Danny Schreiber had a 397 series Sunday, Nov. 4, in the Independent Youth Duckpin Travel League at Greenway Bowl Glen Burnie.
Not bad for a young man only 14 years old. But it wasn't quite up to the series that Danny fired the previous Sunday in the same league. That set consisted of a 198 game, a 172 game, and a 180 game. That's a 550 set, and it shattered the world record of 532 for the Junior Division set by David Strauss of Randallstown on Jan. 13.
Danny, a ninth-grader at Dundalk High School, was competing at Seidel's Lanes when he threw that first game of 198. There wasn't an open frame in that game. Danny had three spares, a strike, spare, spare, double, spare, strike and spare. That's a 198 game with only one doubleheader. The next two games had a total of only six open frames. Danny totaled 10 strikes and 15 spares in his record-breaking series.
"I just never realized that a world record was near," Danny said. "I just knew that after the first two games I had a shot at a 500 series."
To think it all started with a glass of Seven-Up.
In 1955 John Scheiber walked up to the snack bar at East Point Bowling Center and asked the young woman, Sherry, for a glass of 7Up. They dated, they married, they had Danny.
Since Sherry was bowling in three leagues and John was bowling in five, it seems pretty natural that Danny bowls. Sherry had to give up bowling after a third operation on her neck, but John still bowls and carries a 144 average. Were they serious about bowling?
"When it was time for Danny to be born, I had my sister take me to the hospital," Sherry said. "John was bowling that night, and I wouldn't dream of interrupting his game."
She added, "Danny is not too excited about the world record, but his father and I think it is awesome."
Danny, who uses a 3-pound, 11-ounce ball, said: "I like bowling. It's a great sport. You never know what's going to happen. One game you bowl great and the next you can bowl lousy."
For a guy who only bowls in one league and "practices a little," it looks like Danny has exactly the right outlook on the duckpin game. Danny is averaging 137, so he must be doing something right. Or maybe it's just a matter of genes.
The duckpin game not only can change from game to game, it can change from frame to frame, from ball to ball.
Dominick Zanti, bowling in an NABI tournament at Greenway Bowl Odenton, can tell you all about that. Zanti made the finals out of the 180 bowlers who competed in the tournament and was seeded fourth. That means in the stepladder format he had to win four games to take the crown and the $1,000 first-place money.
In the first game, Zanti blows away Larry Williams, 260-199. In the next match, Zanti is against Keith Townsend. It's the 10th frame, and Zanti leads by three pins. Townsend throws a triple-header; Zanti throws a triple-header. Final score: Zanti 195, Townsend 192.
Now he's against Frank Alexander of Baltimore. It's the 10th frame again, and Zanti must mark to win. Zanti steps onto the approach and throws the ball into the gutter.
In response to the question, "How did you feel just then, Dom?" he later said, "I didn't think at all. I just picked up the bowling ball as fast as I could and threw it again."
That one blows all 10 pins into the pit for the spare -- and a 182-180 victory.
The next game is against first-seeded Darryl Pate from Baltimore. Both bowlers are doing well, so well that in the last frame they are neck and neck. This time Zanti needs a double and a good count. Never hesitating, he finishes with a 225, one pin better than Pate's 224.
That's three victories, with a total margin of six pins.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.