The perfect 300 game.
It has been accomplished 427 times since Harvey Bray notched sanctioned number one in May 1963. Eight years later Phil Morris was perfect for number two. Numbers three and four happened nine years later within two months by Ivan Mclean and Jim Kompare, and the next pair came in late 1980 by Don Wira and Ed Maurer.
In May 1981 Maurer’s brother-in-law, John Greaves, became the seventh perfect man and later that same month Kompare became the first man with a pair of 300s. Rounding out the first 10 perfect games were Wira and John Strowger. The first 10 were rolled in 18 years but the pace picked up for the next 10 with only two years from 11 to 20. A bit slower pace for the next 10 as almost three years between 21 and 30. Only 17 months separated the next 10 and three and a half years later number 50 was dealt by Troy Demers.
Steve Rouw dealt number 51 and six years later in March 1998 Sam Gualtieri had the honour of rolling our 100th perfect game. Manny Halili started off the race to Hamilton’s 200th perfect game with number 101 and our 124th 300 was fired by Art Oliver Jr., which was his first on the way to a Hamilton record 22 perfect games. Finishing off the 20th century with 300 games in December 1999 were Peter Sarnelli, Derek Hannah, Wendell Harrison, and Jayson Legg for 143 perfect games in total. Al Tone recorded the first 300 in the new century and number 200 was turned in by Aaron Bouchard.
Mark Ward started the march to 300 a month later with number 250 belonging to Jeff Lofft with number 252 a month later by Catharine Rowe. The last 300 in the 2007-08 season and the first 300 in the 2008-09 season belong to Shawn Anderson. After Bouchard notched the 200, he is back again with our 300th perfect game. The next two were moved by Doug Schatz, who rolled them both in the same four game series, the only time that has been accomplished here. Number 350 is in the record books courtesy of Marcel Barette, number 354 by my brother, Edward Margueratt, and with number 400 going to Mick Anderer in February 2015. Finally in the 2015 season, 19 more 300 games were added to the ever increasing total with Steve Smith having the honour of our last 300 game for a total of 427.
Of the 19 perfectos in 2015-16, the first 15 and 17 overall were recorded at Skyway Lanes bringing their Hamilton leading total to 186 since Kompare notched the first in the Westinghouse Men’s League in 1980. Splitsville Hamilton, formerly Hamilton Mountain Bowl, has 90, Splitsville Burlington, formerly Prime Time Bowling, has 60 and Burlington Bowl 45.
Art Oliver Jr. is first with his 22 perfect games followed by Travis Cauley with 17, Chris King 14, Aaron Bouchard 13, Lionel Lewis Jr. 10, Matt Lewis nine and despite not bowling locally for many years, Bill Rowe Jr. and Troy Demers have eight 300 games each. Fifteen women have been perfect with Amy Bouchard and Linda Higenell having two each. The other 13 are Joyce Campbell, Val Chastney, Val Ciach-Link, Patti Ellis, Dee Gallant, Christine Johnston, Chelsea King, Jen Olmsted, Catharine Rowe, Sioban Ryans, Connie Ward, Laura Wilmer, and Crystal Whitfield. Of these 13, only two, Val Ciach-Link and Crystal Whitfield are still bowling locally.
Art Oliver Jr. is also first with five 300 games in a season. If history holds true, sometime in September No. 428 will be recorded.
More than 30 perfect games are not on this list as they were rolled in unsanctioned play.
HAMILTON TENPIN TRIVIA
Not too many cities can claim a world record, especially in tenpin bowling, but Hamilton can. At one time Hamilton had two, but one has since been eclipsed. The one record that will not be broken was set Feb. 1, 1881, when Frank Young, of Young’s Restaurant on John Street, rolled the first 300 game in the world. The Spectator of the day reported “Young made 300 points at tenpins, the highest possible score. This feat has never before been performed. Mr. Young’s friends would like to hear from Toronto in respect of the frequency with which the same score is made there.” In 1881, 135 years ago, a rivalry was in place between Hamilton and Toronto, which continues to this day. This 300 game is recognized by the United states Bowling Congress as the first 300 in the world. The first 300 in the United States was in New Jersey on Jan. 8, 1890.
One possible location for Young’s 300 was the Ocean House on the Beach Strip which was open from May 1875 to July 17, 1895 when it burned down.
The other world record was set by Bill Bailey with his 72 consecutive years in one league, the City Tenpin from 1907 to 1979. It has since been broken with 76 years by a U.S. man. Bailey, who passed away in 1980, and is the brother of noted Hamilton historian the late Rev. Melville Bailey, was the discovery of Young’s 300 game as he saw it in an “80 years ago “feature in the Spectator Feb. 1, 1961.