I must admit that I am not a regular watcher of PBA action on television. I watch a little of it, that is, if there is nothing more exciting to watch. Everyone has their own idea of what makes good TV fare and watching the sport of bowling is not nearly as fun as participating in the game, at least for me.
Nevertheless, I will watch if someone strings a lot of strikes in a row. So when the first round of the PBA'S new team action came on last week, my curiosity was aroused enough to tune in. Since the games would be bowled using the Baker format, a perfect game would be the equivalent of a combined no hitter in baseball. Each member of the team would get two frames, one on each lane. If nothing else, the game would go fast.
The first match involved the Dallas Strikers taking on the Silver Lake Atom Splitters and the game produced the highest and lowest scores on the day. The Strikers were near perfect as all five bowlers struck on their first tries. Amleto Monacelli left a five pin in the seventh frame which he converted. Meanwhile, the Atom Splitters didn't get a strike until the eigth frame.
The only drama came from Monacelli as Rhino Page came up to bowl in the 10th. He threw the first two and Monacelli was afraid that it would be he that kept his team from a perfect game. Page left a solid seven pin on his last ball making Monacelli the happiest guy in the house. The Strikers won 278-171.
If there was any humor to the match it had to be Norm Duke jumping up to high five Strikers owner Terrell Owens. Celebrity owners seemed a bit odd to me, but then the whole thing had a surreal feel to it.
I watched the second match before I had to leave for a birthday party. I think my mother-in-law turning 88 took precedence over watching the rest of the action. I saw the final results later with the Brooklyn Styles winning the championship game as Sean Rash had to double in the 10th to insure victory.
As I watched the action I couldn't help wonder what it would be like to watch a five person team bowl three games using standard bowling procedures. My mind went back to when I was a little boy and I heard of a score recorded by just such a team in Missouri.
The date was March 12, 1958. The site was Floriss Lanes in northern St. Louis. A team composed of Don Carter, Ray Bluth, Pat Patterson, Tom Hennessey and Dick Weber known as the Budweisers set a then record for total pinfall. Check out these scores.
Don Carter had games of 266, 253, and 235 for a 754 series. Bluth rolled games of 267-267-300 for an incredible 834 total. Patterson had the low series on the team as his games of 246-222-268 gave him a paltry 736. Hennessey had games of 228-300-231 for 759. Anchorman Weber missed a triplicate by one pin as he struck out in the 10th of game three to post a 258-258-259 = 775. One would think he could have left a solid 10 or something on the last ball.
The team's total pinfall was an astounding 3,858. The five men threw a total of 138 strikes despite the fact that they were bowling on lanes 7 and 8. Though a favorite pair for them, one lane was hooking more than the other, forcing each bowler to use a different line on each lane.
Though the team total has since been surpassed, the score shattered the existing record and it makes one wonder how many Budweisers were consumed following the bowling.
I think that might be as much fun to watch as the current concept, but that's up to others to decide. If you missed last week's bowling, you can tune in today for round two. It starts at 4:30 p.m. and will take you right up to the Super Bowl, if you care to follow the action.
As for me, I'm undecided as to whether I will watch today. After all the PBA is going up against the Puppy Bowl!
Jim Ruess fired a big 697 series in the 55 Plus League at the K of C Lanes. Bill Mizen shot 602, Paul Gosche 522, Jim Ferstler 509, Dan Coppes 495, Steve Schafer 461, Dick Gabel 455, Bob Reinhart 453, Bob West 450, John Ferstler 449, Jim Donaldson 421, Dave Everhart 402 and Paul Fey 365.
In the Imperial-Majorette League Steve Steinmetz, Jr. shot 667, Ben Hoyda 630, Brian Jakupca 596, Linda Brookes 526, Phyllis Riley 464 and Deb Nominee 460. Tom Tiell had 699, Marcus Hall 665, Rhonda Fitch 661, Steve Steinmetz, Sr. 660 and Robin Brownell 445 in the Twilight League. Rocket League scores included Tom Tiell 680, Tyson Shope 674, Tim Sturgill 637, Dave Kirian 617, Paul Landers 564, Beth Jones 550 and Dottie Funk 511.
Ken Bauman broke the 700 plateau with a 701 in the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League. Tim Bollenbacher shot 672, Gary Golden 653, Bill Biddle 646, Brian Kidwell 642, Bob Steele 635, Tim Sturgill 619, Steve Barnes 613, Janice Young 549 and Rose Steele 490. In the Alley Cats League Carla Siebenaller shot 531, Jamie Thom 517, Janet Houk 513, Diane Hoover 505 and Kim Weaver 505. Chris Rhodes rolled a 682 to pace the Sportsman League while Dick Gabel shot 652, Greg Tiell 640, Chris Johnson 634, Ron Jordan 630, Ken Butturff, Jr. 611, Rich Yates, Jr. 611 and Tony Sellhorst 604.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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