by Fred Eisenhammer
NORTHRIDGE – “I’ve got to get on my horse.”
So said Charles Kenny, who is nearing 100 perfect games in his career and is pushing to accomplish that rare feat in a hurry.
Kenny would love to hit the 100 mark in the Los Angeles area before he relocates with girlfriend Celia Ramirez to Las Vegas in a couple of months. He’s been mounting a fierce charge at the century mark, piling up 11 300 games in the past three years to surge to 92 perfectos.
That perfect-game total undoubtedly is far and away the highest among San Fernando Valley-area bowlers.
The 36-year-old Kenny rolled his most recent perfect game in league play in February at Jewel City Bowl in Glendale. Kenny, a Northridge resident, had planned to leave for Las Vegas late last year for “economic reasons,” but his departure was delayed.
So now he has a chance to reach 100 perfect games in the L.A. area, where he’s recorded all his 300s.
Matt Cannizzaro, the United States Bowling Congress public relations manager, says there are only 40 documented bowlers nationwide who have rolled at least 90 perfect games. Andrew Neuer, of Lewisburg, Pa., who is competing in senior events and is in his low 50s, leads the USBC record list for career perfect games with 180 (through the 2014-15 season). He also is tops in 800 series with 177.
Jim Hosier, of Wayne, N.J., is second in perfect games with 167. Fero Williams, of Miamisburg, Ohio, is third with 166 and Gordon Childers, of Benton, Ark., is fourth with 145. Ramirez, who serves as Kenny’s stats-keeper, says she has no doubt Kenny will “eventually” get his 100 perfect games and a 900 series as well. No bowler in the L.A. area has rolled a 900, or three perfect games in a series, but Kenny has come breathtakingly close.
Last February, the right-handed Kenny turned in a stunning performance during which he crushed an 876 series with games of 300, 277 and 299 in league play at Jewel City Bowl. Kenny rolled 34 strikes out of a possible 36.
That series was believed to be the second-highest sanctioned series in San Fernando Valley-area history – surpassed only by the 888 that Anthony Sharperson recorded in 2011 at now-defunct Mission Hills Bowl.
Since Kenny’s gem, Sylvester Foster of North Hollywood has blistered an 878 at Pickwick Bowl in Burbank.
Kenny, who also has recorded more than 50 800 series, has shot a perfect game at virtually all the current Valley bowling centers. Three years ago, Kenny recorded a spectacular performance in which he blasted four perfect games within one month – all at different bowling centers. Those venues included Winnetka Bowl, Santa Clarita Lanes, Mission Hills Bowl and Jewel City Bowl.
Kenny mused that if he’s short of the 100 mark by the time he leaves for Las Vegas, he could always return to the L.A. area to hit that milestone event.
Whenever Kenny reaches his mark, one thing is clear: The countdown has begun.