Nothing but strikes
Dave Seiler bowled a 300 game before – 30 of them, to be exact. But this was different.
“I was a little nervous,” the Roseville resident said. “A majority of the people in the bowling center came to watch the game. My heart was beating pretty good.”
Seiler’s heart wasn’t the issue, however, as he threw strike after strike on Valentine’s Day in the Monday night Junior/Adult League at Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights.
The right-hander rolled 30 strikes in a row and 34 in 36 tosses overall in bowling back-to-back 300 games. His 858 three-game series tied the house record shared by Robby Porter and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Steve Cook of Roseville.
And, Seiler did it with a new left knee and right hip. He had the knee replaced in 2002 and the hip in 2009.
“Thank God for technology, because I probably wouldn’t have been bowling,” Seiler said. “Both were so bad you just can’t continue to play and use your body like that. I was very blessed.”
Seiler, who has been bowling for “45-plus” of his 56 years, said he had degenerative arthritis in the knee and underwent two arthroscopic surgeries before having the replacement. Right-handed bowlers slide on the left leg. He bowled through the soreness and swelling but eventually had no range of motion.
“It becomes quality of life,” Seiler said. “You’re limping around. It’s nagging all the time. You can only take so much Ibuprofen.”
Seiler returned four months after the knee replacement and averaged in the 220s with “a couple of 300s” and an 800 series.
Seven years later, Seiler returned just eight weeks after the hip replacement and had four 300 games within a year. Doing cardio work at a gym helps him stay in shape.
“The first time you go bowling, you’re a little tentative,” Seiler said. “All of a sudden, this thing’s OK, and you just go. You think a few years ago, I would have had to quit.”
Seiler finished his first game with six consecutive strikes and increased the string to 18 with the first 300. The crowd grew each time his Ebonite Mission $250K ball scattered the pins.
“Everyone’s clapping,” Seiler said. “I get to seven in a row, I think, ‘Boy, I have a shot at 800, and I have room to have an open (frame).’ By eight or nine (in a row), you have something going here.”
Gary Hulsenberg owns The Strike Shop inside Fireside Lanes with his wife, Leanne Barrette-Hulsenberg, a 26-time winner on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association tour and member of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame. Seiler tipped his cap to the Hulsenbergs, who handle the drilling on his bowling balls.
Gary Hulsenberg witnessed Seiler’s historical night.
“It was really fun to watch,” he said. “Dave’s been really good about working with the kids, and Fireside Lanes has one of the best youth programs in the country. It’s important for our kids to see the people they look up to have that kind of success.”
Seiler enjoys bowling with the junior programs “to give back to the sport.” He described his big night as incredible, fun, nerve-racking, “probably all those things.”
“To throw that many (strikes) in a row … Once it leaves your hand, it’s out of your control,” he said. “It was just crazy. It was phenomenal. I was waking up the next morning and saying, ‘Did I really do that?’”
Contact Bill Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org.