(Topic ID: 304867)

Bowling Fans: R.I.P. Mark Roth

By jrpinball

51 days ago


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  • Latest reply 49 days ago by Budman
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    #1 51 days ago

    One of professional bowling's all-time legends has passed away at the age of 70.
    He revolutionized the game with his power style, and was a dominant force in the sport in the 1980s. R.I.P. Mark. You were awesome!

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    #2 51 days ago

    Quite the pro bowling career! Among many achievements, first pro bowler (of only 4) to pick up a 7-10 split on TV!

    RIP Mark Roth

    #3 51 days ago

    RIP to the OG cranker

    #4 51 days ago

    I spent many Saturday afternoons watching Pro Bowlers Tour in the late 70's and early 80's watching him! Marshall Holman was great to watch also.

    #5 51 days ago

    Grew up watching him. Saw his 7-10 conversion live.

    #6 51 days ago

    It's Roth's 7-10 conversion in '80 that inspired me to shoot corner pins hard and straight like that, giving me a few 7-10 pickups of my own over the years with the 24+ MPH shot I developed for those kinds of pin leaves.

    A search says the cause of death was heart failure. He also suffered a stroke about 12 years ago he never fully recovered from. Still, a true bowling legend.

    RIP Mark

    #7 51 days ago

    Aw sad news indeed.

    Whenever I think of Mark Roth, I think of myself as a clueless kid who preferred Earl Anthony to Mark. My dad took me to see the pro qualifying rounds at the local bowling alley, and Earl hid in a room away from everyone—I got his autograph at the end of the day but he only begrudgingly signed for me and the 2-3 other kids that were there. Meanwhile earlier in the day I was sitting next to my dad (probably loudly) commenting that Mark didn’t seem to really be bowling well at this tourney. My dad elbowed me to point out that Mark was sitting maybe 6 feet away. Shameless child that I was at the time, I marched up to him and asked for an autograph. He was so kind and gracious about it! Such a class act all the way!

    #8 51 days ago
    Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

    Quite the pro bowling career! Among many achievements, first pro bowler (of only 4) to pick up a 7-10 split on TV!
    RIP Mark Roth

    I saw that live as well. Made my day! RIP Mark Roth

    #9 51 days ago
    Quoted from DaWezl:

    Aw sad news indeed.
    Whenever I think of Mark Roth, I think of myself as a clueless kid who preferred Earl Anthony to Mark. My dad took me to see the pro qualifying rounds at the local bowling alley, and Earl hid in a room away from everyone—I got his autograph at the end of the day but he only begrudgingly signed for me and the 2-3 other kids that were there. Meanwhile earlier in the day I was sitting next to my dad (probably loudly) commenting that Mark didn’t seem to really be bowling well at this tourney. My dad elbowed me to point out that Mark was sitting maybe 6 feet away. Shameless child that I was at the time, I marched up to him and asked for an autograph. He was so kind and gracious about it! Such a class act all the way!

    Was that at Bradley Bowl?
    I used to drive up there to watch the pros compete. Also went to Garden City Bowl for the Long Island Open. Met Chris Schenkel in the snack bar there. He was smoking a cigarette, and enjoying a cup of coffee, but graciously paused to sign an autograph for me. He was a class act as well.

    #10 51 days ago

    I came upon this YouTube video last night. It's the earliest video I'd ever seen of Mark on TV.
    Wow, did he perform!

    #11 51 days ago

    I bowled with him in Union City Ca. In a pro- am when I was 11 awesome dude.

    #12 51 days ago

    Sad.
    Another fan of Saturday afternoon watching the PBA tour. Faves started with Dick Weber(had the Dick Weber 5 Star bowling ball) then Earl Anthony.(then got the Earl Anthony Gyroscope ball…I think it was called)
    Still watch the PBS tours. Bowling was a huge part of my childhood as pinball.
    Started at 5 and bowled through my early 30’s in leagues. One of the questions for my High School Graduation(1977) picture was:”What are your favorite things to do?” My answer was:”Bowling, Pinball, and Cruising around.” : ) Gotta’ be others here as well!

    #13 51 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Was that at Bradley Bowl?
    I used to drive up there to watch the pros compete. Also went to Garden City Bowl for the Long Island Open. Met Chris Schenkel in the snack bar there. He was smoking a cigarette, and enjoying a cup of coffee, but graciously paused to sign an autograph for me. He was a class act as well.

    Yup! Years later I also got to bowl with Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams III in a pro-am—both were really fun to meet and gracious. The highlight for me was Norm complimenting me highly on coming thisclose to picking up a very tough split., but a close second was getting to see all the pros goofing off with each other and playing funny pranks.

