When Peter Anthony Cambio is inducted into the Buffalo Bowling Association Hall of Fame next Saturday night at Samuel's Grande Manor, he will join some illustrious company -- his old teammates on the 1975 Bison Sausage team that won the ABC Team All-Events championship in Dayton, Ohio.
Cambio, now 65, has waited quite a few years to join the ranks of teammates Rick Musialowski, Art Jeziorski, Bud Schwabl and Joe Golebiewski, all of whom were enshrined in the 1980s.
"I'm sort of excited about it," Cambio said. "Almost everybody I bowled with is in there, the whole team."
Cambio has spent his whole adult life in bowling, until he retired in 2000 as the manager of Pete Cambio Pro Shop at Leisureland Lanes, turning the operation over to his son Peter.
After all those years indoors, Cambio enjoys spending as much time as he can out in the fresh air.
"We bought a cabin down near Olean about 20 years ago and I spend a lot of time there," Cambio said. "I like the outdoors and that got me away from bowling. I just like being out in the fresh air. I'm not a hunter but there are a couple of ponds where I fish a little.
"I was bowling since I was 13 years old. I don't really miss it. I sort of keep up with it. I watch it on TV but I don't get to the lanes much. I got into playing golf. I don't get to the course a lot but I hit a lot of balls at the high school field near my home."
Cambio, an Elmira native, has bowling to thank for bringing him to Buffalo.
"I had a couple of good years down there," Cambio said. "I came to Buffalo when I was 21 or 22. I was offered a job at the Amherst Bowling Center. I like bowling and that was the biggest thing. I came up here because of the job and I'm glad I did."
A career highlight?
"It was winning that eagle for the team all-events championship at the ABC in 1975 and winning the New York State Tournament with the Simon Pures in 1966." Cambio bowled a 697 and the team had a 3,257 total.
He bowled on teams that finished fifth twice and 10th once at the ABC Tournament. He also was the 1966 New York State All-Events champion with a 1,975 total and won the 1974 Buffalo City singles championship with a 715.
He averaged 200 in 12 ABC tournaments. He also bowled in 13 New York State Championships and 14 city tournaments. He was a two-time (1973 and 1974) Buffalo Kickoff Tournament champion and finished third twice (1965 and 1966) in the BBA George A. Obenauer Masters. In 1972, he had the high series for the season in the BBA, 779.
The prime of his career was in the sport's "Dead Ball Era." Cambio never bowled a 300 game and his high series was 807.
"I bowled 300 games, but not in sanctioned competition," he pointed out. He did come close to perfection several times in sanctioned play with a 299 game, four 298s, a 297 and a 296. He bowled more than 100 700s in his career.
Cambio bowled in a few tournaments on the PBA Tour, but when his sponsorship dried up and with five children, he chose to stay home. Once he opened his pro shop at Leisureland in the 1970s, he found himself too busy to keep up with the competition he had been used to. He stopped bowling in his late 40s, then made a brief comeback.
"The last time I bowled I was 50," Cambio said. "Everybody said I should join the Senior PBA Tour. I thought about it, but they had only five or six tournaments a year. If I got into something like that I would have to practice all the time. I didn't feel like doing that and then I got the cabin."
While Pete is enjoying his country retreat, the Cambio name lives on in bowling. The pro shop is still going under the Cambio name at Leisureland and his grandson, "Little Pete" as he is known in the family, is one of the better teen-age bowlers in Western New York. He was a standout at St. Francis and now bowls for Erie Community College.
The Hall will also welcome the late Kerm Helmer and Peter Russo Sr., as well as Fran Bax and Eugene "Whitey" Heidenburg. Helmer and Heidenburg were elected for meritorious service while Cambio, Russo and Bax were elected for outstanding ability.
Angelo sixth in average
Brad Angelo of Lockport is not among the top 10 in points after leading the PBA Tour last season. However, he does rank in the top 10 in average and match-play win percentage. Angelo is averaging 224.95, sixth best on the tour. Brian Himmler is first with 229.59. Angelo also has a 19-12 match-play record, seventh best at .613. Doug Kent (22-12) leads with a .647 mark.
Angelo was eliminated in the Round of 16 in last week's PBA Uniroyal Open in Wickliffe, Ohio. In that round, the winning score averaged 244. A score of 243 was not enough to win 17 of 41 games in that round.
Scholarship applications from the New York State Men's, Women's Youth and Women's 600 Club are available for graduating senior boys and girls who bowl in sanctioned leagues. Call Nancy Walczyk at 662-0018 or Deb Ziolo at 867-8679 for forms. These scholarships are valued at between $500 and $3,000.
Stell Kolis of the Buffalo Women's Bowling Association sends along this correction in the results of the recent Jo Tourjie Memorial Senior Tournament at Airport Lanes: Mary Huber (556-114-670) finished first in the Class B and not second in Class A. Leona Morris (551-105-656) was second in Class A while Louise Joseph (540-108-648) took third in Class A.