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Who is the best bowler to come out of New Orleans?

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If you were reading an article that named Drew Brees as the best New Orleans Saints player of all time, how many could disagree? Or if the article was about Chris Paul being the best player for the New Orleans Hornets, I know that very few would disagree with that opinion.

Who is the best-ever bowler from the greater New Orleans area? Unlike football or basketball, this will generate a wide difference of opinions.

Before you can decide on who tops the list, we need to set some parameters, such as, local, professional level, regional level and longevity. Can you see where I am going?

Many will say that you should only judge what a bowler does on the PBA tour. But what about those bowlers who never got the opportunity to bowl on the Tour? How do you judge the bowler who was dominant in “his house” (the bowling center where he bowled regularly)? What about the one who bowls regionally and wins many times but, due to circumstances with his job and family, does not compete nationally? Now you can see the dilemma in choosing the “best bowler.”

Let me give you four names to consider – Bobby Jacks, Steve Neff, Steve Dimak Sr. and Scott Monteleone. These fit some of the parameters discussed.

Bobby Jacks won three times in his rookie year, 1966, but did little after that due to his lifestyle.

Steve Neff lived here a short time and then went on the tour and did very well. He won four times with a U.S. Open title in 1975 and had six wins on the Senior Tour.

Steve Dimak Sr. could have been the most dominant bowler in one house (Bridge Bowl) that ever bowled in the New Orleans area. He won city and state titles there and in every scratch tournament that was held in the house, he either won or finished very high.

Scott Monteleone was dominant in local and regional events, both scratch and handicap. He could have easily won a national PBA tournament in 1988 at Don Carter’s All-Star Lanes in Harvey (he lost in the televised finals to Pete Weber. He won {blank) regional titles and had the house record for three games at many local lanes.

Let me add a few more names to the list. Dale Dumbleton, a left-handed bowler, who would dominate over his opposition at Kenner Bowl and won many scratch sweepers in the area.

In St. Bernard Parish at Arabi Bowl, Roger Hyver was almost unbeatable. Issy Labrosse was the first area bowler to compete fulltime on the PBA. Steve Dimak Jr., Stevie Weber, Jimmie Weber, Tim Levron, Dom Esposito, A.W.(Bill) Johnson and Eric Roddy all deserve your consideration. 

As you can see, no one bowler can stand out as the best of all time. The New Orleans area never produced a dominant touring player with many PBA wins and local wins.

I would like to propose that you , the locals decide this issue.  You can email your choice to me. You can submit from the above names or someone else you think is deserving of this honor. Email your choice to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you choose another bowler, list your reasons.

Now I will share my choice. I have been lucky enough to have bowled with or against all of the above bowlers. My choice is Scott Monteleone. Why? If given the chance, I have no doubt that he would have won a number of times on the national tour. He had the talent and the drive to succeed. All he needed was a mentor, someone with the money and knowledge to guide him in the right direction.

Bobby Jacks had people giving him all the money to go out on the national tour but used his success to fuel his vices. Steve Neff was not a native to this area but he was the most successful on the tour. The others and many more could have had some success if given the chance, but I do not believe that any would have had the career that Scott would have enjoyed.

This is the first of many articles to come about local bowling and items of interest to local bowlers. If you have any ideas or comments, email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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