Games: 114. Total pinfall: 16,762. Average: 147. That's good enough to rank Gary Dodrill with the top duckpin bowlers in the nation.
Last week, the National Duckpin Bowling Congress released the ranking of the leading averages for both men and women in the United States.
Gary Dodrill of Pasadena received an honorable mention, one of eight bowlers to garner such recognition.
Jon Owens of Sykesville, Carroll County, was the leading male bowler with a 154 average, based on 290 games, and total pinfall of 44,619 for the 1989-1990 season.
Diane Jasper of Laurel, Prince George's County, was the leading female bowler with an average of 144.
Dodrill bowls in the Friday Night 520 scratch league at Severna Park Lanes. He uses a three-pound, 12-ounce ball for his first ball, then switches to a three-pound, 10-ounce ball for his spare shooting.
Dodrill, a lab technician for Reichhold Chemical Inc., has been bowling since he was 9 years old and has a 225 high game and a 536 high series.
When asked how he carried a 147 average bowling just one night a week, Dodrill laughed and said, "I guess it's because of all the years that I bowled five nights a week."
Another honorable mention was Curtis Johnson of the Friday Night 520 Quads at Greenway Bowl Glen Burnie.
Johnson, a resident of Mount Airy, had a season average of 147 on a total pinfall of 42,229, based on 286 games. He drives a truck for Kraft Foods Inc. and also bowls on Wednesday nights at Fair Lanes Westview. Last year he was ranked 20th in the nation.
Curt's high game is 244 and his high series 569. He uses a three-pound, 12-ounce ball.
"I really enjoy bowling," he said. "But I would like to see a little more fun come back into the game. I feel that too often it's become too cutthroat."
* They call him "Blue." That's James Blue.
The Woodlawn resident has been associated with Fair Lanes for over three years and is the assistant manager at Fair Lanes Southdale. He's one of the people that makes bowling a pleasure for average bowlers.
He's the guy you complain to when the 10 pin doesn't carry, when the lane doesn't hook enough, when the approach is too slippery or too sticky.
He sees that the bowling area is clean, that you get served quickly when you step up to the snack bar. He's one of the folks who we all take for granted because they are always there to help us.
Blue uses a 14-pound ball because it allows him to throw the ball hard and still maintain control. He bowls in Southdale's Tuesday Men's league and the Thursday Morning Doubles and the DRS Classic leagues. On Thursday night he's in the Calvert Mixed League, where he serves as president at the Fair Lanes Woodlawn Center.
Blue has a 165 average, with a high game of 258, and a 622 high series.
He's been bowling since he was 5 years old.
You can see why Blue has a soft spot for the average bowler -- he is an average bowler. That's reflected in his view of the sport.
"People should relax more, adjust to the league rules with less resentment," Blue said. "Mixed leagues should have less stringent rules.
Let the average bowler just enjoy his or her night out."
Do I hear an amen chorus?
* On Dec. 9, a Bowl-A-Thon was conducted for Pasadena resident Judy Marsh at Greenway Bowl Odenton. The center drastically reduced the cost of the games bowled.
More than $4,000 was raised for Marsh, who was in need of a bone marrow transplant. Now let's just hope that she has a speedy recovery.
* The excitement of professional bowling will return to the Baltimore area for the 22nd year when the Fair Lanes $150,000 Professional Bowlers Association Open takes place at Fair Lanes Kings Point in Randallstown from Sunday, Feb. 24 through Saturday, March 2.
Danny Wiseman of Baltimore is the defending champion.
"Our 22nd annual PBA stop should be super," said Steve Carley, Fair Lanes president and CEO. "Our stop takes place during the heart of the winter tour, plus we'll be in our most state-of-the-art bowling center."
Fair Lanes King Point, featuring BowlerVision, opened in December of 1989.
Every Pro-Am bowler will receive a Brunswick Red Rhino bowling ball.
Fair Lanes will conduct five Pro Spot qualifiers. Amateur bowlers will have the opportunity to qualify for spots in the $150,000 PBA Open. The tournaments take place at the following days and locations: * Sunday, Dec. 30, at Fair Lanes Edgewood; * Sunday, Jan. 13, at Fair Lanes Dundalk; * Sunday, Jan. 17, at Fair Lanes Towson; * Sunday, Feb. 10, at Fair Lanes University in Adelphi; * Sunday, Feb. 17, at Fair Lanes Kings Point in Randallstown.
Winners earn spots in the Fair Lanes Open, which is a $250 entry value, plus an additional $300 cash prize. The second place finisher wins $275, third place earns $200. The entry fee for the six-game scratch event is $39.50.
Information: (301) 521-5300.
Fair Lanes will be giving tenpin bowlers an opportunity to get 1991 rolling with a $1,000 top prize in the Fair Lanes Eighth Annual New Year's Open. The tournament will take place at Fair Lanes Towson on Tuesday, Jan.