Scaccia's legacy lives on
Considered the premier event for local scratch bowlers, the Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial tournament finals will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl.
Top prize will be $2,500, based on 120 entries, and the winner will be crowned the area’s unofficial scratch champion. Only bowlers who have competed in five Huck Finn events are eligible.
Qualifying for the Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show’s” season finale continues Saturday at Town ’N Country Lanes at 3 p.m. and then again Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:30 at Boulevard Bowl, with same-day taping of the Scaccia finals to follow.
The tournament is named after the late Jack Scaccia Sr., who was a tireless promoter of the game, as well as one of its most progressive proprietors.
“When we first starting talking about a possible TV show, I thought we’d have something,” said Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York executive director Carol Judge.
“But Jack was even more gung-ho than me. In fact, I remember the last words Jack Scaccia said to me the Sunday night before he passed away. I said, ‘We’ve got to make this happen,’ and he said, ‘We’ll make it happen.’ ”
Scaccia and Judge, along with tournament director Jeff Segel and Karl Wolf, among others, proved to be right when they had their initial meetings about the Huck Finn show 10 years ago.
Perhaps the strongest voice in support of returning local bowling to television after the popular “TV Tournament Time” show went off the air many years ago was Scaccia.
“Jack was a typical guy,” said Judge. “He loved the game of bowling. And he loved the bowlers. Everything he did — and his sons followed right in his footsteps — was to take care of the bowler. He always said the bowlers pay for his paycheck, and I never forgot that. His sons, Mike [Boulevard Bowl], Joe [Alpha Lanes] and Jack Jr. [Town ’N Country], are still taking care of the bowlers to this day, and that’s what Jack Scaccia Sr. signified.”
After taping the Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial in the early years, the proprietors began presenting the show live. But Sunday’s finale will once again be taped. It will be shown May 4 at 10:30 a.m. on MY 4.
“It’s still our premier event,” said Judge. “In no way because it is taped and not live does it take any of the appreciation away from how we feel about Jack Scaccia and what he did for the game. It’s still the same emphasis. It’s still our season-ender and a tribute to his name.”
The entire Scaccia family usually shows up for the season finale, as well as numerous other friends and fans of the game.
Bob DiNuzzo won the inaugural event in 2005, followed by Craig Taylor in 2006, Neil Levanites in 2007, Mark James in 2008, Mike Drexel in 2009, Mike Neumann in 2010, Matt Sherman in 2011, Dan Furman in 2012 and Mark Kepner last year.
“This is our 10th anniversary, and we’ve tried to do something different every year,” said Judge.
“As we all know, there is a lot of competition for scratch events. It’s their livelihood at bowling centers to have tournaments, and we’ve tried to go with the flow. That’s how everyone in this business makes their money. So we’ve added many junior events, for example. Next year, we will have two adult-child tournaments, three junior events and another high school event. We are also going to have another charity event, along with our special needs show.
“We’ve tried to open it up so the playing field is fairly even,” Judge continued. “We want all our bowlers in the bowling center to have something they can play for — not just one segment — and I think we’ve done that. We’re trying to listen to everyone. That’s our goal, to listen and to keep everyone involved.”
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for this tournament, because it’s named after one of the nicest guys in the game. A true gentleman, Jack was one of the proprietors who helped me learn the ropes in area bowling circles when I was the bowling columnist at the Troy Record in the mid-1980s.
STRIKES & SPARES
The 81st annual USBC Schenectady Bowling Association Championship tournament, better known as the City Tournament, concludes tonight at 6:30 at Boulevard Bowl.
Speaking of the SBA, its annual Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet will be held June 3 at the Waters Edge Lighthouse in Glenville.
Kepner, of Selkirk, defeated R.J. Martinez of Ballston Spa, 185-174, to win the Huck Finn Kenny Hall Tournament of Champions over the weekend at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. Kepner pocketed $600, plus a recliner from Huck Finn.
Hometown Lanes in Mechanicville will host the Troy Bowling Association’s team tournament this weekend. That event will continue Tuesday through Thursday. Entry fee is $85 per five-person team. Call Jim Klar at 235-2548 for reservations.
Sportsman’s Bowl will offer spring leagues on Tuesdays (junior youth, youth bumper, and semi-classic) and Thursdays (senior mixed league, PBA experience league, adult-youth league and mixed league). Open bowling will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays. Sportsman’s also will be open Sundays from noon to 6 p.m., beginning July 20.
The Average Joe’s Bakers Doubles tournament continues Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Town ’N Country Lanes. Entry fee is $50 per team. Call 456-1113 for reservations.
Rolling Greens is the site for the “Bowl for our Soldiers” charity event that will benefit the “Operation Adopt a Soldier” campaign on May 3. Registration deadline is Saturday. Entry fee is $12 and the format will be three games bowling on a four-person or five-person team. Call 260-9922 or 381-4848 for more information.
The Rolling Greens “Summer League” begins May 6 at 6:30 p.m. Call RG at 381-4848 for more information.
The Towne Bowling Academy and Carbone Auto Group’s inaugural Kentucky Derby Day tournament, the culmination of the point-system events at Towne BA all season, will be held May 3 at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $40, and top prize will be a minimum of $1,000. There will be a prime rib dinner included in the entry fee. There is a minimum of $1,500 added purse money. One in four bowlers will cash. Bowlers must have competed in at least four point tournaments to be eligible for the Derby Day event.
The 76th annual Schenectady/Scotia USBC Bowling Association’s Women’s Championship Tournament will be contested Monday through May 10 at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee will be $16 per event. Average caps for the doubles will be Class A (371-480), Class B (311-370) and Class C (310 or lower). Average caps for singles will be Class A (186-240), Class B (156-185) and Class C (155 or lower). Handicap for each event will be 100 percent. Squads will be Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. for teams; May 5-9 at 6:30 p.m. for singles and doubles; May 3 at 11 a.m. for singles and doubles and May 10 at 11 a.m. for singles and doubles. Make all checks payable to the Schenectady and Scotia USBC Women’s Bowling Association.
In a stepladder final that included five PBA Hall of Famers, Norm Duke captured his first PBA50 Tour title, the PBA50 UnitedHealthcare Sun Bowl In The Villages, presented by Radical, Tuesday. Duke, competing on the older tour for only the second time, defeated four-time PBA50 Player of the Year Tom Baker of Kingston, 256-228.