Hall of Famer Dietsch is dead at 69


Duckpin Hall of Famer Jimmy Dietsch died in his sleep at home in the Washington suburbs on Jan. 9.

Baltimore-born, Dietsch, who was 69, began his amazing duckpin career here.

Ranked first eight times in the Washington metro area and six times in Baltimore, he was a member of three duckpin halls of fame.

Two records among the many local and world records he owned that might stand forever:

For 22 years, from 1951 to 1973, Dietsch was ranked among the top 10 male duckpin bowlers in the nation. And he won 72 major tournaments.

He was known to his fellow duckpin bowlers as the "The Bowling Machine."

Not one but two

Not one, but two, tenpin bowlers threw not one, but two, perfect games recently.

Tom Reilly and Scott Bockstie turned that trick at Brunswick Perry Hall.

Bockstie, 20, bowling for half his life, lives in Perry Hall, works at the Perry Hall center and bowls in two leagues there -- the Sunday Guys and Gals and the Thursday Perry Hall Classic. He anchors the Essex Community College team.

Currently averaging 216, the left-hander posted the first of three career perfect games when he was 18; he fired his second on Nov. 13; two weeks later, he put another on the sheet.

That first 300 came with a 16-pound Turbo-X. On the last two, he used a Blue Hammer.

"When I was a YABA bowler, Buck Wright taught me the basics of the game," Bockstie said. "Lately, Chuck Assero has been helping me with my game. And, of course, Judy West [Essex bowling coach] has been just great."

After college, he's looking forward to a pro career on the lanes.

Reilly pounded out two 300 games two weeks apart . . . but in two different years.

The Middle River resident owns a 7-Eleven store in Highlandtown and bowls in three leagues -- Tuesday and Thursday at Country Club Lanes and Monday at Perry Hall in the late league.

"I've been bowling since I was 16," he said, "but it's just been the last three or four years that I've really learned to bowl."

His average has jumped from 204 to 214.

"Increasing my speed seemed to make a big difference," he said. "I've started to carry much better."

The two 300 games were posted on Dec. 19 and Jan. 2 at Perry Hall. Both were the first games of the three-game set, but neither the 747 set in December nor the 761 series in January was up to his career-high 784 set.

"Last year I had nine 279 games," Reilly said. "After that I started asking questions. It was driving me wild, to be that close to 300 so many times."

Tournament news

The Duckpin Bowlers Tour is at Fair Lanes Pikesville this weekend, sponsored by Mack Security. First place in the singles event is worth $800.

Next weekend the tour will be at Fair Lanes Harford. Again the first-place money is $800 in this singles tournament.

* It's not too early to sign up for the Pro-Am at Country Club Lanes for the Feb. 28-March 4 Professional Bowlers Association tournament.

Information and reservations: (410) 686-2556.

* The Barger Open Women's Tournament will be at Pinland Lanes in Dundalk Saturday and next Sunday.

Bernie Vece took the title last year with a 745 set.

Information and reservations: (410) 285-0135.

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