The Post-Journal

Frankly Speaking

Funeral rites today for Morris Mistretta marked the end of the line for one of Jamestown's former athletic greats and still a tough bowler during his more advanced years. Mel Johnson, another good one of the Mistretta era, was recalling some of the football clashes on Swede Hill between Morrie's Liberties and Mel's Crescents. "He was a tough one to play against because he could do everything well." Now retired after 58 years as a bowler and all-around athlete, Mel also played with the Blackrocks and Detroit Tops. He refers to Morris as "a tough, clutch bowler for money, marbles or chalk". His was the age of the old Pine Street and Spring Lanes, the age of Sam Munella, Henry Drescher, Carl Chiapetta, Piney Johnson, Elton Swanson and Lory Bell to name a few who immediately come to mind. Mel was laughing over the time he bowled with Chautauqua Candies. His team rolled at 3124 and WAS BEATEN by Morrie's Mason Carvers, staffed by some of the foregoing.

Bucky Cappalino, Ten Pines Lanes manager, and Jim Barone, skipper at Satellite Bowl, recall the Mistretta deeds well. Cappalino got a big thrill out of setting pins when he was a little shaver for teams on which Mistretta bowled. " I know he had several 700 series and some of the head-to-head specials between Morrie and Sam Munella were classics," he added.

Barone says Morrie dates back beyond the original Troyer Farms Classic League in which he was one of the top average men 35 or 40 years ago at the old Playdium slides. Jim also recalls as a kid watching Morrie do his stuff on the diamond. "He was a catcher, and a solid one, for Noah's Ark in those days." Barone speaks of some of the brothers versus brothers specials: Sam and Joe Munella against Morrie and Phil Mistretta. "I don't recall how they came out, but they were classics," he added.

Morrie Mistretta, bowler, football and basketball official and sportsman was tough on the lanes right up to a few days before he died. His 667 with a 251 high line for Shea's Hatters in the Barton Classic League last week at Flamingo is proof.


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

Font Resize
Contrast