PBA Spare Shots: PBA Legend Carmen Salvino to Bowl in PBA Tournament of Champions at Age 85

by Bill Vint  |  Thursday, January 31, 11:46 AM

PBA Spare Shots: PBA Legend Carmen Salvino to Bowl in PBA Tournament of Champions at Age 85

There seems to be no stopping PBA legend Carmen Salvino.

The 85-year old PBA Hall of Famer will compete in his 29th PBA Tournament of Champions, extending his record as the oldest player to compete in a Go Bowling! PBA Tour event.

PBA’s most famous showman is one of the few remaining links to the storied tournament’s origin dating back to the inaugural event in 1962.

“I’m in shape and ready to go,” said the 17-time tour winner. “I’m working out and doing a lot of bowling to get ready. My weight hasn’t changed in 63 years.  I’m 195 (pounds) and haven’t fluctuated five pounds either side of that.”

Salvino began planning to bowl in the 2019 TOC after competing in last season’s PBA 60th Anniversary Classic in Indianapolis.

“People have no idea of how it feels to go into the locker room of one of the great tournaments and see all the guys,” Salvino said. “For me, it goes beyond bowling—just to be there with those guys is a thrill.”

The 1962 TOC was held at Play Bowl in Indianapolis and was actually billed as the Indianapolis 500 Festival Tournament of Champions according to the Indianapolis Star’s coverage of the tournament. It’s an often-overlooked event because the tournament would not be held again for three years. In 1965, Firestone began its landmark sponsorship, the classic moved to Bowlarama in Akron, Ohio and then to AMF Riviera Lanes the following year where it remained for 29 years.

The first TOC was a two-day event featuring 25 PBA Tour champions – everyone who had won a title since the PBA’s formation four years earlier. It was conducted immediately after the Indianapolis PBA Open, the final regular event of the Tour season, which also was held at Play Bowl. Salvino finished third in the inaugural tournament (his best finish in the classic). Joe Joseph won with a two-game total of 480 pins followed by fellow Michigan star Billy Golembiewski with 413 pins and Salvino with a 409 total.

“I’m an example of not letting your age stop you,” Salvino added. “I’m looking forward to showing those young guns a thing or two.”


Sunday’s live FS1 telecast of the PBA Lubbock Sports Open continued a strong trend of viewership gains under the PBA’s new relationship with FOX Sports.

"We are gaining momentum with our new broadcast partner FOX Sports,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “Our fans are finding us."

Sunday's telecast of the PBA Lubbock Sports Open finals was the most viewed show on FS1 so far this year, Clark said, producing a 28% gain over the previous week’s Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship telecast, and an 83% gain over the PBA Oklahoma Open telecast the Sunday before the doubles show. The original airing of the Lubbock Open averaged 345,000 viewers with the first re-air later Sunday evening tallying another 157,000 viewers. The live Lubbock show also had 316% more viewers than the program FS1 aired in the same time slot the previous year.

For the year to date, through five original shows plus re-airs on FOX, FS1 and FS2, the PBA has attracted 6,921,000 viewers, up 26% over the first five shows in 2018 on a different network, Clark noted.


Guppy Troup built his legion of fans with his showmanship and colorful wardrobe in a 1970s and ‘80s PBA Tour career that resulted in eight titles, and now son Kyle Troup is extending the Troup family legacy by adding an Afro hairdo, a two-handed delivery and his own charisma to the family portfolio.

Troup’s third-place finish in Sunday’s Lubbock Sports Open, live on FS1, helped the 27-year-old Taylorsville, N.C., two-hander create his own unique fan club when his hair – and flair – became a social media hit. It was noted prominently by TMZ (https://www.tmz.com/2019/01/28/bowler-afro-kyle-troup/?fbclid=IwAR1yqIjTMwsAqVbavfQcCUgn6bu30bLA63UmwSNKsDfU_Eco72TMTcJcJ4M); became a trending topic on Twitter (https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1090036603484020736), and captured the attention of SI.com’s “Extra Mustard” (https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2019/01/29/pba-bowler-kyle-troup-fro-pants-celebration-video).

