700 triples were a rarity many years ago


bowling_alleyMany years ago a 700 or better triple in tenpin bowling was considered the ultimate. These days with averages in the 220s, 230s and more, a 700 triple is average for many bowlers. Lionel Lewis Jr. holds the Hamilton record for high average with 235 which translates to 705 for three games. As for 800 triples, we have 73 of them and they receive less attention than a 700 years ago.

The first “sanctioned” 700 triple belongs to Bert Hillock with an even 700 in April 1952 after coming close with 692 (257, 234, 201) two months earlier at Pla Mor Lanes. Many years before, Walter Helm, had a 705 (268, 233, 204) in 1905 at MacDonalds, 66 James St., N.; George Avery had a 705 in 1906, Les Slater recorded a 736 (275, 257, 204) in 1913 and Harry Shaver had a 732 (217, 278, 237) in 1915.

As an indication of the rarity of 700 triples fifty and more years ago, Hamilton Spectator bowling writer Dick Brett stated “February 16th 1952 was notable for the fact that Bert Hillock, a big tenpin spiller for the past 40 years, rolled a 692 triple, the highest in 30 years in Hamilton”. That score lasted only two months before Hillock tallied the even 700.

Less than three years after Hillock’s 700, Andy Toth surpassed it by four pins with games of 256, 244 and 204 for a 704 at Pla Mor Lanes. Gabe Bihary then set a new high with 712 the next season, followed by Gord McGaver with 710 in 1958 and E. Jeanes with 701 (223, 255, 223).

In the early 1960s, Bill Lasanko cracked a 702, Joe Kucpako hit 700 and Fred Rosettani had a 710 at Skyway Lanes. In the mid-60s, 16 more were recorded starting with Joe Nardi at 706 on Dec. 5, 1965; Toth set a new high with 731; Win Green posted a 716; Frank Wood had a 707; and Ed Margueratt recorded a 713 (214, 277, 222) on March 29, 1966 at Skyway Lanes.

Then it was Stan Prokop’s turn with 704 and 718 and Stan Quin at 701 and 717. Bob Bernat dealt a 716 and Paul Coates set a new high triple at 781 in an international television roll off. Coates didn’t let up with triples of 706 and 700 followed by Hal Schatz, 731, Ken Gills, 706, Prokop, 712, and Green 714.

Prokop started off the 1970s with 701 and ten days later Green carded a 714. A trio in 1972 came from by Al Mittlefehldt, 741, and Jerry Gollin with a pair, 725 and 716. A four bagger in 1973 included Walt Zarycki, 716, Paul Gibson, 708, Ernie Marsh, 702, and Nick Cismistruk, 703. The next two years saw Jim McCrudden smoke a 703 with Dennis Kuzyk, 709, Al Tone, 701 (198, 278, 225), and Al Oughtred, 704. Finishing the ’70s with 700s were Terry Wira, 703, Jim Barrie, a pair of 701s and 752, John Greaves, 704 (206, 242, 256), Jim Banyard, 737 (257, 215, 265), Joe Maurer, 712 (262), Al Mittlefehldt, 702, and Jim Margueratt, 705 (213, 235, 257) on Dec. 5, 1979.

A pair of impressive bowl outs were Green, 731 (255, 219, 257) and Schatz, 709 (228, 213, 268).

In the early 1980s, Banyard scored a 721 (277), Jim Kompare, 707, 770 (212, 279, 279) and 781, Enzo Iacozza 736 (256) and 708, Gabe Bihary, 718, Don Wira, 716 (259), Al Tone, 716 (259) and 727 and more impressive bowl outs by Don Wira 721 and 728 (278), Al Tone, 762 (278) and Jim Kompare 731.There was probable a few more 700s back then, but these 700s are the only ones in the record books.

In November 1980 at Skyway Lanes, Danny Downs fired the first of the 73 triples of 800 or better with games of 297, 238, 289 for a then Canadian high triple of 824. Since then triples of 700 or more are too numerous to mention. The current Hamilton high triple is 852 (275, 277, 300) by Bill Rowe Jr.

HAMILTON TENPIN TRIVIA

Other notable bowlers back then were Gabe and Mary Bihary, Dan Lewandowski, Al Cinti, Leo and Wanda Gral, Don Watson, Vic Stanley, Jim Bonk, Ray Lewis, Paul Frigault, Bill Bailey, Joe Hruska, Stan Skene, Carol Cracknell, Dick Bukowski, Jack Maycock, Harry Ireland, Art Elford, John Ceroni, Wally Small, Hank Koziol, Ron Borbath, Al Schatz, Dorothy Ross, Vince Scott, Angelo Mosca and many others.

In the 1962-63 season at Hamilton Centre Bowl, the six team Classic League had as many as eight bowlers on the five man teams. High average went to Toth at 189.