    To circle back to pinball, my love of pins started when I was maybe 5 or 6 and would try to find pins with leftover credits on them. I remember the alley had Spirit of 76 at one point, don’t remember the other titles though.

    #14 51 days ago
    Quoted from DaWezl:

    Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams III in a pro-am—b

    Norm Duke is one of my favorites. Always positive and cheerful, unlike PDW.
    I think Norm was influenced by Mark Roth. He has a similar style.

    #15 51 days ago
    Quoted from Cash_Riprock:

    (then got the Earl Anthony Gyroscope ball…I think it was called)

    Yup. The Ebonite Gyro.
    I was one of the first guys at the lanes to get an AMF Angle. It was the first polyurethane bowling ball. Costed a lusty $65 at the time, which was crazy money for a bowling ball.

    #16 51 days ago
    Quoted from DaWezl:

    Aw sad news indeed.
    Whenever I think of Mark Roth, I think of myself as a clueless kid who preferred Earl Anthony to Mark. My dad took me to see the pro qualifying rounds at the local bowling alley, and Earl hid in a room away from everyone—I got his autograph at the end of the day but he only begrudgingly signed for me and the 2-3 other kids that were there. Meanwhile earlier in the day I was sitting next to my dad (probably loudly) commenting that Mark didn’t seem to really be bowling well at this tourney. My dad elbowed me to point out that Mark was sitting maybe 6 feet away. Shameless child that I was at the time, I marched up to him and asked for an autograph. He was so kind and gracious about it! Such a class act all the way!

    Speaking of Bradley Bowl, and local, Hartford bowling alleys......anyone remember Bloomfield Bowling Alley? Spent my youth watching the slot car races and scouring all the coin return cups from the pay phones and vending machines while my parents bowled. Can't remember any pins there?

    #17 51 days ago

    I remember watching bowling with my dad. Fond memories. Took up bowling as well (dad had already bowled for years). I still go once in a while with son.

    Mark was great to watch and sounds like he was a nice dude to boot!

    #18 51 days ago

    Wasn’t he the first guy to soak a bowling ball? RIP Mark

    #19 51 days ago

    I used to bowl on Saturday morning when I was a kid and always went home and watched the PBA tour on ABC. He was my favorite bowler by far. I always tried to chuck the ball as hard as I could because of him. He seemed like a good dude. May he Rest In Peace

    #20 51 days ago
    Quoted from Drain1:

    anyone remember Bloomfield Bowling Alley?

    One time when I was up at Bradley for the PBA event, I went looking for another place where I could roll a few games.
    I had a friend along, and we found Bloomfield Bowl.
    As we were bowling there, I looked to my left, and several lanes down, I noticed a guy who's bowling style was exactly like that of Nelson Burton Jr's. I mentioned it to my friend, and he turned to look as well. At that moment the guy looked to his right, toward us, and I realized that it WAS Nelson Burton Jr! He was with his family, rolling a few lines as well.

    #21 51 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Yup. The Ebonite Gyro.
    I was one of the first guys at the lanes to get an AMF Angle. It was the first polyurethane bowling ball. Costed a lusty $65 at the time, which was crazy money for a bowling ball.

    I recently retired my Johnny Petraglia LT-48. It had been used about five times in the last 35 years. Prior to that, a couple of times a week.

    #22 50 days ago
    Quoted from hlaj78:

    Wasn’t he the first guy to soak a bowling ball? RIP Mark

    I don't know, but I don't think he needed any help getting a ball to hook. I know he used to roll those Columbia dark maroon "bleeders" with the yellow dot.

    #23 50 days ago

    Marks thumb/hand I’m sure went through a lot between the amount of games and the way he threw the ball. Here’s a neat clip with my favorite bowling announcer and the late great Roth.

    #24 50 days ago
    Quoted from Bowlingpin:

    Marks thumb/hand I’m sure went through a lot between the amount of games and the way he threw the ball. Here’s a neat clip with my favorite bowling announcer and the late great Roth.

    His hand was not very "hand"some, but it could sure rev up a bowling ball.
    Bo's tips were taped at the late Paramus Bowl, in Paramus, NJ. It was just up the highway from the ABC Sports east coast offices.
    Paramus Bowling (as it was called), was Mark's home bowling center, and many greats bowled there over the years.
    I believe they used to telecast some of the earlier PBA tournaments from there.

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    #25 50 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Yup. The Ebonite Gyro.
    I was one of the first guys at the lanes to get an AMF Angle. It was the first polyurethane bowling ball. Costed a lusty $65 at the time, which was crazy money for a bowling ball.

    AMF Angle…was that the ball with the orange stripe going around it?

