About this time every year, the American Bowling Congress sends out its ABC Yearbook and Media Guide, updating ABC records, individual statistics and oddities from the sport through the years. The release coincides with the start of the ABC national championships, which began Feb.
3 in Reno. The numbers are okay if you're into those things. They come in handy when you have to look up Tom Crites' birthday or Tom Milton's tour mark. The book is an encyclopedia of bowling facts and personalities, pro and amateur.
The fun part of the book is the section on oddities. A few for your enjoyment:
The oldest performer in the ABC national was Joe Detloff of Chicago, 72, in the 1965 event. The youngest ABC champion? Ronnie Knapp of New London, Ohio, who bowled with the winning 1963 Booster team at the age of 16.
George Geiser's team won the title in 1917, and Geiser came back 21 years later to help win another team title.
Last year Bob Powell of Wichita, Kan., rolled a 298 game, got to thinking about it, and followed with a 129 game _ a record series decrease.
The 1963 tournament in Buffalo was the first ABC event that drew entries from all 50 states.
Left-handers have won six ABC singles titles, contributed to five doubles championships, and earned four all-events crowns.
The first game by Brandon's Dave Bond in his first ABC national was a 299.
When he died, in 1981, Bob Doehrman of Fort Wayne, Ind., had participated in 71 consecutive ABC events.
The Kendor Corp. No.
1 team of Milwaukee walked away from the 1982 tournament with five places _ and $19,279 in winnings.
In 1936, the five men on the Moffat's Ale team of Syracuse, N.Y., all fired 192 games in the ABC team competition.
League-season records also are listed. Because the leagues draw so many more competitors, they offer greater opportunities for oddities. Here are a few:
The highest game ever rolled without a strike, split, spare or foul was 90, by Mike Daugherty, Wooster, Ohio. You figure that one out.
Six bowlers have rolled 300 games with each hand. The first was Neal Bayes of St. Louis, in 1963 (right-handed) and 1970 (left-handed).
Tour pro Pete Weber's first sanctioned league game was a 300, when he was 15.
Kevin Alldredge of Tampa and St. Petersburg, and his father, Richard, were the first father-son duo to record an 800 series.
Sarasota's Dennis Stearns has the Florida record for high scratch men's series: 877, rolled last May.
The longest league schedule on record is 64 weeks, by Zodiac Shirt Christmas of Del Rio, Texas _ but then, Texans don't seem to know when to quit.
The oldest active bowler in an ABC-sanctioned league is John Venturello of Sunrise, who is 101. Dunedin's Charlie Lang is bowling at 104, but not in a sanctioned league.
The largest center in the county is Las Vegas' Showboat Lanes, with 106 lanes, followed by Thunderbowl, in Allen Park, Mich., with 94. The oldest active ABC-sanctioned center is the Elks Bowling Lanes of Fond du Lac, Wisc., opened in 1909.
Finally, in the realm of frustration: George Stieber of Detroit carried a 157 average into his league and rolled a nine _ a record for most pins below average in a game. Maybe he was ill or did it to make the record book. It doesn't say.
Leading the ABC nationals: In the 87th annual ABC national tournament, Bel Vista Draperies No.
1, from Seattle, leads the regular team standings with a 3,134 pinfall. Bob Hochrein of Dubuque, Iowa, is the singles leader at 791 and leads the all-events at 2,148. The doubles leaders are Bob Griffith and Vince Mazzanti, both of Indianapolis, with a 1,397 total. The tournament ends June 5.
300s highlight Suncoast event: Hudson's Ron Woods rolled a 300 game and a 729 series but stands second in the singles division of the Suncoast Men's Association City Tournament after the first weekend. Tom Laduke leads with a 733 series.
Jim Valentine's 300 game sparked Robby's Carpet Cleaners to the team lead with a 2,887. The tournament ends this weekend at Clearwater's Rainbow Lanes and Hudson's Leisure Lanes.
More 300 games: Dick Rounds rolled a 300-771 at Largo Lanes last week _ his second 300 in a month. Darrin Campbell had a 290-817 and Mike Hall a 299 game at the same center. Tom Buesing managed his 300-789 and Bill Thigpen fired a 300-781 at Liberty Lanes. Larry Schweitzer rolled a 299 game and Tom Whitaker recorded a 297 game there, also. Phil Walbaum III recorded his 300-672 at Sunshine Bowl last week.
Around the lanes: Spots remain open for the Fred Borden clinics March 4-5 at Hudson Bowl. The March 4 workshop is for bowlers and costs $60. March 5 is for pro shop proprietors and those interested in technical aspects of the equipment; the fee is $65. Borden is coach of Team USA.
The $140,000 Bowlers Journal Florida Open is this week at Shore Lanes of Merritt Island. Resumes are being taken by the Suncoast Men's Association to fill the post of secretary, to be vacated in May by 15-year veteran Herb Brown. Send resumes to 118 Eighth St., Belleaire Beach, Fla. 34635. Tracy Henning, Port Richey, won the NABI tournament last weekend at Tarpon Lanes, beating Tim Ackerley 207-185 for the $675 payoff. The NABI is at Shore Lanes this weekend. Robby Blumer managed a 299-726 at Dunedin Lanes.