This 700 club founder does not accept donations — Hey, maybe he does

Well, it happened again. I leave town for a week for a well-deserved (in my mind) vacation and the local bowlers shoot lights out. When I returned home and checked out the scores, I noticed a plethora of 700 series. I mean they were being passed out like candy from a Pez dispenser.

I would suggest to you that shooting 700 is not that easy. Think about it for a minute. If you shoot a 233 game, that is considered a very good score. Roll three consecutive games of 233 and even though you would have a very impressive triplicate, you would still not reach that coveted 700 plateau.

In a year when I’m struggling to just hit the 500 mark and a 600 series seems to be a pipe dream, becoming a member of the 700 club seems very unrealistic indeed. Yet for many Tiffin bowlers, shooting 700 seems to be a common occurrence, especially when I’m out of town.

Do you recall the TV program called the 700 Club? It was a religious show that encouraged viewers who agreed with the organization’s ideals to contribute to the cause. Donations, the hosts intoned, would be gratefully accepted.

That concept gives me an idea. For those bowlers who would like to shoot these kinds of scores, perhaps you could forward me a few bucks for a vacation fund. I would be willing – if the price is right – to take more frequent vacations to insure quality bowling scores by my fellow keglers. Yep, it’s just the kind of guy I am!

Let’s take a look at some of these monster scores shot the week I was taking in a spring training game in Florida. There were no fewer than eight 700 series shot that week, beginning with two in the Big 8 League as Tom Tiell shot 718 and Rich Yates Sr. a 708. Tyson Shope rolled a 728 in the Wednesday Morning League, while Rustan Burks shot 705 in the Sportsman League and Brian Kidwell fired a Babe Ruth-like (sorry, still have baseball on my mind) 714 in the Rock N Roll League.

In addition to these monster scores a few bowlers shot 690 or better, which in normal times would be considered fantastic. Try these scores on for size. Steve Barnes shot 691, Phil Neikirk 699, Lance Davis 696 and Brian Kidwell 693. You have to feel bad for Brian as his 693 and 714 series didn’t even lead his league. I’m telling you, when I leave town the scores shoot up!

Robin Dickman needs to get a mention here as well. She rolled a big 676 series in the Alley Cats League, ahem, while I was out of town. I can see the donations coming in already.

For those of you who noticed that I said eight 700 series were shot while I was gone and I only listed five, well there is a reason for that. The star of my vacation week had to be Ken Bauman. Let’s take a look at what he did in an eight-day period.

In the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League he shot his first ever 300 game on his way to a 749 series. He could have been expected to cool off when he showed up for the Big 8 League three days later, but that was not the case. His perfecto came in game 3 and he started his next game with the front six. Eighteen strikes in a row in two different leagues three days apart. Pretty cool.

Ken backed up his 749 on Sunday with a 741 on Wednesday. It’s not supposed to be this easy folks. Well, on the following Sunday, he was back to Rock N Rolling – literally. This time he went into the 10th frame of the third game needing just a mark to shoot – drum roll please – 800! A four-six split left him five sticks short of a career series, but 795 isn’t bad. 749, 741 and 795 in an eight day span? That’s just incredible!

So there you go folks. I’m not sure how much my absence contributed to these scores, but I am willing to take any credit that comes my way. Now we will take a look at this week’s scores. Please be so kind as to not tell anyone that I WAS in town for these. I don’t want the donations to dry up before they start!

Apparently Rich Yates Jr. didn’t know I was back as he fired a 774 series to lead the Wednesday Morning League. Bill Mizen shot 689, Harry Smith 653, Mark Huffman 633, Steve Norman 625 and Cheryl Radin-Norman 420. Other bowlers who are trying to end my vacation fund before it starts include Greg Tiell and Scott Hartsell who shot 742 and 706 respectively in the Sportsman League. Chris Rhodes had 694, Phil Neikirk 678, Mike Kimmet 640, Jim Ruess 637, Rich Yates Jr. 633, Mike Kisabeth 632, Tony Selhorst 631 and Ron Yentzer 617. Steve Steinmetz Jr. shot 734 to lead the Imperial-Majorette League. Are you sensing a theme here? Brian Jakupca had 674, Ben Hoyda 583, Rhonda Fitch 570, Deb Nominee 503, and Phyllis Riley 470.

In the Big 8 League Aaron Sherman fired a 734, Greg Tiell 729, Mike Shock 698, Ben Hoyda 682, Jack Book 678, Rich Yates Jr. 668, Ryan Chevalier 668, Jeff Smith 662, Mark Bowen 662, Ken Bauman 658 (talk about cooling off!), Dave Ross 637, Greg Anspach 635, Robert Tarris Jr. (Hayden’s uncle!) 623, Scott Plickert 621, Jim Hershberger 616, Matt Hoover 615, Randy Butler 614, Dennis Crum 609, Mark Baxter 606, Mike Carroll 605, Mark Ratliff 603 and Rich Yates Sr. 601. All right, I’m convinced it’s not me. These guys are just good. Send your donations to a more worthwhile charity!

In the Alley Cats League Janet Houk shot 549, Pat Cook 532, Robin Dickman 519, Jamie Thom 510 and Carla Siebenaller 503. Rocket League scores included Steve Barnes 669, Tyson Shope 659, Shawn Coppus 643, Steve Norman 640, Tim Sturgill 632 and Dottie Funk 509. Kevin Funk shot 676, Tom Tiell 630, Don Conley 607, Rhonda Fitch 548 and Robin Brownell 504 in the Twilight League.

Action from the K of C Lanes included Bennett Paulus shooting 550, Tim Gassner 544, Ken Ritzler 542, Cliff Jeffrey 532, Doug Snyder 531, Andy Ritzler 518, Mike Reser 512, Steve Reser 503 and Denny Reamer 503 in the Senior League. The 55 Plus League scores included Jim Ruess 595, Dick Gabel 565, Bill Mizen 551, Paul Gosche 523, Bob Reinhart 515, Dave Everhart 499, Bob West 491, Ron Mellott 463, Dan Coppes 452, John Ferstler 452, Jim Ferstler 438, Jim Donaldson 424 and Paul Fey 377. In the Lady Knights League Deb Hoerig shot 476, Val Krombach 471, Carol Burmeister 459, Madonna Gase 436, Tammy Schalk 427, Julie Fortner 427, Nerita Streacker 426 and Lela Gaietto 415. Scott Ferguson shot 665, Ken Gaietto 647, Chris Johnson 622, Darl Elchert 609, Jim Rainey 587, Brett Elchert 584 and Jamie Kuhn 567 in the Thursday Night League.