by Fred Eisenhammer
WINNETKA – Here today, gone tomorrow.
That’s Charles Kenny, perhaps the San Fernando Valley area’s most electrifying bowler. Kenny stopped by Winnetka Bowl last Wednesday to take part in a ceremony inducting him into the North Los Angeles County United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame. Next week, Kenny will depart his Northridge home and move to Las Vegas with girlfriend Celia Ramirez.
Kenny’s relocation will mark the second elite Valley-area bowler to have moved out of state this year. Earlier, ace left-hander Tim Tripp of Santa Clarita, who won a Professional Bowlers Assn. regional title last year in Las Vegas, moved to Castle Rock, Colo.
Kenny was selected to the NLAC Hall of Fame in the “superior performance” category, joining such luminaries as Johnnie Englehart, Barry Gurney, Hobo Boothe, Tish Johnson and Robin Romeo. Late last month, Kenny blistered his 98th perfect game – this one coming at Jewel City Bowl in Glendale during a 799 series. That perfect-game total undoubtedly is far and away the highest among San Fernando Valley-area bowlers. He also has stroked 64 800 series.
In February, the right-handed Kenny turned in a stunning performance in which he crushed an 876 series with games of 300, 277 and 299 in league play at Jewel City Bowl.
That series is believed to be the second-highest sanctioned series in San Fernando Valley history – surpassed only by the 888 that Anthony Sharpsteen recorded in 2011 at now-defunct Mission Hills Bowl. Kenny said he was “shocked and honored” to receive the Hall of Fame award, saying he never imagined he could be so recognized for bowling.
“It’s just a hobby,” said Kenny, 36. “Baseball was my favorite sport. Then I hurt my shoulder, stopped playing and took up bowling.”
Kenny was a second-team All-Los Angeles City first baseman for Chatsworth High School. He led the team to the City Section baseball title with a 17-7 victory over Polytechnic in 1999 at Dodger Stadium.
Kenny had three hits (two singles and a triple) in three at-bats and drove in six runs with a stolen base in that title game. It was fitting that Kenny was honored for his Hall of Fame selection at Winnetka Bowl. It was there that Kenny bowled his first perfect game – 20 years ago. Kenny added that he was excited about the prospect of rolling his 100th perfect game. And he might have a surprise for his many L.A. friends.
“I’ll try to get it here,” he said.