Throwback Thursday 11/16/17: “Perfect games becoming more common on lanes”

“It is the goal (dream?) of many bowlers to, someday, bowl a 300 game. For the majority, this goal is never reached, even though perfect games are occurring frequently, both in the Quad-Cities and across the nation.

This column has reported 29 300 games thus far this season. I am confident that there have been others that did not reach me. Of those I have written about, four were by female bowlers.

Last season, there were 48,674 perfect games bowled by ABC members, while those sanctioned by the WIBC accumulated only 1,060 such scores. Both of those figures reflect a scoring pace that was unheard of not too many years ago.

Then came a span of 20 years before another Tri-City Classic 300 was bowled. In the 1957-58 season, two such games occurred, an event worthy of considerable print in local newspapers.

Moline’s Don Johnson was the next to hit 300 in the league in 1978, some 21 years further along in Tri-City Classic history.

Entering the 2005-06 season, a total of 272 perfect games have been bowled in that high-scoring league, with all but eight coming in the last 23 seasons. The league recorded an astounding 45 300 games during the 2003-04 season.

A.C. Jellison of St. Louis was the first to receive an award from the ABC for having bowled a 300 game. This took place Dec. 15, 1908. Jenny Hoverson Kelleher had the first perfect game recognized by the WIBC. The Madison, Wis., bowler tossed a 300 game Feb. 12, 1930.

There are many reasons why 300 games are happening with an increasing frequency. Let’s give credit, first, to the ability level of present-day bowlers. Pair that with an array of bowling balls that provide many options for those bowlers. Add to the equation lane conditions that, while legal under USBC requirements, allow for an easier path to the pocket.

Yes, tougher conditions are made possible by adjusting the lane maintenance machines. These more difficult conditions have been used, occasionally, in leagues and tournaments. The typical “house” conditions will keep those 300 games occurring on a more-or-less frequent basis.”

-Cal Whitmore
The Rock Island Argus
December 24, 2005

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Throwback Thursday 11/9/17: “Perfect Scores Keep Coming”

“The 1999-2000 bowling season is rapidly drawing to a close, but the big scores keep rolling in. Two Town and Country Lanes bowlers recently posted a 300 game in league action.

Larry Dobereiner of East Moline opened last week’s East Moline City League session with a perfect game, then added 198 and 181 lines for a 679 series. If memory serves me correctly, this was the second 300 for Dobereiner this season.

Earl Dreon had the other Town and Country gem and I am pleased to report this 300. Dreon strung 12 strikes to open his Jolly Boys League series, garnering his first-ever 300. This proves good things come to those who wait patiently. You see, Dreon is 69 years old. He slipped to 157 in his second game, but rebounded to 228 for a 685 series.

Dreon’s comment to me about his 300 was “the last three strikes were all solid Brooklyn hits”. Congratulations, Earl.”

-The Rock Island Argus
April 1, 2000

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Throwback Thursday 11/2/17: “Sub sets Highland Park Scoring record”

“When Josh Cantrill walked into Highland Park Bowl this past Monday, he had no intention of bowling. Rather, he was there to visit with others bowling in the Moline Eagles League.

When Cantrill left the Moline center that night, he was the holder of the highest score ever bowled at Highland Park.

The 25-year-old right-hander became a last-minute substitute, then proceeded to pound the pins for games of 279, 300, and 279 for a massive 858 series.

During his three games, Cantrill rolled 33 strikes, at one point having 26 in a row.

“I left the 10-pin in the seventh frame of the first game, got the spare and struck out. From then on, I had strikes until the first ball in the 10th frame of the last game when I left another 10-pin,” Cantrill said.

What makes this an even more amazing feat is that Cantrill, who averaged 227 last season, is not bowling regularly in any league this season. His appearances as a sub have been few.

“I just decided I was going to take a year off (from being a regular member) of league bowling,” is how he described his current situation.

Apparently, a reduced amount of nights spent on the lanes has done nothing to adversely affect his bowling skills. In addition to his huge 858, Cantrill recorded a 704 in one of his three appearances as a sub in the Tri-City Classic League at Leisure Lanes.

I suspect Cantrill will be much more in demand after Monday’s outstanding session.”

-The Rock Island Argus
November 22, 2002

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Throwback Thursday 10/26/17: “Do Drop Inn Alleys Ready for Bowlers; Makes 15 in Moline”

“The Do Drop Inn bowling alleys, Sixth avenue and Fourteenth street, are now ready for the crash of the maples. The drives have been completely refinished, and are good as new.

With their opening, there will be fifteen available bowling alleys, all in first-class condition, in Moline.”

-The Daily Dispatch
September 8, 1923

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Throwback Thursday 10/19/17: “Work Is Rushed On New Alleys”

“Work on the construction of the six bowling alleys in the basement of the Fort Armstrong hotel in Rock Island is progressing steadily. The alleys will be completed within the next three weeks, providing the work goes on at the same rate it has during the last two weeks.

Employees of the Brunswick-Balke-Collender company are in charge of the construction. Cross planing was to be completed late today, and the finishing touches on the smoothing off process will then be applied.

The alleys are to be of the latest type, including the best in pin-setting and ball-returning devices. None of the devices has been fixed in their places yet, although all of the material, even the pins, has arrived.

Laying and smoothing of the alley floors is a long and painstaking job. The floors were not built by laying one board at a time, but rather were constructed standing up on one side and then dropped over into place.

Great accuracy was needed in the planing process. The alleys must be made as smooth as possible, and the planing requires great skill, since one poor stroke of a plane may do considerable damage in roughing the floor of an alley.

There is not doubt but that the alleys will prove a popular place this winter. Several leagues have already made arrangements to bowl regularly. Tournaments are planned.”

-Moline Daily Dispatch
October 21, 1926

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Throwback Thursday 10/12/17: “Moline Pin Star Makes 300 Score In League Match”

“Arvid Hartzman, Moline bowler, who attained the goal of every toppler of the maples last night in a Tri-City league match on the Martin-LeClaire alleys by shooting a perfect 300 score. Hartzman’s scores for three games were 300, 213 and 223 for a total of 736 pins. For his perfect score “Abbie” will receive  diamond medal valued at $75 from the American Bowling Congress and for his total count, which was high for the season, he will get $300 in cash from the league. Hartzman is a member of the Murray’s Clothes shop quintet and has been a star on the alleys for years.”

-Moline Daily Dispatch
April 27, 1928

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Throwback Thursday 10/5/17: 1974 RIBA Roll Off Winners

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