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Teata Semiz

Sport: Bowling

Born: April 16, 1934

Town: River Edge

Anthony Semiz was born April 16, 1934. The boy who went by Teata grew up in River Edge and started bowling as a 14-year-old at the rec center in Bergenfield. He honed his game in his teens and 20s at Frank Esposito’s Paramus Bowling Center. Teata was known as a “ball changer”—a player who switched balls between tournaments and sometimes even games. He also met his future wife in front of a bowling alley.

Teata began entering professional tournaments in 1961 and joined the PBA Tour fulltime in 1968. He and eight other bowlers were sponsored by Basch Advertising in New York. Teata continued to work construction jobs during his career, and was involved in the building of the World Trade Center. Teata typically ranked among the Top 25 money winners and won 10 pro tournaments during his career, including the Classic Singles and All Events titles at the 1972 ABC Open.

Teata also pocketed five-figures annually competing on television bowling shows, where his big hair and bushy sideburns made him instantly recognizable. And like most big-name bowlers, he gave lessons and clinics.

Teata was inducted into the US Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1991. By then he was competing on the PBA Senior Tour. He rolled a perfect game at the 1983 Masters and, in 1997, became the oldest player to win a PBA Senior event at the age of 63.


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