by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
I have said in the past that I do not give financial advice. I had to shorten the title to fit on the home page, but I wanted to mention a few words about Mark Roth “In Retro Action.“ Last weekend we were treated to the annual Mark Roth plastic ball tournament from upstate New Yuk. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Roth in the early nineties at the Showboat in Las Vegas. I was at a tournament where several members of the Brunswick staff came in to bowl in a pro-am format. I remember shaking Mark’s hand, and wondering how he could even bowl with it. I guess 60-80 games a week of forcing fingers and thumb into holes will do that to a hand.
It was extremely interesting to watch some of the old “In Retro Action” tape of Mark Roth. In an era when televisions were frequently tuned to “Charlie’s Angels”, “M*A*S*H”, and Mary Tyler Moore, we still had Saturday afternoons on ABC when Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr. brought us stepladder finals from the weekly PBA tour. Mark was known as a cranker in his day, but video now shows that he kept it around the 15 board. His success came from the amount of turn he was able to generate to carry his pocket hits, which was the way to play on wood lanes with plastic and rubber bowling equipment. No one was able to send it out 15 boards and bring it back 20 like the Maximum Bobs of today.
Another interesting thing was that today’s professionals, using plastic equipment on a short oil pattern on synthetic lanes, seemed to morph back in time and leave a ton of corner pins, and a few fours and sixes when they corrected for the corners. We have not seen Parker Bohn or Jason Couch in the finals for quite a while, so it was fun to see them in the title match. Parker bowled well to get to the finals, but appeared to lose touch in the final and did not give Jason much of a challenge.
Mostly, it was gratifying to see a great champion, Mark Roth in attendance. He obviously has difficulty with the effects of the stroke he suffered but he can get around, roll a bowling ball, and had a smile on his face. With over 30 PBA Titles, he has earned his place in Bowling’s Hall of Fame.