It’s becoming obvious that this “Guppy minnow” hasn’t swum very far away from the school…


While FOX Sports is providing the PBA with new dimensions in television coverage, PBA’s new online streaming partner is likewise opening new doors and windows into the vast social media world with its event coverage, feature stories and related features such as its new “PBA Power Rankings” that provide fans with an ongoing discussion topic: Who’s the best?

This week, for example, Lubbock Sports Open winner Dick Allen makes his first appearance in the rankings while a significant amount of shuffling among the contenders also took place in Week Five of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. Unchanged in Flo’s rankings: Jakob Butturff retains the top spot as the season’s top player heading into the PBA Tournament of Champions, where FloBowling’s coverage of the preliminary rounds begins on Feb. 6.

The PBA Power Rankings, with rationale for each player’s ranking, are just another special feature PBA fans can follow as FloBowling subscribers (to subscribe, visit flobowling.com). To catch you up on where things stand, following the PBA Lubbock Sports Open, here are the current Top 10 Power Rankings (with the previous week’s ranking in parenthesis): 1, Jakob Butturff (previous ranking: 1); 2, EJ Tackett (3); 3, Jason Belmonte (2); 4, Kris Prather (6); 5, Jesper Svensson (4); 6, Dom Barrett (5); 7, Sean Rash (15); 8, Kyle Troup (14); 9, Rhino Page (12); 10, Andrew Anderson (9).


In addition to the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s first major championships of the 2019 season, PBA’s regional members will have a slate of events available as well, beginning with a pair of “challenge” events for non-title winners in the PBA South Region over the Feb. 8-10 weekend in Tavares, Fla.: the PBA50 Break Point Alley Challenge and the PBA Break Point Alley Challenge, both presented by Ebonite.

• PBA50 regional activity continues in the South Region over the Feb. 15-17 weekend when Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., hosts the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by 900 Global.

• The PBA Central and Midwest Regions will participate in the joint PBA50 Plaza Lanes Central/Midwest Open in Crawfordsville, Ind., over the Feb. 22-24 weekend. Over the same weekend, South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas will host a doubleheader including the South Point West Challenge on Friday, and the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles, both presented by Radical.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple and Android device users using the PBA app).


• After the first four Go Bowling! PBA Tour points events in 2019, the eight leaders in the race to the PBA Playoffs are: Jakob Butturff (8,255), Sean Rash (6,830), Dick Allen (5,735), Jesper Svensson (4,725), Anthony Lavery-Spahr (4,435), EJ Tackett (4,110), Kris Prather (4,080) and Kyle Troup (3,875). The top 24 in points following the USBC Masters will qualify for the inaugural PBA Playoffs; the top eight will earn a first-round bye in the single-elimination Playoffs. To follow the points competition as the season progresses, use this link: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=1.

An additional points competition including 2018 and 2019 points will qualify the field of eight for the 2019 PBA Tour Finals. To track the leaders in that competition, click here: https://www.pba.com/SeasonStats/PointsList/132?list=5.

• The Bowl4life PBA Rookie Watch will lead to the 2019 PBA Rookie of the Year earning a $2,500 bonus from Chuck Gardner’s Bowl4Life Foundation while the foundation donates another $2,500 to a youth bowler scholarship in the Rookie of the Year’s name. After four Go Bowling! PBA Tour events, the top three rookies in PBA competition points are: Jake Rollins (1,430), Patrick Hanrahan (1,365) and AJ Rice (815).

• Tickets for the Weber Cup’s American debut June 18-21 at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST on Monday, Feb. 4. Tickets are priced from just $20 per session via AXS and at www.webercup.com. Fans can follow the points status of eligible PBA Tour players competing for berths on the U.S. and European Weber Cup teams as the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season progresses on Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/webercup/status/1085141731685945344 or https://www.facebook.com/WeberCup/photos/a.643454192442977/2027287540726295/?type=3&theater