For the biochemist and cell biologist, see Mark Roth (scientist).

Mark Roth (born April 10, 1951) is a retired professional bowler. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a youth he resided in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay.[1]

Bowling career

Roth is a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Hall of Fame (inducted 1987) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Hall of Fame (inducted 2009).[2] His 34 PBA titles place him sixth on the all-time PBA Tour winners list, behind Walter Ray Williams, Earl Anthony, Pete Weber, Norm Duke and Parker Bohn III. He was the second professional bowler to surpass $1,000,000 in career winnings, with Anthony being the first. His eight titles won in 1978 are still the PBA record for a single season, topping the previous mark of seven titles held by Dick Weber (1961) and Billy Hardwick (1969). Roth won another six titles in the 1979 season while collecting his third consecutive PBA Player of the Year award. He won two major titles, in the U.S. Open and Touring Players Championship, both in 1984, while winning his fourth PBA Player of the Year award that season.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Roth attacked the Tour in 1970 with a cranking, hard-throwing style that created a generation of imitators now prevalent throughout the sport. After finishing 2nd to Don Johnson in the 1972 Brunswick World Open, Mark's first televised appearance, he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the PBA National Championship. It was then that Roth decided to bowl on the Tour full-time. Roth shot a 299 during the televised finals to win his first PBA title at the 1975 King Louie Open in Overland Park, Kansas. Roth repeated the feat, shooting a 299 during the televised finals of the 1987 Greater Buffalo Open in Cheektowaga, New York. Never one to rest on his laurels, Roth not only surpassed the great Earl Anthony's all-time PBA earnings record on the 1987 Fall Tour, but also added his 33rd PBA title in the Greater Buffalo Open and won the No. 7 PBA Invitational (not counted as an official PBA title) in Toronto a week later. Roth won PBA Player of the Year honors in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1984. He won the George Young Memorial Award for the highest average on Tour in six different seasons, including a then-record 221.699 in '79. That same year Mark also won the "Great and Greatest" tournament paired with Don Ellis (also not counted as an official PBA title). Mark finished his career with 34 Tour titles and $1,619,136 in earnings.

He also owns two PBA50 Tour titles. On October 6, 2006, Roth won the very first Generations Bowling Tour event, defeating Dale Eagle in the final, 237-234, and averaging 241 over the three-game stepladder final. Despite the power he generated, Roth was also one of the best spare shooters of all time. He is notable for being the first bowler to pick up the 7-10 Split on television on January 5, 1980 at the ARC Alameda Open at Mel's Southshore Bowl in Alameda, California.[3] In addition, Roth utilized a unique delivery, primarily five steps, but sometimes six or seven steps.

Awards and recognition

  • Four-time PBA Player of the Year (1977, 1978, 1979, 1984)
  • Six-time winner of the PBA High Average Award
  • PBA recordholder for most titles (8) in a single season (1978)
  • Inducted into PBA Hall of Fame, 1987
  • Inducted into International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1992
  • Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 2014.[4][5]
  • Ranked 5th on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years"
  • Mark Roth is the first and one of only 3 bowlers to make the 7-10 "bed post" split on television, along with John Mazza and Jess Stayrook. Roth is the only right hander to make the 7-10 on television; Mazza and Stayrook are lefties.


On June 4, 2009, Mark Roth suffered a stroke which has left him partially paralyzed on his left side.[1] His rehabilitation is ongoing, but Roth was seen in late March 2010 on his feet and moving around at the Geico Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, a PBA Tournament named in his honor.[6] Mark also made a special guest appearance at the "2nd Annual Upstate University Hospital - Strikes Against Stroke" at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, NY in May 2010. On March 6, 2011, as part of the 2011 Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, he rolled the honorary first ball for the televised finals and downed seven pins.

Personal life

Roth and his wife Denise[7] reside in Fulton, New York.[1] He is Jewish.[4][5] Mark is an avid model railroader. He also enjoys the New York Rangers, Mets, Jets, and Knicks.

In the media

  • Roth makes a brief appearance in the bowling movie Kingpin, along with several other professional bowlers.
  • Roth also appears in a 1979 episode of Fantasy Island along with fellow pro-bowlers Marshall Holman and the late Dick Weber. He plays an opponent of a 153-average bowler (Al Molinaro) fulfilling a fantasy to compete and win against professionals.


  1. ^ a b c Waggoner, Jim (June 5, 2009). "Bowling hall-of-famer Mark Roth recovering from recent stroke". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  2. ^ Vint, Bill. "Roth, Petraglia, Macpherson elected to USBC Hall of Fame",, 7 January 2009.
  3. ^ Mark Roth's 1980 televised 7-10 Split spare on YouTube
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ a b [2]
  6. ^ Schneider, Jerry. "Roth-Petraglia Reunion at PBA Geico Mark Roth Championship Brings Back Tour Memories",, 25 March 2010.
  7. ^ Official website for Mark Roth

External links