When Keith and Jamie Marzec's 7-year-old daughter, Abby, started on her Ponytail softball career, there was one big question: Would she play as a left-hander or a right-hander?
You see, there is a little bit of ambidexterity in the Marzec family.
Keith Marzec, the 38-year-old son of Buffalo Bowling Hall of Famer Matt Marzec, had three 300s and two 800s as a right-hander before he swung back to the left side last season in the Leo Greenauer Memorial League at Kenmore Lanes. Last month, Marzec bowled his first left-handed 300, making him one of the few who has thrown a perfecto from both sides.
It's a rare accomplishment. According to USBC records, the first to do it was Neil Bayes of St. Louis, who completed the lefty-righty double in 1970. Lesley Boczar of Sunrise, Fla., (1997 and 2003) was the first woman to do it.
Four years ago, Jerry Majchrowicz completed the double at Manor Lanes.
Marzec, who bowled at Kenmore West and at the University at Buffalo, where he also coached the club team, is a natural right-hander but experimented with being a lefty. He switch-hit in baseball and has tried golfing left-handed. Four years ago he bowled left-handed in competition for the first time.
"I hurt my wrist but I still wanted to finish out the season," he said.
The next season he went back to being a right-hander and averaged 225 and 222 in the Greenauer.
"Last season the wear and tear on my hands from work and bowling began to take its toll," Marzec said. "My averaged dropped to 215 and I didn't have any strength in my right hand. I said to myself, 'I've got a good hand [the left]' so I thought I would switch over. I didn't book at 200 [he averaged 197] but by the end of the regular season was at a 200 pace."
Marzec bowls only three games a week in the Greenauer, which also counts his more famous father as one of its members. Keith had given up regular bowling in 1994, shortly after leaving college.
"I was tired of living in bowling alleys and wanted to do other things," he said.
He came back to league bowling in the 2005-06 season on a limited basis. Between operating his T-shirt screen printing business and family concerns, he found he has little time for more than that.
One of his activities is helping coach his 11-year-old son, Todd, a goaltender in the Tonawanda Lightning youth program.
Finally, there is no advantage gained in bowling from both sides because USBC rules do not allow it. A bowler has to declare he is either a right- or left-hander.
As for the confusion it may cause, Matt Marzec has a running joke with his senior league friends.
"I have four sons," he tells them. "Three rights and two lefties."
*After his third-place finish in the PBA Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at AMF Thruway Lanes three weeks ago, then the completion of the PBA Tour schedule the next week in Indianapolis, Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga didn't waste getting back on the road.
Last weekend he won a PBA Central/East Regional tournament in Hubbard, Ohio, near Youngstown. Ciminelli collected $2,600 as he swept through match play with a 7-0 record (averaging 253.7) after qualifying 13th with a 1,708 for eight games. In match play, Ciminelli defeated Dave D'Entremont, Dan MacLelland and top qualifier Jeff Zaffino of Warren, Pa., before defeating Brian Kretzer, 233-226 for the title.
Joe Ciccone of Buffalo finished ninth. John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda and Tom Sorce of Blasdell did not qualify for match play but cashed, finishing 24th and 25th respectively in a field which included many PBA Tour regulars.
*Lockport lost one of its bowling giants when Mike Fiedler died last Monday. He won 15 Lockport City Tournament titles, including a record six in singles, and won the Lockport Masters Championship in 1982. He teamed with Tom Baker to win a Buffalo City doubles title in 1975. A past president and life member of the board of directors of the Lockport Bowling Association, he was elected to its Hall of Fame in 1988.
Fiedler achieved some national acclaim by going nose to nose with the great Earl Anthony in the 1983 ABC Masters in Niagara Falls, losing to Anthony's 290 game. Through 1989 he had a 10-year average of 210.69. He led the ABC in average for two straight years in the '80s, the first non-champion do do that since Andy Varipapa in 1947.
*The Bowling Proprietors Association of Western New York will hold its Spring Youth Tournament at Braymiller's Lanes in Hamburg with squads running April 13-23 in 10 divisions. Entry forms are available at all area bowling centers or by calling Braymiller's at 649-1413.