Joe D’Aurizio is no ham-and-egg bowler. Actually, he’s more of a sausage-and-pepperoni type of guy.
The long-time pizza maker has been bowling in major leagues for 42 years, but he didn’t pick up his first 800 triple until this season, when he recorded not one, but two 800 triples in two different scratch leagues.
“I enjoy the game,” the 60-year-old D’Aurizio said. “To tell you the truth, I never really thought I would ever get an 800 triple, especially at my age. I’ve thrown 300 games before, and I always wanted to get an 800 triple, but as time went on, I just thought it was too late for me.”
D’Aurizio shot his first 800 triple, an 804, Sept. 12, while subbing in the Sportsman’s Majors at Sportsman’s Bowl. He was bowling with good friend and Sportsman’s co-owner Mike Guidarelli.
“I’ve known Mike since we were in juniors together,” D’Aurizio said. “He couldn’t believe it when I told him it was my first one.”
D’Aurizio registered his other 800 triple, an 830, in the Capital District All Star league, another major scratch league which bowls Thursday nights, also held at Sportsman’s Bowl.
“I rolled four 780 triples before, and I figured if I didn’t get an 800 triple then, it just wasn’t going to happen,” he said. “I’m very excited that I finally did it.”
D’Aurizio was born in Schenectady, but his family moved to Rotterdam, and he graduated from Schalmont High School in 1974, the same year he began bowling in local major leagues. His first major circuit was the City League, and he also bowled in the Sportsman’s Majors for many years before he took about 15 years off from the game. He returned about five years ago, and has been bowling regularly in both the Capital District All Star league and the Vitalo Classic on Saturday nights.
“The reason I gave up the game was because I owned my own pizza restaurant for 26 years, and I couldn’t bowl weekends,” D’Aurizio explained. “Weekends are the busiest time in the pizza business. Now, I still work in the pizza business, but I’m working for somebody else.”
D’Aurizio has been a consistent 220-average bowler for more than four decades, with a high of 228 three years ago. He was never the best bowler on the lanes, but he was far from the worst.
“The game has changed dramatically in the last 20 to 30 years,” he said. “I know the scoring conditions are different these days. I grew up in the era of Dick Peckham, Frank DePalma, Mike Christie and Harry Polomaine. I remember Cuby Fiorillo telling me once that you were never going to see the really big scores in tough conditions. The conditions these days are much easier.”
D’Aurizio said when his timing is right, he can hit the pocket consistently. Otherwise, he can be in trouble.
“With me, it’s a question of timing,” he said. “Getting to the line correctly can be difficult for me at times. That’s what it’s all about for me. If I get to the line with the right timing, I can release the ball correctly.”
D’Aurizio said he used to be a cranker with a big hook in his younger days.
“These days, I guess I’m more of a down-and-in type of bowler,” he said. “I’m amazed with how the young guys can throw the ball now and what they can do to the pins. It’s simply amazing.”
Although D’Aurizio has four perfect games to his credit, he said finally shooting 800 gave him a huge boost.
“At this stage of my bowling career, it was really special for me,” he said.
STRIKES & SPARES
The Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York/Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show will return for its 13th season in early November. The schedule has been cut slightly to 20 weeks. Membership dues will be $30, and bowlers will only need three tournament appearances to qualify for the season-ending Jack Scaccia Memorial Championship. Also new this year will be a special point system. More information on the schedule will be coming shortly.
Schalmont High School and Nebraska graduate Liz Kuhlkin, who has one victory on the PWBA Tour, teamed up with her boyfriend, PBA Tour standout Ryan Shafer, to win the Jack and Jill Doubles event at Transit Lanes in Buffalo.
Siena grad Don Herrington, featured in last week’s column, teamed up with Iroquois Lanes proprietor and regional pro Jeff Voght to finish second at the PBA/PBA50 Millsboro Lanes Eastern Open.
Tom Hankey defeated Hunter Kempton 200-190 to win his second career Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour title and a $225 scholarship in the season-opening event at Spare Time Latham last weekend. Hunter won a $150 scholarship. Andrew Bourgeois ($100 scholarship) was third, and Jenna Lemke ($175 scholarship) was both fourth and the girls’ division leader. The next event will be Oct. 8 at 1 p.m. at Del Lanes in Delmar.
The 42nd Annual Regional New York State Women’s 600 Club Tournament will be held Oct. 8-9 at Middleburgh Lanes. Entry fee is $20. Divisions will be Open (185 average and higher), Division A (175-184 average), Division B (165-174), Division C (155-164) and Division D (154 and lower). Squad times will be 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. both days. Entries close Saturday.
Rolling Greens will hold a No-Tap tournament to benefit Joe Wingle Oct. 9 at noon. Wingle, a lifelong Scotia resident, was a junior bowler at RG and was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. He provides the main source of income for his family. Entry fee for the five-person team event is $100 per team. Handicap will be 75 percent of 1,100 for the team. Prize ratio will be 1-in-10. Call 381-4848 for more information.
Towne Bowling Academy’s Scratch Challenge, set for Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m., will feature a new format. There will be a 5-game qualifier, changing lanes after each game. The top 5 advance to the stepladder finals. A sport oil pattern will be used. The field will be limited to the first 60 entries. Cash prizes will be awarded in a 1-in-6 ratio. For more information, call 355-3939.
The Towne Majors league is looking for a few more bowlers for the Tuesday night, three-person team league that bowls at 8:45 p.m. Call the lanes if interested.
The Daily Gazette league, which bowls Tuesdays at noon a Sportsman’s Bowl, is looking for a few bowlers. Dues are $15 a week. Format for the co-ed league is three-person teams. Call Sportsman’s if interested.
Sportsman’s Bowl is offering a Sport Shot league using eight different sport patterns. It begins Sunday and runs for 16 weeks. Format will be three-person teams bowling four games a night. Dues are $10 per week. Call 355-4330 for more information.
The Menagerie league, which bowls Friday nights at Sportsman’s Bowl, is looking for bowlers. Call Paul O’Brien (421-5427) if interested.