Curt Ludwig and Tony Dorsey bowl at Brunswick recreation centers in Howard County, and now they have another thing in common. Each owns a perfect game.
Ludwig started bowling in 1958 with duckpins, as did so many of the Baltimore-born bowlers, before switching to tenpins. Still residing in Baltimore with his wife, Donna, he bowls in two leagues at Brunswick Normandy, the Wednesday Anytime Funtime and the Friday Friendship.
If you bowl at Normandy lanes you know Curt and Donna; Curt works there as a mechanic and in the pro shop and Donna works the control counter.
"I guess I own eight or 10 bowling balls," Curt said. "Of course, I drill my own balls so I can't complain if they don't do the proper job on the lanes."
On Dec. 8, in the Anytime Funtime league, Ludwig used his 15 1/2 -pound Columbia Yellow Dot to throw his first 300 game.
"The first game and the last game weren't much," the 189-average bowler said. "But the middle game was a beauty."
That it was, 12 strikes in a row for 300.
"Usually I'll play the outside line," he said. "That night I moved into a deep inside shot; that worked great."
Terry McDonald, league coordinator at Normandy, said, "His wife, Donna, was more nervous than he was. He was pretty cool about it."
Ludwig concurred: "I was perfectly calm while I was bowling the 300, but afterward it got to me."
That's probably why the last game was a 154.
Dorsey was a bit more relaxed after throwing his 300 game in the Friday Newcomers league at Brunswick Columbia on Nov. 26. After all, it was his fourth perfect game.
Dorsey lives in Elkridge and bowls in two more leagues at Columbia, Wednesday and Thursday nights.
He carried a 196 average last season, and he's thrown an 800 set in a career that began in 1970.
On that Friday night, Dorsey's first game was a 194, then came the 300 and a 206 in the third game; that was good for a 700 series. He used a 15-pound, 5-ounce Torq to post the 300 game.
"With the new balls hitting so hard I feel more comfortable using a lighter ball," he said. "You just don't have to have a 16-pound ball anymore. The new equipment finishes so strong and hits so hard you can use a lighter ball now."
But as in any game, there has to be a bit a luck to go with the skill.
"I was hitting the pocket in all three games," Dorsey said. "But in the second game I was taking out the ten-pin."
Free State Classic returns
After a short hiatus, the Free State Classic Tour will get rolling again in January, resuming its schedule on a monthly basis.
The weekly tour started last April and ran for 23 weeks. After postponing the last schedule, Tour Director Stacy Karten received numerous inquiries to bring back the tour.
The new guaranteed prizes will be $800 for first place, $400 for second and $250 for third.
The Free State Classic Tenpin Tour is a straight three-game format, including handicap.
The tour will be at Brunswick Normandy on March 12-13.
Information: (410) 465-0355.