All these 300 games are happening so quickly that it can make a reporter’s head spin.
Have you noticed?
In the Los Angeles area, Ruben Sarkissian of Northridge blasted a perfect game two weeks ago. It was his 25th.
A week before, Derek Lee of Tarzana nailed a perfecto, his 13th.
Bob Engelhart of the Santa Clarita Valley is certainly not one to be left out of the party as he got his 30th in May. Super-hot Troy Gibson of Calabasas nailed his seventh in March – just one day after Rick Auerbach of Woodland Hills smoked his fourth.
Then there’s Bill Plummer of Newbury Park who blasted his fifth in April, just two days after his good friend, Mike Weekley of Los Angeles, blistered his ninth.
And let’s not forget Kelly Gold of West Hills, who may have triggered this 300 onslaught on Jan. 8.
That’s when she bowled back-to-back 300 games in the first two games of her morning series at Canoga Park Bowl – an amazing feat. Those were her seventh and eighth perfectos.
That’s just a sampling of the perfect-game action going on in the L.A. area. It’s difficult to keep up with all the 300s – much less the 800s.
But what’s missing here?
Where are the bowlers rolling their first 300s?
Why is it just the 300 veterans are piling up more and more for their resume?
At one time, even Gold and Engelhart and Auerbach and the others had zero 300s – before embarking on their perfect game crusade.
Why is it so tough to get one’s first 300?
That question was brought to Gold, and she said she knew the circumstances . . . “bowlers get the first nine and you know what you’ve done and your knees start knocking together . . . if you’ve never been in that situation, it’s so nerve-wracking.”
Gold said there were “so many factors” involved in bowling a 300, but that it was crucial for a player to stay focused.
And that’s what Lee did on his most recent 300. He later said half-jokingly that he “choked on more than 20 – maybe 30” efforts to claim a perfect game. But this time he didn’t lose focus during the 10th frame of his 300. “I didn’t turn my back or look at anyone. I walked backwards,” he said.
Said Gold: “I don’t pay attention to people [during her 300 attempts]. The times I’ve thrown it, I don’t remember noticing the crowds.”
She added that she “thinks it’s 90 percent mental” to score a 300, although she concedes a bowler “has to be on and has to stay focused.”
As to which bowler might roll his or her first 300 in the near future, Gold cited Kristen Carroll of Calabasas, who recently notched her first 600 series.
“I think Kristen has a great shot at it,” Gold said. “She definitely has the talent. She’s tough – and mentally tough too.”