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John Rutkowski

Enshrined 1996

John Rutkowski, a charter member of the Syracuse Bowling Hall of Fame, was one of the city’s most accomplished bowlers for more than three decades.

In 1929, Rutkowski was among the 34 bowlers chosen to represent the U.S. at the World Bowling Tournament in Stockholm, Sweden. He captured several international titles including the three-man team title in Germany in 1929 and the Berlin Singles in 1933.

Rutkowski’s bowling prowess made him one of the most popular players in the game. He won the Syracuse Individual Bowling Association championship in 1934. He defeated Mario Spezialli, 1,873-1,872, at the Polish Home in a match that drew more than 500 spectators.

Rutkowski, a right-hander, won the Syracuse Bowling Association singles title in 1940 and added a doubles title in 1949. His highest career average was 213 and his high series was 776. In 1931, he won the Journal-American singles title.


1923: Graduated from Vocational High School where he was a star baseball and football player 

1928-1930: Played on Sacred Heart semi-pro baseball team. Played on Babe Ruth’s exhibition team against Lou Gehrig’s team 

1928: Bowled on Sacred Heart’s team which rolled a 3,370 in a city league match 

1928-1929: Journal-American 1st team all-star bowler 

1929: Member of U.S. Team that traveled to Sweden
1930: Led Syracuse Major League with 209 average, the highest average in league history at the time

1930-1989: Ticket manager for Syracuse Chiefs
1940: City Singles Tournament Champion (706 series)

1942: Rolled three perfect game

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