‘If a Bowling Ball Was a Bow and Arrow, She Was Robin Hood’

by Fred Eisenhammer

“Guys and Dolls” league bowlers crowd behind league president Marti Tirabassi at Winnetka Bowl. Marti blasted a 560 series, representing a staggering 174-pin improvement from the previous week. Photo by Fred Eisenhammer.


WINNETKA – There have been some big turnabouts in bowlers’ three-game series from week to week.

There also have been some really, really big turnabouts.

Marti Tirabassi, the longtime president of Winnetka Bowl’s “Guys and Dolls” league, enjoyed one of the latter.

Marti, who carries a 143 average, suffered through a very subpar 386 series (119, 99, 141) last month in league play. That represents a 128.7 average. “I have no idea [what happened],” says Marti, whose performance undoubtedly was diminished by a recent gallbladder surgery.

The following week, it was a different story. Marti, a right-hander with a deft touch, blistered a three-game total of 560, her career-best. Marti scored games of 190, 203 and 167 for an average of 186.7. “I could do no wrong,” says Marti, smiling.

That marked a whopping 174-pin jump from week to week.

Said teammate Tom Martino: Marti went from bowling her all-time worst to her all-time best in one week. If a bowling ball was a bow and arrow, she was Robin Hood.”

Marti’s torrid performance brought smiles to the faces of league members. Marti, affable and unassuming, has been the well-respected president of the league since 2002 when the league bowled at now-defunct Rocket Bowl in Chatsworth.

She maintained that position when the league moved to AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills and then to Winnetka Bowl.

Marti gets high marks for doing her job above and beyond what is expected of league presidents. And she does it in a professional, no-nonsense manner.

“She’s always there when she’s needed,” said Martino, who serves as league vice president. “She’s always punctual and kind to people and has a nice smile.”

Sami Rice, who serves as league secretary with husband Mike Rice, agrees.

“We love her,” Sami said. “Marti never said no to nothing. She’s always on board with anything as long as it’s a good thing and not a bad thing.

“She’s a wonderful, gentle, classy lady. S

he’s always treated Mike and me with respect. I wish I could be as gracious as she.”

Marti downplays the workload and importance of her position. Still, she acknowledges that she’s enjoyed her time as league president.

“It’s been fun,” said Marti, who bowls during the summer with husband Nick and during the fall with Martino, Diane Weed and Shannon Renee. “I haven’t had too many hassles. It’s a nice league for the most part. Everyone gets along and that makes it easy.”

It also makes it more fun when she can put a lousy series in the past and bowl nearly 200 pins better the following week.

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