Nin Angelo

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Bowling Champion

Billed as “the little lefty from Lockport,” Nin Angelo established a permanent reputation as a television bowling star on Channel 4’s “Beat the Champ” in 1960-61. Host Chuck Healy welcomed Nin back for 19 consecutive weeks during an incredible streak which featured a 299 single game and 760 series. The streak was highlighted by wins over American Bowling Congress Hall of Famers Ed Lubanski, Bill Bunetta, Billy Golembiewski and Carmen Salvino. In his youth, Angelo was a standout first baseman for the Pony League Lockport Reds, a farm team of the Cincinnati Reds. A knee injury cut short his baseball aspirations, however, and compelled him to find a suitable substitute team sport. A 735 set in the first three games he bowled convinced Angelo that his athletic future was in bowling.

While Angelo is best remembered for his 19-week run on “Beat the Champ,” his 20-year career was filled with other notable accomplishments. A Buffalo Classic League star for years, Nin won the Buffalo Bowling Association Masters Title in 1965, the same year that his Buffalo Savings Bank team captured the State Tournament title. Angelo led the American Bowling Congress Classic Division for 2-1/2 months with a 724 total in 1966 before finishing 5th. In that tournament, he finished eighth in the ABC Classics All-Events, with a score of 1,888, and later combined with Buffalo’s Dick Welker to set a record 503 single game in ABC double competition (Nin contributed 279 points to that score).

The best was yet to come. In 1973, Nin won the prestigious George A. Obenauer Masters Championship against Buffalo’s best bowlers, and won a ticket to the National Masters Tournament in Indianapolis. Angelo rolled on in 1974, earning a Silver Medal for rolling a nine-game 211.3 average Regular Division All-Events in the ABC Tournament in Indianapolis. Angelo’s brilliant career as a competitive bowler ended abruptly and prematurely with a knee injury in 1978. However, Nin has enjoyed the privilege of watching his son Brad blossom into a bowling star with Team USA for 1997. Nin trained his son from age 5, and the effort paid off in 1992 when the father-son combination won the Lockport City Tournament the first time they ever bowled together.

Despite the notoriety generated by his frequent television appearances, Angelo never sought the spotlight. However, his achievements have sometimes made it difficult to flee from the fame and recognition. Angelo’s accomplishments were acknowledged with his selection to the Buffalo Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1985. Nin’s 1997 induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame shines another spotlight on an outstanding career in his demanding chosen sport.