TIMONIUM - Butch Martin, the slender bowler from Carroll County, picked his spot to throw the first 600 set of his youthful career.
Last Sunday, in the Kickin' Butts Media Tournament, Martin, 16, equaled his high game (248) on his way to a 601 set.
That tournament was at Fair Lanes Timonium here, a split house with 24 lanes each of duckpins and tenpins.
It's on a low hill on York Road in Baltimore County overlooking the Maryland State Fairgrounds and has a capable general manager in George Christas.
The tournament was to raise money for the American Lung Association of Maryland and to bring to the public's attention the new smoke-free leagues that will be available this fall/winter season to both duck-pinners and ten-pinners at all Fair Lanes bowling centers.
The event drew 130 radio, television and print media personnel from the Baltimore metropolitan area.
For every pin that was knocked down, the Fair Lanes company donated a nickel to the American Lung Association of Maryland.
At the end of the bowling, Fair Lanes wrote a check for $2,215.
Martin, from Westminster, was invited to the tournament because of his victory in the National Junior Bowling Championship, which culminated in the finals in Detroit last month.
In this tournament, he was bowling with two other national finalists.
In the Kickin' Butts Media Tournament, he was bowling against a team of some of the finest amateur bowlers in the state -- the Bowling News team.
That team was composed of Irv Roswall, Steve Garriques, Bill Mend of Carroll County, Larry Detweiler and Jeff Harding. Their averages ranged from Mend's 198 to Detweiler's 226.
At the end of the day, Roswall was to take the award for high set with 705, and the team took high series. Harding had high game, 254.
Roswall couldn't receive both high set and high game, but his big game was 268.
All of the Bowling News team competed last year at Country Club lanes in Baltimore County, and as you can see were all the competition anyone could hope for.
Their three-game series was 3,193, with Garriques' low set of 585.
Martin, by far the youngest bowler on the lanes, responded to this awesome array of bowling talent by with games of 171, 248 and 182.
"I learned to handle pressure when I attended the bowling camp in Connecticut a few years ago," Martin said.
He sure did. It looks like his 150 average is going to explode this year.
He had his ball ripping into the pocket on almost every shot and covered his spares well.
Going into the last three frames of the final game, knowing that he had a chance for a personal high set, he never faltered.
He just said, "I'll keep on doing what I've been doing and see what happens."
That's poise, something every bowler should strive for under pressure.
All the professionals do it -- especially the good ones -- and so do the gifted amateurs like Butch.
* If you're old enough to remember World War II, you'll remember that "Lucky Strike green went to war."
If you're too young to remember that, let me say that the "green" in the Lucky Strike cigarette package was made with a dye that was vital to America's war effort, and it was removed from the package.
It's never been put back, hence the white Lucky Strike package of today.
You're right, that doesn't have a lot to do with bowling, except that now it isn't the green that's gone away, it's the Lucky Strike.
Lucky Strike Lanes are no more. Chuck Ludwig has renamed the center "County Lanes."
It's fitting that the name has been changed because the center itself has been completely renovated.
The 12 lanes in the tenpin center have been refinished, the center has been painted top to bottom, there are new scoring tables and new ball returns.
County Lanes is clean, well-lighted, sparkling and is now one of the more impressive bowling centers in the area.
The center is planning on having a tournament sometime in late September. There will be more information on that later.
If you're wondering about the scoring conditions in the house, Chuck Ludwig already has thrown a 699 set.
* Forest Hill Lanes in Prince George's County will play host to the National Amateur Bowlers Inc. Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14.
Prize money, as always, will be guaranteed.
If any of you tenpin bowlers are not familiar with Forest Hill Lanes, let me assure you that you will be bowling in one of the best centers in Maryland -- plenty of parking, a large concourse with lots of room at the tables, walk-around room at the bowling area, computerized scoring, excellent management and an all-around, well-maintained establishment.
* The American Bowling Congress announced recently that the awards for bowling an 800 series have been doubled to four.
The bowler can choose from a ring, desk clock, wristwatch or desk/pen set. * Information about Carroll County bowling appears regularly in this column.
If you or your bowling league has news, results or upcoming events you would like to share, The Carroll County Sun can help you spread the word.
Please send your information to Bowling, The Carroll County Sun, 15 East Main St., Westminster, Md. 21157-5052.
Information: 857-0550, 876-8771 or toll-free 1-800-829-8000, Ext. 6595.