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In the Pocket: Ruth still a force

In the Pocket: Ruth still a force

Bob Weiner's latest area bowling update
In the Pocket: Ruth still a force
Cliff Ruth
Photographer: Photo provided

Cliff Ruth never envisioned becoming the Capital Region’s “super sub” or “fifth man.”

Although the 67-year-old Schenectady USBC Hall of Famer is in high demand as a fill-in for many of the area’s top major leagues, all he really wants to do is have fun with his favorite hobby after enduring numerous health concerns in the last five years.

Ruth was one of the best bowlers in the region for many decades. Author of 28 perfect games and 15 800 triples, the 1970 Mont Pleasant High School graduate appeared in eight PBA Tour events and once cashed for $540 at the old PBA Fair Lanes Open. Ruth once rolled one of the highest triples in Schenectady Bowling Association history (868) and also owned the SBA’s record for four-game series (1,147) at Sportsman’s Bowl before being overtaken by Jay Diamond’s 1,177 four weeks later.

The longtime secretary of the now-defunct Schenectady League, Ruth started bowling when he was 5 years old and quickly established himself as a force on the lanes. 

But he had to give up the sport several times. 

“The first time I gave up the game was when the Schenectady League folded,” said Ruth, who worked as an announcer/analyst on the OTB Network for 24 years. “It was hard to keep that league together, and when we finally had to end it, I told a lot of my friends that I was giving up bowling. A lot of them didn’t believe me.”

Ruth, a graduate of the New School of Contemporary Radio, eventually came back, but then he had to give up the sport once again because of nagging physical problems that made it almost impossible to roll a bowling ball.

“I had four surgeries in all,” Ruth said. “I had double back surgery in January of 2017, and then I had vascular surgery on my legs. My back surgery was more like the kind of back fusion that Tiger Woods had, but not to the extent that Tiger did. Last April, the doctors finally cleared me to work out, bowl and golf. He told me I couldn’t run or jog.”

On the advice of friends Lee Quivey and Mike McLear, Ruth joined the Scotia Junior Merchants league, so he could get back into bowling in a recreational format. 

“I was just looking to bowl in a mixed league,” Ruth said. “I’m bowling with a husband and wife who haven’t bowled in 25 years. I just want to have fun, and I’m not really interested in bowling competitively.”

But word quickly got out that Ruth was available as a sub, and he reluctantly accepted.

Along with his 208 average in the Scotia Junior Merchants, he is subbing in the Galaxy League at Boulevard Bowl on Friday nights where he carries a 213 average, and in the Sportsman’s Majors league on Monday nights where he averages in the 220s.

He also had subbed a couple of nights in the Vitalo Classic on Saturday nights at Sportsman’s, and filled in Wednesday night in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league, a group he would love to join if there is an opening next season. He’s already recorded numerous 700 triples in most of those leagues.

“It’s funny how it turned out,” Ruth said. “I wasn’t planning on subbing, but the word got out. Keith Lawyer helped me with some equipment, and then Bob Tedesco drilled me up some new stuff. I was using old urethane stuff, and I’m still using some of that now, like the red hammer for my spare ball.

“I grew up in an era when me and the other older guys learned how to play by hitting one or two boards on the lane,” Ruth continued.

“The late Dick Peckham was a perfect example of the way most of us learned how to bowl," Ruth continued. "As long as my body holds up, I can play shots that a lot other people can’t. Sure, I can’t play the fourth arrow shot — that’s not going to happen — but I can play most of the other lines."

"If I can bowl, I’ll bowl as long as my body holds up," Ruth said. "Like a lot of us at my age, I take some Tylenol before I bowl and after I bowl.”

It’s great to see Ruth back on the lanes, and it looks like he’s really enjoying himself, whether it is in a social mixed league or in the several scratch leagues where he’s just filling in for the time being. 

Don’t be surprised if he decides to stay in one or two of those scratch leagues if his health holds up.

STRIKES & SPARES

The date of  the Capital District Women’s 600 Tournament has been changed to Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl after last weekend’s storm wiped out the original date. Entry forms are available at Boulevard Bowl, Towne Bowling Academy and Sportsman’s Bowl. For information, contact Marianne Hogle at 518-393-8907.

Mike Santulli rolled his first 700 triple with a 278-722 in the KAPL Mixed league.

The Women’s 500 Club Snowball Scotch Doubles Tournament will be held Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry forms are available at all three Schenectady USBC bowling centers. They must be returned to Marie Moorhead before Feb. 17.

The Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour returns Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Alpha Lanes in Troy.

