New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Lou Campi

Lou Campi (Bowling.  Born, Verona, Italy, March 18, 1905; died, Dumont, NJ, Aug. 31, 1989.)  Luigi (Lou) Campi was one of the most famous of the Eastern bowlers in the earliest days of the sport on television by virtue of performing a feat that defied astronomical odds.  In 1948, Campi was selected as the first Eastern bowler in a live television series of head-to-head matches against the best of the Western bowlers.  The series, staged at the Bowlmor Lanes on 14th Street in Manhattan, was to run 13 weeks.  When either an Eastern or Western bowler lost, he was to be replaced by another star from that region of the country.  No other Eastern bowler ever appeared on the series.  Defeating such great stars as Ray Bluth, Don Carter and Dick Weber, Campi rolled through the entire 13-week series without a defeat.  When the series was extended an extra week (with a new sponsor), he won again.  Finally, in the 15th week, he was beaten, and the series ended.  Campi also holds the distinction of winning the first event ever staged by the Professional Bowlers Association, the 1959 Empire State Open at Albany, N.Y.  By 1959, Campi was near the end of his career as a top-flight bowler, but he had been a B.P.A.A. All-American in 1957, which was also the year he won his second B.P.A.A. All-Star doubles title (teamming with his pal Al Faragalli).  Campi, who bowled six sanctioned 300 games during his brilliant career, was also part of the 1948 B.P.A.A. doubles championship.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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