Author Topic: 1978 Long Island Open - Instant Classic
PBA Forum Member
Member # 23072

It's been long overdue what ESPN Classic is doing. I only hope they continue airing more of these shows from the 70s, and hopefully of the 80s as well. In hearing some of the comments on this forum, it's evident that not everybody gets ESPN Classic. Therefore, this clip goes out to those who are not able to see ESPN Classic. This clip is a summary of the 1978 Long Island Open which occured on April 1, 1978 from Garden City Bowl, Long Island, NY. (same site of the '76 AMF Pro Classic re: my clip of Anthony vs. Weber)

This tournament brings back a lot of memories for me. I was 12 at the time, and I vividly recall watching this event live, as it happened. Of course, as I've previously mentioned, I never missed watching from 1974 - 1997, but this one I remember. I recall Johnny Petraglia's run at 300. And also the late Jeff Mattingly, who could hook a blue dot like no other was on the show. Jeff, died tragically in a car accident (if memory serves me right) in California in the early 80's. He was probably about 27ish at the time of his death. Mark Roth was nearing the prime of his career. Nelson Burton Jr. was in it as well, with his funky pants. Since Nelson Burton Jr. was in the finals, they always had Dick Weber as the guest color commentator. I hope you enjoy the clip.

Here's the summary from the PBA website:

Garden City Bowl, Garden City, N.Y., Mar 28-Apr 1, 1978

Johnny Petraglia barely missed the ultimate thrill in professional bowling - the perfect game - in the nationally televised finals of the $70,000 Long Island Open enroute to his 11th PBA championship.

Petraglia tossed 11 strikes in a row against semifinal match opponent Mark Roth, who was shooting a 249 in a losing effort. On his attempt for the 12th strike, which would have given him an additional $10,000 and a new automobile, the Staten Island left-hander left the two and four pins standing and settled for a 298 game.

In the anti-climactic championship match, Petraglia beat Jeff Mattingly, 197-177.