Boulevard Bowl’s second annual Baker Team Tournament will be held Feb. 17 at noon. Entry fee is $30 per person for the five-person event. Handicap is based on the total of the five averages divided by five and is 80 percent of 240. There will be 12 games of qualifying, followed by a best two-of-three stepladder finals. Call Boulevard Bowl at 518-374-4171 to reserve your spot.

In a battle of unbeaten Suburban Council powers that came down to the final two bowlers in the final frame, Columbia edged Niskayuna 18-14 Tuesday at East Greenbush Bowling Center. Columbia (11-0) won by only 20 pins (3,739-3719) and was paced by Kyle Fortin’s 268-697 and Zach Bogholtz’s 246-691. Niskayuna (10-1) was led by Dan Palmer’s 237-653 and David Mennillo’s 234-651. The teams will square off again during the Class A Sectional Tournament Feb. 11 at Boulevard Bowl.

The Schenectady USBC Youth Team Tournament was postponed on Sunday and is rescheduled for Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl.

The Schenectady USBC Open Tournament, featuring a three-person team handicap event (men, women, mixed), is open to all USBC members. The tournament will be held Feb. 2-10 at Towne Bowling Academy. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 240. Top prize is $1,200, based on 80 entries. Squads will be Feb. 2 (2:30 p.m.), Feb. 3 (9:30 a.m. and 12 noon), Feb. 8 (9:30 p.m.), Feb. 9 (2:30 p.m.) and Feb. 10 (9:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.). Entry fee is $25 per person with optional divisions for team scratch, singles handicap and singles scratch at $10 per person per event.  Call Towne Bowling Academy at 518-355-3939 for information.

Towne Bowling Academy’s ninth annual Handicap Team Tournament continues Sunday at 10:30 a.m. First place is $4,000, and there is also a singles division with a top prize of $450. Handicaps are 90 percent of 225, with a maximum of 50 pins per person per game. Entry fee is $160 per team. The tournament continues through Jan. 27. There is an optional singles event for an extra $15. Call Towne Bowling Academy at 518-355-3939 for information.

The Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center Scratch Doubles event is set for Feb. 10, with squads at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Entry fee is $160 per team and $140 for re-entry. Qualifying will be four-game blocks. First place will be $2,500, based on 60 teams.  Call 518-793-9606 for information.

Hometown Lanes hosts the Troy USBC’s Plastic Ball Open Saturday at 1 p.m.

Uncle Sam Lanes’ Superbowl Bakers Doubles Tournament is set for Feb. 3 at noon. Entry fee is $40 per bowler pre-pay or $50 the day of the event. First place is $900 guaranteed. One in six teams will cash from the 8-game sweeper. Call Tom Walsh at 518-378-4695 for information.

MAJOR BOWLING

John Askew notched a 300 game and an 835 triple on the way to a 1,085 four-game series, Matt Swiatocha and Zack Porter also registered perfect games and Kris Impellizzeri topped the women with a 961 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Ryan Karabin recorded a perfect game en route to an 816 triple, Scott Chastenay also tossed a 300 game on the way to an 802 triple, and Jeff Whitehouse and Eric Stangle also registered perfect games in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Chris Smith hammered a 279-794, and Jamie Diamond tossed a 756 triple to pace the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Anthony Scaccia shot a 300 game during a 977 four-game series, and John Mecca added a 289-966 in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

REIS GROUP

KIM BROWN MEMORIAL

CITY LEAGUE

Standings

Vito Sindoni 9-0, Towne Bowling Academy 7-2, Falvey Real Estate 6-3, 20 North 6-3, Mohawk Honda 5-4, Kristel Mechanic 5-4, J&F Lawn Care 4-5, Downs Roofing 4-5, Action Bowling Supply 4-5, DeCrescente Dist. 3-6, Boulevard Bowl 3-6, Driveline Moors 3-6, Bedrock Construction 3-6, D&D Lawncare 1-8.

DeCrescente Dist. (1)

Lee Aiezza 185-230-223 – 638, Mark Kuhlkin 199-225-221­ 645, Scott Rogers 256-267-238 – 761, Liz Kuhlkin 226-235-181 – 642. Totals: 866-957-863 – 2686.

Bedrock Construction (2)

Jim Geiger 235-211-202 – 648, Ed McGaffin 187-204-230 – 621, Steve Wagoner 238-204-256 – 698. Totals: 960-846-889 – 2,695.

