Pin Action

Pin Action

Small-time Gangsters, High-stakes Gambling, and the Teenage Hustler Who Became A Bowling Champion

Book - 2014
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WW Norton
Most of us think of bowling as a "sport" in quotation marks, and bowling alleys are places with disco balls, matching shirts, and funny shoes. But in the 1960s, New York City was the center of "action bowling", a form of high-stakes gambling in which bowlers—often teenagers—faced off for thousands of dollars every night. When money like that is changing hands, you can bet the pressure is on (and the balls are rigged), and losses come with dire consequences. But for a few kids, the world of action bowling would turn out to be a ticket off the mean streets and onto the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. For Ernie Schlegel, it would be a chance to shed his hustler ways and become a bonafide champion.For the more than 100 million bowlers worldwide and for fans of timeless sports histories, Pin Action captures the underbelly of 1960s and '70s New York and tells the true story of how the most notorious action bowler of all time became a Hall of Famer. Set in the gritty, flashy, lost world of action bowling, Gianmarc Manzione tells an epic tale filled with seedy characters, uproarious eccentricities, improbable twists of fate, and a rags-to-riches narrative so crazy it has to be true.
"The Color of Money" meets "The Big Lebowski." Pin Action is an inspiring and improbable story of transcendence, redemption, survival and one of the greatest, forgotten sports legends in New York City sports history.

Baker & Taylor
Traces the rise of con artist-turned-bowling champion Ernie Schlegel against a backdrop of gritty 1960s and 1970s New York, profiling the sport of action bowling and the contributors who shaped his achievements.

Baker
& Taylor

"Most of us think of bowling as a 'sport' in quotation marks--and bowling alleys are places with disco balls, matching shirts, and funny shoes. But in the 1960s, New York City was the center of 'action bowling', a form of high-stakes gambling in which bowlers--often teenagers--faced off for thousands of dollars every night. When money like that is changing hands, you can bet the pressure is on (and the balls are rigged), and losses come with dire consequences. But for a few kids, the world of action bowling would turn out to be a ticket off the mean streets and onto the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. For Ernie Schlegel, it would be a chance to shed his hustler ways and become a bonafide champion."--Jacket flap.
Traces the improbable rise of con artist-turned-bowling champion Ernie Schlegel against a backdrop of gritty 1960s and 1970s New York, profiling the sport of action bowling and the contributors who shaped his achievements. 15,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Publisher: New York :, Pegasus Books,, 2014
Edition: First Pegasus Books edition
ISBN: 9781605986456
1605986453
Characteristics: xiii, 226 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm

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kennym321
Oct 20, 2017

I love this book, but I have to say that I am a lifelong bowler and therefore my view is biased. Even though I still enjoyed the second half of the book (though not as much as the first half), I can definitely see most people becoming less interested in it during the later pages.

Gianmarc's humorous writing style is the perfect complement to the larger-than-life and dangerous characters portrayed in the book. As crazy as this sounds, it *almost* makes me wish bowling was still like this!

s
salsabrarian
Jan 09, 2015

If Quentin Tarantino were to make a movie about bowling, he might look here for inspiration. This throwback look at the late-night NYC action bowling scene is colorful and outrageous, full of crazy gangsters, hustlers, gamblers and of course bowlers. Non-bowlers may be confused by all the name-dropping and I became less engaged once the book began focusing on Ernie Schlegel's pro path. Otherwise, bowling fans will eat it up, and even casual bowlers may be intrigued by this bygone era.

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salsabrarian
Jan 09, 2015

salsabrarian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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