. Also this year, the "Herald Diamond Medal" tournament drew over 1,000 competitors. One of the rules to enter was that you had to live within a 50 mile radius of Syracuse. Only sixteen bowlers qualified for the finals and they would bowl eight game head to head matches to reduce the field to two bowlers.
The two finalist had to bowl a twenty game match and they were, Frank Liss of Syracuse and Claire Gould of Cortland. Claire defeated Frank by a score of 4,004 to 3,993. In this match, Claire did not lead it until the fifth frame of the 20th game. This year also there were thirty men from throughout the United States selected to bowl in the world-bowling tournament in Stockholm Sweden. Of the thirty men, five were from Syracuse, and a sixth, Kermit Maurer, could not go because of business reasons. The five that went were, John O. Martino, John Rutkowski, Louis Errico, Jack Parslow, and Bill Shaul. On March 12, 1929, John O. Martino, became only the second man to bowl a 300 game in Syracuse Bowling Association history.

On April 14, 1930, William Kuhn bowled the third 300 game in the history of the S.B.A.. Also Kermit Maurer bowled an exhibition match against world famous Joe Falcaro. Falcaro won the match with a score of 2077 to 2072. Spencer Clausen, on May 11, 1930, bowled the fourth 300 game in S.B.A. history.
Pictured here is the Markson Furniture of the Major league. They became the first team in Syracuse to bowl over a 1200 game. Team members were on the top, Tony Malone, Bill Shaul, Frank Turco, and sponsor Henry Markson. Seated were, Greg Griffo and Sam Pasquale. They did it on February 9, 1932. Starting with Greg Griffo in the sixth frame, the team rolled twenty-two consecutive strikes. Each bowler used a two- fingered ball and the alleys had no dots or arrows for markings. Their scores were, Bill Shaul-263, Tony Malone- 247, Frank Turco- 209, Sam Pasquale- 214, and Greg Griffo- 279.

Pictured above is the 1933 Byrne Seiberling bowling team. All five members are in the Syracuse Bowling Association Hall of Fame. They are standing from left to right, Andrew Piraino (1956), Louis Errico (1976), and James LaTessa(1982). Seated are,Frank Cattalane (1963) and John O. Martino(1954).

Also in 1933, Veronica Peters and Mary Kite became the first women from the Syracuse Women's Bowling Association to win a W.I.B.C. championship when they won the doubles with a score of 1135.

John Rutkowski won the Syracuse Individual Bowling Association championship in 1934. He defeated Mario Spezialli by a score of 1873 to 1872. This match took place in the Polish Home and there were more than 500 spectators inside the building an hour before the match and another 50 people standing outside listening to someone yelling out the results as the match was going on.

Hurlburt W. Smith was one of the first industrialists in the nation to recognize the value of bowling as a recreation for his employees. He also saw that it established friendship and harmony among the bowlers. He was very influential in getting the 1935 A.B.C. tournament in Syracuse where he entered a large number of teams from Smith-Corona into the tournament.

In 1935, the American Bowling Congress national tournament was held in Syracuse. It had the largest attendance in the history of the tournament when it hosted 2,837 teams, 3,409 doubles, and 6,889 singles. Andrew Piraino became the first person in Syracuse bowling history to shoot an "800" score in league competition. He shot 824 on games of 299,279,246 at the Palace Alleys on January 15, 1935.

At the 1939 American Bowling Congress Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, the "Solvay Bank" sponsored bowling team shot a 3075 score in the team event. They received the admiration of the nation and Syracuse, and especially their home community of Solvay, where they held a parade in their honor for finishing in second place in the national tournament. They shot games of 980-1027-1068 for their 3075 total. Team members were, Leonard Capucilli-601, Joe Lydon-570, "Ace" Feretti-677, Adalio Togni-557, and Henry Bresadola-670.
Solvay's "Fabulous Five" 1939
Representing the Solvay Bank, these five men bowled 3075 in the 1939 American Bowling Congress in Cleveland... Coming in second and being recognized as the "Number One Surprise Team" in that year's ABC Classic. Seated L to R... Anthony "Ace" Ferretti, Leonard Capucilli...Standing L to R...Herny Bresadola, Joe Lydon, Adalio Togni.

In 1942, Kermit Maurer had the third highest A.B.C. tournament average for 90 games with an average of 201.09. There was also a controversy in 1942 among the bowlers and the proprietors. The controversy started when some bowling alleys raised the cost of three games of bowling from $.65 for three games to $.70 after the leagues had already started their season. Some leagues decided to suspend their leagues while others kept on bowling.

Vic Giromini, in 1946, rolled the second "800" series in Syracuse bowling history when he shot 814. That total ended up being the second highest series in the nation that year behind Dick Hoovers' 847.

John O. Martino was elected president of the American Bowling Congress in 1947. Vic Giromini and Frank Hermans won the first of their three New York State doubles titles with a score of 1266.

In the 1951 A.B.C. tournament, Vic Giromini bowled a 1948 in the all-events. This was the highest score that was shot by a New York State bowler and ended up being in 8th place at the end of the tournament. In the very first Van Wie Doubles tournament, the brothers Marty and Andy Piraino II won the first of six consecutive Van Wie Doubles championships.

Benjamin Berinstein was one of eight bowling proprietors in the United States to install automatic pinspotters in his bowling establishment in 1952, the 32 lane Syracuse Bowling Center.

The Syracuse Bowling Associations' Hall of Fame was started in 1954. The inductees were; John O. Martino, John Rutkowski, Bernard Maurer, and Michael Sargis.

On February 28, 1955, at Columbus Park Lanes, Genesee Beer bowled the highest sanctioned series in the history of the Syracuse Bowling Association with a score of 3383. Team members and scores were; Dan Capucilli-718, Tony Miller-694, Win Scheding-675, Marty Piraino-627, and Andy Piraino II-669. In 1956, this same team finished in 8th place in the A.B.C. tournament team event.

Greg Griffo, in 1957, won the very difficult and prestigious Peterson Singles Classic in Chicago. During the 1958 A.B.C. tournament held in Syracuse, there was a meeting at the Hotel Syracuse. Sixty men including Don Carter, Frank Esposito, Dick Weber, Carmen Salvino, Billy Welu, Steve Nagy, Buzz Fazio, Harry Smith, Ray Bluth, Dick Hoover, Junie McMahon attended. They were there to listen to Eddie Elias speak about starting a Professional Bowlers Association. After listening to his proposal, thirty-three men each contributed $1,650 to start the organization and the P.B.A. was then formed.

While the A.B.C. tournament was hosted by the city of Syracuse in 1958, it drew 5,434 teams, 8,712 doubles, and 17,402 singles. Marty Piraino set an A.B.C. qualifying record with a score of 1769 for eight games. Also Benjamin Berinstein started the very popular Syracuse Bowls television show at his Syracuse Bowling Center.