King finds winning partner behind counter


October 11, 1992|By DON VITEK

James King of Baltimore used an unusual method to select his partner for the National Amateur Bowlers, Inc.'s Guest Member Doubles Tournament at Crofton Bowling Centre.

"I had a partner ready to bowl in the NABI doubles," King said. "But something came up and he couldn't make it. So I lined up another partner, but when I arrived at Crofton he wasn't there, just didn't show up."

That's usually enough to make you pack up your gear and head for home. King, a Greenway Bowl Odenton league bowler, is a business management major at the University of Baltimore and knows that there are times when you cut your losses and get out.

"I stopped at the snack bar in Crofton lanes before I left for the trip back to Baltimore," King said. "And I started talking to the snack bar attendant, Brant Sheldon. I suggested that since I didn't have a partner that maybe he'd like to bowl with me."

King bowls in the Wednesday Doubles at Greenway Bowl Odenton, has a high game of 288 and a high series of 689 and carries a 179 average.

"I try to bowl in most NABI tournaments that are held in the Baltimore metropolitan area," King said. "But now I figured I had two strikes against me since two partners had failed to show."

Sheldon, 19, attends Anne Arundel Community College and works part time at Crofton Bowling Centre. He bowls in the Tuesday Coors Light Scratch Trio at Crofton Centre. His average is 176, and he has a high game of 255 with a high set of 656.

"I started bowling in NABI tournaments last Thanksgiving," Sheldon said. "And I try to bowl in a tournament every month or so. When Jim walked up to the snack counter, I wasn't really sure that I wanted to risk $50 [the entry fee for the tournament] with a partner I had never bowled with before, but Jim did need a partner and I do like to bowl, so I said, 'What the heck, let's give it a try.' "

The team posted a handicap score of 1,290 and walked away with the $2,000 first-place prize.

Bowling for badges

Peggy Tully, assistant manager at Greenway Bowl Odenton, presented a tournament for Scouts only on Sept. 27.

"We invited Scouts from everywhere," Tully said. "From Odenton, Severna Park, Severn, Gambrills and Glen Burnie. Didn't matter if they were accomplished bowlers, beginners or had never thrown a bowling ball. All they had to do was show up."

The 80 Scouts who showed up were placed on three-member teams, and for $6.75 received a slice of pizza, a soda, bowling shoe rental, three games of bowling, and the chance to earn a Scout badge.

"Gretchen Smith [youth coordinator at Greenway lanes] and myself have to follow up with visits to the Scout meetings to teach the history of the sport of bowling so that the Scouts that bowled in the tournament can complete their project and receive their sport badge," Tully said. "It's great way to earn a badge and a great way to introduce bowling to more youngsters."

The format of the Bowling Jamboree called for the winning teams to receive trophies, but there was a hitch in that idea.

"The Scouts that showed up for the tournament were so great that we couldn't choose just one winner," Tully said. "So we gave all the Scouts that participated a bowling pin."

Bouncing back

Riviera Beach resident Jim Murphy started bowling duckpins when he was about 5 years old. That was more than 40 years ago, and somewhere in those 40 years he became a pretty fair duckpin bowler.

"I was lucky," Murphy said. "I always had someone to help me with my game. Ralph Giddi, for example, was a big help."

There were a couple breaks in Murphy's bowling career. In the early '80s, he had knee surgery. In 1988, a problem with his inner ear caused difficulty with his balance.

It took 2 1/2 years, but the vertigo caused by the inner-ear difficulties is history. Jim Murphy isn't.

Murphy has a career-high set of 536 and a high game of 229 and carried a 144 average before the knee surgery. After the operation, he picked up where he left off, averaging 139 to 142.

This summer, Murphy felt healthy enough to pick up the 3-pound, 10-ounce Manhattan bowling balls that he's had for so many years and bowl a few weeks in a summer league at Riviera Bowl. It worked out well, so when the winter season began, he joined the Saturday Mixed League at Riviera Bowl.

On Sept. 19 he pounded out games of 142, 175 and 203 for a powerful 520 series.

"And the first two games I did a lot of ripping on my count ball," Murphy said. "The series could have been a lot higher."

Getting the hang of it

Troy Sipe of Brooklyn Park is in only his fourth season of bowling, and he's starting to get the hang of it.

Sipe bowls in two duckpin leagues at Fair Lanes Westview, the Monday 8:30 Scratch and the Friday 8:30 Scratch. He has a high game of 197 and a high series of 483. He carries a 124 average, and last month in a Amateur Duckpin Tour event, he was seeded third in the stepladder finals.

"I worked hard to slow down my delivery," Sipe said. "I took a lot of time with every ball I threw, made sure it was the best ball I could threw."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.