Barbara Blevins is partial to Hammers.
"I won't throw anything but a Hammer," Blevins said. "For example, I have two Blue Hammers drilled different ways, a Red Hammer, a Burgundy, a Black. I just love the Hammer line of bowling balls."
Blevins lives in Aberdeen with her husband, Wayne, and has been bowling for "16, 17 years."
The right-hander carries a 197 average, has a high series of 752 and a high game of 299.
"That 299 should have been a 300," she said. The first 11 balls were flush in the pocket. The 12th ball was very light, I must have twisted at the line just enough to send the ball wide and that light hit left the two pin, if you can believe that."
When it comes to bowling anything can happen. But for someone as accurate as Blevins it had to be unsettling to leave that pin.
That 299 was thrown in the Harford County Women's Bowling Association and the Cecil-Harford Counties Men's Bowling Association's First Annual Mixed Championship Tournament at Harford Lanes June 19.
That team, consisting of Chele Rutherford, Blevins, Jerome Heathcote and Dennis Wilson, posted a scratch total of 2,532 to finish first.
Blevins, a settlement officer for Fountainhead Title Group, was using her new ball, a Burgundy Hammer, of course.
"The only other thing that was different [when throwing the 299]," Blevins said. "I was keeping my hand under the ball longer. That's the tip that Dick Dare [manager of Forest Hill Lanes] gave me. Over the years Dick has been fantastic with helping me with my game."
As far as can be determined that 299 is the highest game ever tossed by a women in the Harford County Women's Bowling
Well, maybe Bob Phillabaum would disagree about the bowling ball. He was using a 16-pound Columbia Torq when he fired his first 300 game.
The Riverside resident bowls in two leagues at Harford Lanes, the Thursday and Sunday mixed leagues and carries 194 average.
"The best game I ever had before the 300 was a 278 and I've been bowling, off and on for about 20 years," Phillabaum said.
It was a summer league, the Classic Doubles, on July 12 that turned a mundane four-game series into something special.
"I started with a 187 game," he said. "Then I threw the 300 and then I came back with a 169 and a 197."
An Army brat, Phillabaum is a civilian employee at Aberdeen Proving Ground and basically a down-and-in type of bowler.
"Eddie Davis [Harford Lanes Pro Shop] drilled the Torq for me," Phillabaum said. "But I wasn't really doing anything different that night."
On June 6, Harford lanes held its Bowler of the Year tournament: Tammy Lindecamp captured the women's first-place prize and Steve Skrivanek took first place for the men.
The Junior Bowler of the Year tournament, June 4-5, saw Debbie Sides take the girls first-place spot and Kevin Walker, in the 140 plus average division, take the boys top spot. Tyrone Akins won the boys 140-under title.
In the 1993 High Rollers Tournament, June 11-13, Judy Wheeler took home the $140 top prize for the ladies and Tim Moor captured the men's top spot. On June 11, Moor banged out a 299 game to help lift him to first place.