Downs Roofing (3)

Chris Tinkle 241-160-182 – 583, Nick Barnes 182-225-225 – 632, Ryan Karabin 300-258-258 – 816, Billy Wigand 184-247-214 – 645. Totals: 907-890-879 – 2,676.

D&D Lawncare (0)

Karrie Blake 234-193-208 – 635, David Sader 208-174-169 – 551, Tom Rogers 201-257-183 – 641, Patti Tenyenhuis 186-209-218 – 613. Totals: 829-833-778 – 2,440.

20 North (1)

Jeremy Noble 230-229-228 – 687, Scott Gregory (absent) 190-190-190 – 570, Joel Donato 204-246-205 – 655, Tommy Donato 232-257-223 – 712. Totals: 856-922-846 – 2,624.

Driveline Motors (2)

John Mecca 233-184-232 – 649, Keith Lawyer 234-221-187 – 642, Dan Rotter 232-208-267 – 707, Tony Palumbo 279-268-236 ­ 783. Totals: 978-881-922 – 2,781.

Action Bowling Supply (1)

JP Harrell 169-267 – 436, Rit Fazzone 158, Bob Messick 199-189-228 – 616, Natasha Bidwell 173-202-219 – 594, Matt Fazzone 247-249-278 – 774. Totals: 777-809-992 – 2,578.

Falvey Real Estate (2)

Dan Auricchio 214-246-227 – 687 Ron Unser 206-216-183 – 605, Jeff Young 211-229-237 – 677, Craig Taylor 225-190-211 – 626. Totals: 856-881-858 –2,595.

Towne Bowling Academy (3)

Debbie Capullo 220-252-232 – 704, Nuni Manuli 225-214-223 – 662 Tom Earl 279-184-218 – 681, Marty Capullo Jr. 224-208-215 – 647. Totals: 948-858-888 – 2,694.

J&F Lawn Care (0)

Jason Brown 171-215-212 – 598, RJ Martinez 215-168-194 – 577, Nick Stricos 185-176-176 – 537, Steve Hallenbeck 246-191-238 – 675. Totals: 817-750-820 – 2,387.

Vito Sindoni & Son (3)

Scott Chastenay 300-257-245 – 802, Mike Dicerbo 193-258-216 – 667, Rich Strath 181-258-205 – 644, Joe VanDerLinden 224-192-208 – 624. Totals: 898-965-874 – 2,737.

Boulevard Bowl (0)

PJ Derenzo 202-278-190 – 670, Ken Wilkins 170-213-196 – 579, Mike Scaccia 258-223-175 – 656, Derek Foti 157-236-224 – 617. Totals: 787-950-785 – 2,522.

Kristel Mechanic (1)

Mel Kristel 215-232-201 – 648, Jeff Whitehouse 300-232-182 ­ 714, Bob Faragon 199-185-225 – 609, Bryan Kelley 182-240-246 – 668. Totals: 896-889-854 – 2,639.

Mohawk Honda (2)

Ed Gumm 247-195-205 – 647, Chip Tashjian 207-222-257 –686, Ken LaBelle 248-226-158 – 632, Mike Neumann 211-206-245 – 662. Totals: 913-849-865 – 2,627.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings

Guidarelli’s Liquor 14-2, Muny Grille 12-4, Mazone’s Heating 12-4, Mohawk Tap Room 10-6, Madison Grille 9-7, Metroland Photo 9-7, Universal Auto Parts 7-9, The Appliance Specialist 7-9, Sauce Baseball 6-10, Mike’s Hot Dogs 6-10, IDID 3-13, Klonowski’s Pro Shop.

Sauce Baseball (3)

Fred McMahon 132-277-221 – 630, Joe D’Aurizio 224-235-248 – 707, Bob Tedesco Jr. 234-195-204 – 633, Mike Smith 204-202-203 – 607. Totals: 794-907-876 – 2,577.

Metroland Photo (1)

Lee Quivey 184-197-195 – 576, Mike Kamm 193-182-179 – 554, Steve Renzi 225-213-193 – 631, Mike Gallitelli 248-269-203 – 720. Totals: 850-861-770 – 2,481.

Klonowski’s Pro Shop (0)

Doug Bywater 172-161-175 – 508, Cliff Ruth 235-278-222 – 735, Vince Simoni 169-177-210 – 556, Jim Petronis 215-269-174 – 658. Totals: 791-885-781 – 2,457.

Mazone’s Heating (4)

Joe Paone 258-234-198 – 690, Chris Mazone 155-224-205 – 584, BJ Rucinski Jr. 227-224-236 – 687, Joe Mazone 219-255-192 – 666. Totals: 859-937-831 – 2,627.

