Sponsor McElhose puts money where ducks are

BOWLING

February 27, 1994|By DON VITEK

Anybody who follows the PBA knows that many of the pro tenpin bowlers have sponsors. The cost of competing on the pro tour runs about $1,000 per week.

Duckpin bowlers don't rack up expenses like professional tenpin bowlers do, but to compete at a higher level in duckpins the expenses of just bowling in several leagues can put pressure on the pocketbook. That's where the sponsors of duckpin bowlers become active.

Duckpin sponsors back individuals, teams, leagues and tournaments with both their time and money. That's probably the big difference between the tenpin and the duckpin sponsor.

In tenpins they put up money for the individual bowler, and that's pretty much it. A lot of duckpin sponsors not only back a single bowler, team or league but they add money to tournaments.

And there's one other major difference -- in some cases, you'll find the sponsor right out there on the lanes with the guys they back.

That's where you'll find Charles McElhose. President of Mack Security System and a pretty fair bowler (averaging 128), he is a real friend to duckpin bowlers.

Born and raised in this duckpin town, McElhose lives in Catonsville with his wife, Theresa, who is a pro bowler with a 124 average. He has a career high game of 222 and a high set of 495.

"I bowl in three leagues right now," McElhose said. "And I sponsor a team on the pro tour."

Those three leagues are the Monday Quads and the Friday Men's Commercial, both at Fair Lanes Westview and the Wednesday Classic Trip at Middlesex.

How much is he willing to do for the duckpin bowlers?

"I know that one year he asked how much help the pro league needed and when he was told that three teams needed sponsors, he jumped right in," said Mike Steinert, captain of the Mack Security Systems team in the pro league and one of the top duckpin bowlers in the nation. "He backed three pro teams last year and I know that he'll help out any tournament anywhere, any time."

His kind of town

Ted Hill of Randallstown is retired from the Army Security Agency, but you can find him at Fair Lanes Westview on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. He's the manager on duty those days.

On Wednesday and Saturday, he's there for bowling, too, in the Wood Knockers league and the Bill Brown Singles. Friday he bowls in the Lively Set at Fair Lanes Towson.

With a 173 average, a high game of 279 and a high set of 699, Hill has been polishing his game for "about 55 years, I guess."

Hill has some strong ideas about bowling and about Baltimore compared to his hometown of Chicago.

"When it comes to working in a bowling center, it's pretty simple: be friends with the bowlers," he said. "As for Baltimore, I like it more than Chicago. Chicago is just too big. Baltimore is a city where you can make friends quickly, get to know your neighbors easily."

Big mixed doubles tournament

Next weekend, Pinland Bowling Lanes in Dundalk will play host to the Pinland Open Mixed Doubles tournament, a scratch event that draws the best duckpin bowlers in the nation.

Last year two of the best won the event. Adele Asimenios and Jeff Pyles posted a total of 1,554 for the five-game format.

The world record for a five-game series in mixed doubles is held by Anita Rothman and Edgemere bowling center proprietor John Crunkleton. They set that record (1,645) on Nov. 15, 1992, at Fair Lanes Westview.

Women's tournament

The Baltimore Women's Bowling Association is conducting its 38th annual BWBA Handicap Tournament next weekend at Brunswick Columbia.

There will be singles, doubles and team events. Entries are closed but it's a chance to watch some of the best local tenpin bowlers in action.

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