When it comes to the sports of bowling in Central New York, n o one was a greater ambassador than marty Piraino. Not only was he a four time winner on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, but most who grew up in Central New York in the 1970's and early 1980's remember him for his weekly appearances on "Syracuse Bowls" and "Challenge Bowling" on Channel 3. He later produced the show Bowling for Dollars, which brought even more attention to the sport he cherished.Piraino passed away today at the age of 88.
"He loved Bowling," says Joe Turris, a former floor manager at Channel 3, "He slept bowling, he ate bowling, he was bowling."
"Before the show and what not he always warmed the audience up and he would just roll the ball down and sometimes he would even go down beside the alley and reach over and knock all of the pins over," says Raymond Hulick, a former Channel 3 engineer.
T he Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame describes Piraino as "the greatest bowler in Syracuse history, but those who knew him say there was so much more to Marty Piraino.
"He loved people," says Hulick. "And whether it was the bowling alley, or whether is was on the street or whether in was in a movie theater, he loved people."
Calling Hours for Piraino will be held Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Farone & Son Funeral Home at 1500 Park Street in Syracuse. The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Church at 406 Court Street in Syracuse.