By Bob Sofaly
Bill Brady of Port Royal stood on the approach lane Monday, Feb. 12 at Station 300 looking at all 10 pins as a substitute bowler during league play in Bluffton.
It was the eighth frame and he had all strikes. It was week before his birthday.
“I thought it would be a great birthday present to myself if I bowled a perfect 300. I bowled another strike into the ninth frame and thought this might be the day,” Brady recalled.
A better than average bowler, Brady had bowled three perfect games in the past during tournaments. But this was league play, it was different.
He let loose the first ball of the tenth frame and it too was a strike. “I started getting nervous. My knees were starting to shake a little,” he said. “The ball came in a little light and threw pins all over the place but they all went down.”
“My eleventh strike went perfect and the pins exploded.”
“Then I’m standing there ready to bowl my twelfth strike and I thought to myself ‘here I go again.’”
Brady said his biggest fear was rolling a gutter ball. “Not shooting a gutter ball was I could think about.”
To clear his mind, he went over all the details. “I started going over all the fundamentals. I didn’t want the ball to go too far right so I tugged it just a little bit when I released it. It was a perfect strike,” Brady said with a broad smile.
Suddenly, there were hi-fives all around and strangers were congratulating him. “It was exciting,” he said. “I have to admit, it was pretty cool.”
“I’ve been league bowling for more than 40 years and have come close lots of times,” Brady said. He’s even had a couple 299s but never the perfect 300 in league play.
Brady said there is no great secret to bowling a perfect game. “The key is getting involved in a league where you can learn from other people and practice — a lot — and just have fun,” he said.