by Bill Vint  |  Friday, January 24, 7:21 AM |

PBA legend Carmen Salvino plans to make it an even 30 when the 86-year-old PBA Hall of Famer rolls his first ball in the 2020 PBA Tournament of Champions Feb. 3-9 at AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, extending his record as the oldest player to compete in a Go Bowling PBA Tour event.

While he doesn’t plan on officially retiring from the sport, he does plan to make it his final appearance in PBA’s signature event that requires a player to have won a PBA title to be eligible to compete.

“I’m working out and getting a lot of practice in, but I’ll admit I’m a little sore,” the Chicago native said. “That just means I’ve got more muscles than I realized.

“Last year I had the honor of presenting Jason Belmonte with the TOC trophy for his record-tying 10th major win, but this year I’ll look forward to him giving it to me.”

Salvino has bowled in 733 PBA Tour events since competing in the first PBA tournament ever held – the 1959 Empire State Open at Schade’s Academy in Albany, N.Y. He is a member of numerous Halls of Fame including the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame headquartered in the Chicago area and was ranked 17th on PBA’s 2009 list of 50 greatest players in PBA history.

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. 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, when Firestone began its landmark sponsorship, the classic moved to Bowlarama in Akron 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 1965 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.


  1. Mickey colema says:

    Hello Carmen glad to see you’re still in action I remember a long time ago you said you will always have longevity on your side and you sure do good luck

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