Labor Day was the opening night for the Monday night Men's Commercial 6:30 league at the Edgemere duckpin center. That's the only league that Joe Davis and Darrell Taylor bowled in last season. And, apparently, they couldn't wait to get back on the lanes this year.
Davis, bowling anchor for Video Attractions, banged out a 205 game and a 494 series; Taylor, bowling anchor on his team, couldn't match the 205 game.
But Taylor did throw games of 172, 169 and 173 for a 514 set.
The teams split the four games.
Davis lives in Rosedale and is just starting to get back in stride on the duckpin lanes.
"I bowled for about 13 years," he said. "Then I quit for eight years, and three years ago I started again."
Averaging 141 when he quit, Davis carried 137 last season.
"If I stay healthy I expect to get that average up to 140-141," he said. "That could happen because I'm bowling with a great bunch of guys at Edgemere, and that makes a big difference."
Davis has a career-high game and set of 222 and 537, respectively.
Taylor, "bowling for about 25 years," averaged 143 last season.
The Perry Hall resident restricted his bowling to the single league last season. This year he's added the Friday Men's Independent at the same center.
Taylor has a career-high game of 228 and a high series of 549. And, at least for a single week, is high-average bowler in the Monday Men's Commercial league with 171.
Another fast start
Rodney White bowled in three leagues at Fair Lanes Dundalk last year.
This year, the 202-average tenpin bowler started in high gear in the Friday Guys and Dolls league.
In the first game of the first night of the league, White bowled a 300 game.
New season, new manager
John Seiss of Dundalk joined the Fair Lanes organization just four months ago. Last month the former restaurant manager took the reins at Fair Lanes Dundalk as operations manager.
He started bowling when he joined Fair Lanes, he said. Throwing a 15-pound ball, he averaged 136 in a summer league. This winter season he'll be bowling in the Tuesday G.A.F. league and the Monday Football league at the Dundalk center.
200, the hard way
In tenpins it's not really unusual to throw an even 200 game with alternating strikes and spares. It's so common that it has a name: Dutch 200.
But duckpins, that's a different story. In duckpin bowling, 200 games are rare, and all-mark games even more rare. A Dutch 200? You could spend a lifetime in bowling centers and never see, maybe not even hear, of one.
That means if you weren't at Fair Lanes Pikesville for the last session of the women's traveling league you missed the chance to see a once-in-a-lifetime game.
"Well, it did draw a crowd," said Donna Ratcliff, who is ranked 19th in average with 133 by the Baltimore Duckpin Bowlers Association for the 1993-1994 season.
She started the evening with a 141 game, then she spared, then threw a strike, then a spare, and that continued for the rest of the game, alternating spares and strikes, six spares, five strikes, and when the last pin fell she had that Dutch 200.
"I seem to be bowling well right now," Ratcliff said. "After the 200 I could have had another one, I needed a mark and a count in the last frame."
But she finished with a 180 and a 530 series.
Two weeks ago she fired a 539 series, a week ago a 498 set and now the 200 game and 530 series.