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Tedesco, Renzi, Mennillo to enter SBA Hall of Fame

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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— Talent, service and longevity describe the three newest members of othe Schenectady Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

Bob Tedesco Jr., Steve Renzi and Don Mennillo Sr. will be enshrined May 26 at 6 p.m. at the SBA’s annual awards dinner at the Rotterdam Elks Lodge on Curry Road. Guest speaker will be PBA and USBC Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia. Cost of the dinner is $20. Entry deadline is Monday. Call Frank Cornicelli at 377-7753 for more information.

Tedesco, the 47-year-old co-owner of Sportsman’s Bowl and coach of the Mohonasen High School boys’ team, has been one of the most consistent scratch bowlers in the region over the last three decades. Author of 36 perfect games and 25 800 triples, Tedesco has a composite SBA average of 219 in 28 years as a member of the association. His high triple is an 867, and his best four-game series is a 1,083.

Tedesco has thrived in the area’s top major leagues. A member of the Vitalo Classic Hall of Fame, he won average championships in the Rolling Greens Classic, the Sportsman’s Classic and the Capital District All Star league.

Tedesco owned the team scratch title and the all-time singles record (813) in the City Tournament until 2007. He has won team championships in the City League at Towne Bowling Academy, the Sportsman’s Major twice, the Rolling Greens Classic and the Capital District All Star league.

Tedesco also has run the pro shop at Sportsman’s Bowl for 22 years. He’s been a member of the PBA for 18 years, and was a PBA Resident Pro Team member in 1993. He won $35,000 on the PBA Tour. Locally, Tedesco has six Northern Bowlers Association titles and one Huck Finn crown.

As coach at Mohonasen, Tedesco led the Mighty Warriors to a pair of sectional titles and five Suburban Council championships.

“Bob knows how to act on the lanes. He’s a credit to the game of bowling,” said Cornicelli, an SBA Hall of Famer and former SBA president. “He can bowl with the best. He won the Capital District All Star league average title this year, and that’s no small task, because that’s one of the top leagues in the area. He’s also an excellent ball-driller. He drills all of my balls for me.”

SBA president Renzi will be only the second bowler to be inducted in both the achievement and meritor­ious service categories.

The 54-year-old Burnt Hills resident has 19 perfect games to go along with nine 800 triples. He has averaged at least 200 24 times, with a high of 238. His composite SBA average in 32 years with the association is 210.2.

Renzi has a high triple of 836 and a high four-game series of 1,071, both achieved in the Vitalo Classic in 2006-07. He averaged 227.40 over a five-year span in that league to go along with an average of 213.40 in the Sportsman’s Major and a 217.64 average in 14 years in the Rotterdam Classic.

Renzi won three Sportsman’s Major team crowns and two Rotterdam Classic team titles.

Renzi, the longtime secretary of the Sportsman’s Major, has always excelled in the SBA Tourn­ament. He was the SBA Tournament scratch doubles champ in 1995-96, the SBA Tournament scratch team champ in 2002-03, the scratch doubles and all-events winner in 2005-06 and the handicap team and singles champion in 2007-08.

He has competed in the USBC Championship (formerly the ABCs) for 23 consecutive years.

A bowling coach at both Burnt Hills and Sportsman’s Bowl from 1994 thorugh 2002, Renzi also coached the Burnt Hills Pro-Scoring league team from 1998 through 2002.

His service to the SBA has been outstanding. He was an SBA dir­ector from 2000 to 2005, its vice president from 2005-07 and its president since 2007. Renzi has been the co-chairman of the SBA Tournament since 2004.

After the SBA went through some difficult economic times and lost most of its computer archives a few years ago, Renzi and current association secretary/manager Lloyd Denny helped restore the SBA’s records and put the assoc­iation back on solid footing.

“Steve has been a great asset to our association ever since he joined us,” said Cornicelli, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee. “He’s very knowledgeable about the game, and really helped bring our association back from a difficult time.”

Mennillo, 74, has a tremendous record of durability and performance. Most of his competitive years were well before the current inflated averages, but he still compiled a 204 SBA average over 58 years as a member. He produced at least a 200 average 27 times, with a high of 219. He has four perfect games, including one this past season after coming back from a long layoff because of injury, and a high triple of 825.

Mennillo was the first bowler in Schenectady League history to average 200, and was a team champion in that league three times. He also won 21 average titles and 10 team championships in the Mohawk Valley League.

Mennillo won three team titles in the Sportsman’s Major, and was the Sportsman’s Spring Doubles League champion.

He was runner-up to Joe Donato in the 1953 Capital District Match Game Championship, the area’s unofficial championship for many years, and was second in the Vitalo Scratch Tournament. He was also selected to the Schenectady Union Star All-County Team in 1965.

Mennillo, a former service representative for AMF and manager of the now-defunct Van Vranken Lanes, where he established its first junior bowling program, was also the secretary of the Mohawk Valley League and the treasurer of the Sportsman’s NFL.

“Don went in the Hall of Fame in the veteran’s category,” said Cornicelli. “He was always a great bowler in his era, and since he’s been a senior, he’s been outstanding. He’s well into his 70s, and he still averages over 200.”

 
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