    EDIT: No it wasn’t! Just looked it up. AMF Amflite Magic Circle. The owner of the bowling alleys son had it. Only one I ever saw. If you threw it ‘correctly’ the stripe would go around straight as I remember.
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    #26 50 days ago
    Quoted from Cash_Riprock:

    AMF Angle…was that the ball with the orange stripe going around it?

    You beat me to it Cash

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    #27 50 days ago
    Quoted from Cash_Riprock:

    AMF Angle…was that the ball with the orange stripe going around it?
    EDIT: No it wasn’t! Just looked it up. AMF Amflite Magic Circle. The owner of the bowling alleys son had it. Only one I ever saw. If you threw it ‘correctly’ the stripe would go around straight as I remember.
    [quoted image]

    That would be a "full roller" (track inside the thumb hole and finger holes. A more modern bowler would have a track (worn area on the ball), well outside of the thumb hole.

    #28 50 days ago

    RIP. I thought I was the only bowling fan around these parts. Most of the legends were just a bit before my time. I remember seeing Roth and Holman just a few times on TV in the early 90s. They were in their 40s and the creation of the reactive ball pretty much ended their careers. Anthony I only saw on the senior tour. Dick Weber I can't recall seeing anytime other than in highlights. I'm glad to have seen most of the careers of Duke, WRW, and Bohn though. All of the above were the last of the bowling superstars. The world has passed the sport by.

    #29 50 days ago

    RIP Mark; want to give another nod of appreciation to the also-just-passed Teata Semiz. I watched both of them on ABC back in the day with my dad. Bring back hard rubber only!

    #30 50 days ago
    Quoted from hlaj78:

    Wasn’t he the first guy to soak a bowling ball?

    That was Don McCune.

    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Met Chris Schenkel in the snack bar there.

    Chris could do captivating play by play of someone unwrapping a loaf of bread. One of the best.

    #31 50 days ago
    Quoted from bobmathuse:

    give another nod of appreciation to the also-just-passed Teata Semiz.

    I didn't know that he had passed.
    I remember him because I believe he won one of the first bowling telecasts I ever sat down and watched. He reminded of a friend's dad.

    #32 49 days ago

    We've lost some other bowling legends recently as well.

    Jack Biondolillo, who rolled the first-ever nationally televised 300 game on the PBA Tour in 1967, passed in early October this year at age 81.

    And we lost 1970's 20-time PBA titleist Dick Ritger back in September 2020. I can remember when he lost the 1970 Firestone Tournament of Champions to pro bowler Don Johnson's infamous 299 game (10-pin on the very last shot).

    Anyway, back to the late great Mark Roth...

    #33 49 days ago

    Mark Roth was our idol when we were collegiate bowlers in the late 70s. It seemed so insane the way he cranked it up. Sadly these days little old ladies averaging 160 have more revs and ball reaction than he did thanks to modern equipment.

    McCune was the first one to soak the balls.

    #34 49 days ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    revs and ball reaction than he did thanks to modern equipment.

    I don't know about more revs, but the equipment and synthetic lane surfaces, combined with the fact that bowling centers like to create a "high scoring environment", have definitely diluted the game. Honor scores are now very commonplace, and bowling a 300 game is not really a big deal anymore. Just about anyone who can put a little rotation on the ball and keep it right of center, can average 180 or more.

    #35 49 days ago

    Been bowling since I was 4. Always enjoyed watching Roth and many others on the ABC Bowlers Tour and the PBA. Had the pleasure of meeting him at a Johnny Petraglia Open tournament at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick NJ, very cool guy and signed a bowling pin. Sad to hear about his passing. RIP Mark.

    #36 49 days ago

    Didn’t really follow bowling as closely as you all but Chris Schenkel (ABC Sports / PBA announcer) was a friend of our family. Very nice guy.

    #37 49 days ago

    Anybody recognize the following line from a Cheech and Chong song:
    Chris Schenkel, don’t sing nothing!
    It’s from Basketball Jones

    #38 49 days ago
    Quoted from Budman:

    Didn’t really follow bowling as closely as you all but Chris Schenkel (ABC Sports / PBA announcer) was a friend of our family. Very nice guy.

    Wow. That is so cool. What a gentleman and a class act!

    #39 49 days ago

    Last time I saw him was in the early eighties, we were eating breakfast at Brennan’s in the French Quarter. Chris was in his stocking feet because a street shoe shine guy took off running with his shoes happily yelling , “ I got Chris Schenkel’s shoes!” , “ I got his shoes!”. Thankfully he returned with them to the restaurant all shined up. Chris was highly amused and a great sport about it all.

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