In the Pocket: Amsterdam league shatters record

The pins were running for cover last week at Imperial Lanes in Amsterdam. In what is believed to be
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The pins were running for cover last week at Imperial Lanes in

Amsterdam.

In what is believed to be a USBC record, five members of the Thursday Night Men’s league collected six perfect games on the same night.

Bill Schmidtmann tossed a pair of 300s, while Dave Salak, Tim Banta, Tim Grant and Mike Jurcsak also recorded perfect games.

“It was an unbelievable night,” said Imperial Lanes owner Chris Kelly. “I’m very proud of the guys. It was just a very exciting night.”

According to league sec­retary Marty Tambasco, the USBC

record for most perfect games for one league in one night was five, and USBC public relations specialist Mark Miller couldn’t find anything in the record books to change that, so far.

“It was just crazy,” said Tambasco. “The one thing I remember about the night was that early on, when the first couple of 300s were thrown, a couple of the guys told me I had my work cut out for me with all the paperwork. I thought it was funny, but they turned out to be right.”

There are 18 five-man teams in the Thursday Night Men’s league, and the averages range from a high of 238 to a low of 124.

“Our league starts on lanes 7-8, and I was bowling on lanes 13-14 at the time,” Tambasco said. “The first guy that got a 300 was Dave Salak. He’s a guy in his early 60s, and he’s averaging in the 190s. When he got the final strike, I said to myself, ‘Holy cow.’ So I went over to congratulate him, because I thought it was his first one, but he said it was actually his fifth or sixth 300, and he showed me his 300 watch, which had the date of his last 300 11 years ago.”

The fireworks had only just begun. When Schmidtmann, who averages 216, got his first 300, two perfect games had been thrown in a matter of two minutes.

“All of a sudden, down at the

other end of the house, Mike

Jurcsak, who carries a pretty good average [222], got his first 300 of the year, and I knew it was going to be a pretty special night. In the third game, all heck broke loose. Banta, Grand and then Schmidtmann again each rolled 300s. For Grant, it was his 28th career perfect game.”

Tambasco said that Grant’s perfect game was even more unusual because of the way he finished it. The league’s second-best bowler by average (232.71), Grant accepted a challenge by one of his teammates and picked up his spare ball to complete the perfect game.

“That was kind of neat, to take a spare ball out and throw it for your final shot on a 300 game,” Tambasco said.

In the old days, Tambasco would be buried with paper work, but technology has its benefits.

“With the computer programs we have now, it only takes a few seconds to do the paper work on all the 300s,” he said. “For me, the hardest part is chasing everyone down to make sure they sign the right forms.”

The perfect games weren’t the only special part of the big night at Imperial Lanes.

“The league has 90 guys, but we had five bowlers absent that night,” Tambasco said. “We ended up with 17 700 triples, and 53 of the bowlers rolled 600 or better. What a night!

“Nobody knows why everything went the way it did. Chris Kelly told us that the lanes weren’t oiled any differently, but it sure was a night to remember.”

GOOD NEWS

Earlier this season, the USBC announced that it would no longer give out awards (rings, watches and plaques) for special achievements like 300 games, 800 triples or 11 strikes in a row, if those achievements were accomplished more than once in a career.

In other words, once you got a 300 game or an 800 triple, you could never get another award for that achievement. It used to be that a bowler couldn’t collect an achievement award more than once in a season, but he could start all over the next year.

The USBC planned on simply keeping records in their data base of how many times a bowler accomplished those feats.

But many bowlers complained about the proposal, and according to USBC Schenectady Bowling

Association manager Lloyd Denny, that plan has been tabled, for now.

That’s good to hear, because bowlers get very little from their annual sanction dues as it is. I hope they table that plan for good. I know they are trying to save money, but they can save far more if they cut back on a few of their other enterprises — like moving their offices to Texas and producing a new tel­evised bowling show — that don’t benefit the average bowlers.

SPECIAL EVENT

Three cheers for the sixth annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tourn­ament, which held its finals last Sunday at Sportsman’s Bowl

Not only did the event draw 469 entries and send 91 bowlers to the semifinals, but it also included one of the most exciting fnishes I’ve ever seen in a major local bowling tournament.

When Waterford’s Darrell Coonrad got down by 34 pins early in the championship game to Utica pro Ray Cyr, it looked like Cyr would win easily, but Coonrad came back with five strikes in a row and eventually forced a two-frame roll-off when Cyr failed to make at least eight pins on his final shot in the 10th frame.

Coonrad struck on all four shots in the roll-off, and when Cyr failed to strike on his third shot, leaving a 4-pin, Coonrad locked up the biggest tournament win of his

career.

The tournament once again had a top-notch field, which included virtually every top local bowler as well as numerous talented out-of-towners, including the legendary Mark Roth from the PBA Senior Tour.

Tom Donato and his sons, Tommy Jr. and Joel, did a great job running the event.

HUCK FINN UPDATE

Last week’s Huck Finn segment incorrectly listed the next qualif­iers for the “Capital Region Bowling Show” as Saturday at Hometown Lanes and Sunday at Spare Time Clifton Park.

Those qualifying dates have been switched from the original schedule. The correct dates are this Saturday at Hi-Way Recreation in Wyantskill at 3 p.m. (entry fee $40) and Sunday at Spare Time Latham at 5 p.m. (entry fee $50). The finals follow Sunday at 7:30 p.m. First place is $1,000 guaranteed. Call Jeff Segel (371-1444) or Tom Donato (496-7812) for reservations.

STRIKES & SPARES

u The final regular-season event of the Northern Bowlers Assoc­iation tour will be the Hi-Roc Lanes Open March 30 at 10 a.m. There will be at least $400 added in prize money.

u Kent Clark of the Daily Gazette league rolled his first 800 triple at Sportsman’s Bowl Tuesday. Clark finished with an 817 after games of 279, 279 and 259.

u Frank Gorham, 65, posted the first career perfect game in the Ballston Spa Seniors league.

u The first Bracket Challenge continues at Towne Bowling Academy until April 19. First place is $1,200, and bowlers can qualify any time when lanes are available. Three or more bowlers must be present for a squad. Bowlers roll two games on one pair of lanes, and the top 40 qualifiers advance to the single-elimination bracket. Entry fee is $20. The same challenging oil pattern will be used for all squads. The final bracket matches begin April 19 at 7:30. Call Towne Academy (355-3939) or Segel for more information.

u The USBC Schenectady-

Scotia Women’s Bowling Association City Tournament will be held held the last week of April and the first week of May at Towne Bowling Academy. Entry blanks are available from league secretaries or at the desk.

u Entries for the New York State Women’s Championship Tourn­ament are closed, but if bowlers want to have their names placed on the substitute list for teams (Town ‘n Country) or doubles/singles (Sunset Recreation), they can call the Albany Bowling Association at 465-4878.

u The New York State Women’s 600 Tournament will be held

June 6-8 in Plattsburgh. Copies of the entry blanks are available in the association office.

u The USBC Schenectady-

Scotia Women’s Bowling Assoc­iation’s annual awards dinner will be held May 29 at the Rotterdam Elks lodge on Curry Road.

u The Capitol City 600 Tourn­ament is scheduled for Saturday at Redwood Lanes, while the Electric City 600 Tournament is scheduled for March 30 at Sportsman’s Bowl.

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