After hitting rock bottom through addiction, bowling legend Bob Perry learned that religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there. Perry tells his heart-wrenching, inspiring story of bowling for the mob and drug and alcohol addiction in his new book, Redemption Alley.
Perry, considered by many to be one of the most naturally-talented bowlers in the history of the sport, had potential to become one of the best even at the young age of 12. Unfortunately, he grew up in 1970’s Paterson, New Jersey, where everyone knew someone who was “connected”-with the mob, that is. Instead of training for championships, Perry began doing odd jobs for wiseguys and hustling hundreds of thousands of dollars in after-house “action bowling” for John Gotti, who later became the boss of the Gambino crime family.
Perry’s connections with organized crime eventually landed him in federal prison, but not before he became addicted to crack cocaine, alcohol, and painkillers and was homeless on the streets of New York. Ultimately, Perry washed up on the shores of St. Christopher’s Inn, a shelter run by Franciscan monks. It was there that he had six fateful encounters with an angelic messenger who no one else could see-a monk whose message was so powerful that Bob Perry has now been sober for 22 years.
In Redemption Alley, Perry not only shares his remarkable story of bowling success, his dangerous association with hoodlums and gangsters, and his recovery from addiction, but also his inspiring, decades-long spiritual quest, and his sober journey back into the bowling world.