Muny Grille (2)

Jay Diamond 223-246-215 – 684, Dave Bingham 216-189-219 – 624, John Musto Jr. 193-245-231 – 669, Jamie Diamond 237-245-274 – 756. Totals: 869-925-939 – 2,733.

Madison Grille (2)

Nick Kallner 224-237-244 – 705, Eric Hilton 255-235-255 – 745, Bill Carl 226-236-172 ­ 634, Jason Deitz 278-213-200 – 691. Totals: 983-921-871 ­ 2,775.

Mohawk Tap Room (0)

Brett Rozniewski 203-210-216 – 629, Walt Jones 185-243-158 – 586, Joe Rozniewski Jr. 214-202-226 – 642, Christian Chiarito 215-238-181 – 634. Totals: 817-893-781 – 2,491.

Guidarelli’s Liquor (4)

Mike Guidarelli 224-227-237 – 688, Jim Bassotti 224-269-234 – 727, Jason Impellizzeri 216-257-214 – 687, Matt Swiatocha 235-245-254 – 734. Totals: 899-998-939 – 2,836.

Universal Auto Parts (3)

Andy Smith 209-213-228 – 650, Chris Smith 278-237-279 – 794, Keith Livengood 228-183-182 – 593, Chris Fedden 258-215-258 – 731. Totals: 973-848-947 – 2,768.

IDID (1)

Tony Fernandez 201-216-180 – 597, Flash Gordon 181-213-183 – 577, Jim Valentino 205-198-190 – 593, Terry Ray 191-256-247 – 694. Totals: 778-883-800 – 2,461.

Mike’s Hot Dogs (2)

Doug Semerad 228-207-279 – 714, Tammy Sader 222-206-233 – 661, Mike Giaquinto 236-171-204 – 611, Kevin Palmer 258-256-215 – 729. Totals: 944-840-931 – 2,715.

The Appliance Specialist (2)

Steve Alexander 215-231-191 – 637, Mike Liberatore 183-199-234 – 616, Steve Fawcett 194-225-267 – 686, Chris Fawcett 209-195-259 – 663. Totals: 801-850-951 – 2,602.

FRANK DEPALMA

BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings

Masons Automotive 4-1, Ledies 4-1, Town N Country Lanes 3-2, D.A. Parisi & Co. 3-2, Boulevard Bowl 2-3, Karner Auto 2-3, Team 8 1-4, Kalpro 1-4.

Masons Automotive (4)

P.J. Derenzo 212-257-266-213 – 948, Ron Williams 225-216-244-260 – 945, B.J. Smith Jr. 279-205-204-234 – 922. Totals: 716-678-714-707 – 2,815.

Kalpro (1)

Keith Lawyer 221-239-224-203 – 887, Chet Ciembronowicz 169-246-173-189 – 777, Joe Carusone 213-237-163-192 – 805. Totals: 603-722-560-584 – 2,469.

Town N Country Lanes (3)

Janelle Irwin 183-226-255-213 – 877, Anthony Scaccia 240-300-204-233 – 977, Terry Ray 254-258-191-196 – 899. Totals: 677-784-650-642 – 2,753.

Boulevard Bowl (2)

Mike Scaccia 232-185-203-235 – 855, Brian Hart 193-217-257-290 – 957, Derek Foti 213-184-244-231 – 872. Totals: 638-586-704-756 – 2,684.

Team 8 (1)

Larry Janetsky 191-206-208-189 – 794, Ray Haupt 245-197-212-210 – 864, Tony Bianchi 212-235-220-269 – 936. Totals: 648-638-64-668 – 2,594.

Ledies (4)

Kathy Bryk 216-204-203-255 – 878, Mark Hansen 215-268-237-238 – 958, Dan Bryk 202-247-224-238 – 911. Totals: 633-719-664-731 – 2,747.

D.A. Parisi & Co. (3)

John Mecca 289-214-248-215 – 966, Jeff Williams 222-214-225-219 – 880, Ken Wilkins 268-216-258-212 – 954. Totals: 779-644-731-646 – 2,800.

Karner Auto (2)

Devon Schwartz 222-247-234-238 – 941, Bryan Delehanty Jr. 224-205-230-222 – 881, John DeVarnne 244-219-247-193 – 903. Totals: 690-671-711-653 – 2,725.

