With more than a dozen Milleville cousins bowling in Niagara and northern Erie County, chances are high one of them will be having a good night.
Last week at Rapids Bowling Center in Niagara Falls, two Millevilles had a very good night when Mark Milleville rolled his first 300 and in the next game his cousin, Rick Jr., connected for his third perfect game.
Bowling in the Tuesday Sanborn Businessmen's League, Mark Milleville opened a 711 series with a 300 and Rick Jr. added his en route to a 771.
Mark, 32, lives in North Tonawanda. Rick Jr., 38, is from the City of Tonawanda. Both are left-handers as is another bowling cousin, Lee, and there's a fourth lefty, Steve, who is not bowling.
Mark Milleville's highest previous games were in the 260s and he never had more than eight strikes in a row.
"About the sixth frame I started making a conscious effort not to think about it," he said. "I'm a big Arizona Diamondbacks fan and their game was on TV so I started watching it.
"I was saying if the Diamondbacks scored, I don't care what I do and that was just about the time they scored." (It was the only run in Arizona's Game One win over St. Louis).
For Mark, it was his second week using a redrilled ball. "The pitch was drilled for a right-hander," he said. "Mark Jablonski (in the pro shop at Rapids), changed the span and it changed my release. Now I can feel the fingers coming out of the ball. I'm throwing it more naturally and I'm getting more snap on the back end.
"The first week (with the redrilled ball) I had a 258 game and some solid hits. I hadn't been getting that much carry."
Mark said he and Rick have a long-standing but unspoken rivalry. "Last year, I joined his league and he beat me by a pin for high average. I had 211 and he had 212. (Then last week) he came back and killed my series."
So far this season, Rick is averaging in the 230s and Mark is in the low 200s.
Rick Milleville said he didn't have any thoughts about getting his own 300 after Mark's perfect game. Rick first heard of Mark's string of strikes when it reached nine and he went over to watch Mark's three pocket strikes in the 10th.
"After I had two or three in a row, they just kept coming," Rick said. "The first one in the 10th was a good one but the 11th was a cross-over. I just pulled it. I was probably thinking too much. But the last one was in the pocket."
Rick Jr. was happiest that his father was there to see it. "He was subbing for my (Wagner's) team. He's 74 and he wasn't there for my first two." (Mark's father, Dennis, was also on hand, bowling with Mark's Cornell and Associates team).
Rick's first 300 was in 1993 and the second in 1997. "I'm on a four-year cycle," he said. Rick had 810 and 804 with his first two 300s and his third career 800 was an 805 after a 298 game.
Fund hits $5,000
Sunday's roster of donated prizes has reached $5,000 for the Heroes Fund bowling event at Transit Lanes to benefit families of police, firefighters and EMTs who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to Transit's Jack Dolan.
The Sabres and Bills have been asked to provide celebrity bartenders. The Sabres appearances, including coach and would-be bowler Lindy Ruff, depends on their practice schedule after tonight's game in Montreal. The Bills do not play this Sunday.
A challenge match at 2 p.m. will feature Scott Levin of Ch. 2 and Art Wander of Empire Sports Network. Hours for the charity event are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Also on Sunday, the third annual fund-raiser for Parents Anonymous will be held at Recckio's from noon to 5 p.m.
On another charitable note, the Muscular Dystrophy Association raised $139,000 in cash and pledges during its August Lock-Up, including more than $1,500 by Buffalo Bowling Association Executive Director Ben Palumbo.
Tournament roll call
Tuesday is the entry closing date for the 18th Buffalo Women's Bowling Association Jo Tourjie Memorial Senior Tournament to be held Nov. 4 at Airport Lanes.
Times for the handicap tournament are 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. for Class A (66 and over) and Class B (50-65), the age classification as of Nov. 4. The entry fee for BWBA members is $10. Nonmembers in the area covered by the BWBA may qualify by paying a $25 unattached membership fee or a $5 participation fee. Sanctioned members do not have to belong to a Senior League to enter.
The BWBA has other details at 897-5470.
Entries close Nov. 2 for the Buffalo Women's 600 Club Tournament to be held Nov. 10 at Recckio's. The entry fee is $15. For details, call Rita Pollinger, secretary-treasurer, at 832-2479 or Diane Wacker, president, at 838-3019.
The annual meeting, which includes elections and 20-year awards, will be conducted immediately after the tournament. To run for an office or directorship, contact Kathy Monaghan at 832-2479 or Stell Kolis at 897-5470 for the procedure.
Entries close Nov. 1 for the Erie County Suburban Women's Association annual tournament to be held Nov. 9-11 at Orchard Park Lanes.
Entry forms are available in member centers. The categories are singles, doubles and all events. The office number is 549-3899.
The 500 Club members-only tournament is today at Rose Bowl. . . . The state 600 Club regional tournament is today and Sunday at Mancuso's in Batavia.
Around the lanes
The BPA Buffalo Beverage Miller Lite All Stars bowl today at Spare Time at 12:15 p.m. . . . Tom Baker of Buffalo reached the round of 16 and earned $3,500 before losing, three games to one, to high qualifier Parker Bohn III in this week's PBA Great Lakes Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Norm Warner can be reached at 652-3505 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org