REIS GROUP

KIM BROWN MEMORIAL

MIXED DOUBLES

Standings

Pete’s Transport 76-24, GPS Transport 72.5-27.5, Capital District Mobile Vet 68-32, Sindoni Sausage 66.5-33.5, Towne Bowling Academy 62-38, A Touch of Country Florist 60-40, Bellevue Builder 57-43, Limitless Plumbing 54-46, Strike & Spare Pro Shop 51-48.5, Next Level Detailing 51-49, DeCrescente Dist. 50.5-49.5, Action Bowling Supply 45.5-54.5, Home Town Pub 43.5-56.5, Battenkill Motor 40-60, Debra Lamay Agency 40-60, MAC Tools 37-63, A Plus Heating & Cooling 37-63, Marcella’s Appliance 34-66, DeNooyer 26-74, Fifteen Church 25-75.

DeCrescente Dist. (5.5)

Natasha Bidwell 203-222-152-174 – 751, Scott Rogers 235-210-234-182 – 861. Totals: 438-432-386-356 – 1,612.

Home Town Pub (14.5)

Nicole D’Amario 148-207-203-172 – 730, Tom Rogers 212-213-194-234 – 853. Totals: 360-420-397-406 – 1,583.

MAC Tools (7)

Kylie Pasquerella 192-216-214-135 – 757, Keith Diamante 209-190-191-274 – 864. Totals: 401-46-405-409 – 1,621.

A Plus Heating & Cooling (13)

Felicia Campanella 195-237-204-212 – 848, Tony Pasquerella 158-192-171-193 – 714. Totals: 353-429-375-405 ‑1,562.

Action Bowling Supply (1)

Jordan Byrnes 258-248-215-200 – 921, Kenny Livengood 193-175-174-182 – 724. Totals: 451-423-389-382 – 1,645.

GPS Transport (19)

Kris Impellizzeri 214-278-245-224 – 961, Matt Swiatocha 300-214-202-266 – 982. Totals: 514-492-447-490 – 1,943.

Fifteen Church (4)

Aliyah Liberatore 158-146-201-177 – 682, Cliff Ruth 199-203-207-256 – 865. Totals: 357-349-408-433 – 1,547.

Sindoni Sausage (16)

Liz Kuhlkin 248-238-227-227 – 940, Joe VanDerLinden 200-220-254-269 – 943. Totals: 448-458-481-496 – 1,883.

DeNooyer (4)

Michelle Largeteau 130-136-134-135 – 535, Zack Porter 201-266-300-196 – 963. Totals: 331-402-434-331 – 1,498.

Pete’s Auto (16)

Jenn Schissler 228-238-194-246 – 906, Chuckie Schissler 238-216-221-203 – 878. Totals: 466-454-415-449 – 1,784.

Debra Lamay Agency (15)

Amber Dominic 187-195-211-179 – 772, Pete Dominic 181-233-235-235 – 884. Totals: 368-428-446-414 – 1,656.

Strike & Spare Pro Shop (5)

Jackie Malone 190-199-188-175 – 752, Paul Dumas 260-199-180-222 – 861. Totals: 450-398-368-397 – 1,613.

Towne Bowling Academy (7)

Debbie Capullo 221-192-160-208 – 833, Marty Capullo 202-234-146-235 – 817. Totals: 423-426-306-443 – 1,598.

A Touch of Country Florist (13)

Janelle Irwin 177-170-183-236 – 766, Steve Irwin 266-188-205-198 – 857. Totals: 443-358-388-434 – 1,623.

Marcella’s Appliance (4)

Jessica Brockmyer (absent) 204-204-204-204 – 816, RJ Martinez 248-234-224-193 – 889. Totals: 442-438-428-397 – 1,705.

Next Level Detailing (16)

JP Harrell 269-257-226-228 – 980, Rebecca Barringer (absent) 196-196-196-196 – 784. Totals: 465-453-422-424 – 1,764.

Battenkill Motor (3)

Lisa Rathbun-Reed 183-224-221-207 – 835, Dan Rotter 233-219-255-237 – 944. Totals: 416-443-476-444 – 1,779.

Capital District Mobile Vet (17)

Chris Allen-Valenzuela 233-225-229-258 – 945, John Askew 256-279-300-250 – 1,085. Totals: 489-504-529-508 – 2,030.

Bellevue Builder (6)

Ursula Pasquerella 209-180-214-237 – 840, Bill Nolan (absent) 196-196-196-196 – 876. Totals: 405-376-410-433 – 1,624.

Limitless Plumbing (14)

Lindsey McPhail 181-193-213-209 – 796, Dave McLear 238-227-206-257 – 928. Totals: 419-420-419-466 – 1,724.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter.

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