Strange rolls 300 with back turned

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2000

Jackie Strange warms up before league play at Red Carpet Lanes last week. (The Vicksburg Post/ROB MAXWELL)

With 300 people watching on Thursday, Jackie Strange knocked down a pin for each of them.

The 47-year-old Vicksburg bowler became just the fourth person to roll a perfect score during league play at Red Carpet Lanes.

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“It’s very hard to do,” said John Toney, whose 1998 perfect game was the last one in Vicksburg. “Everything has to be right.”

Strange, who has been bowling in leagues for 23 years, has hit several in practice games, but this was his first sanctioned perfect game. He never even saw the final pins drop on his last roll.

“I hit my spot, the rotation was there and I knew if I carried the 10 pin I was there,” Strange said. “I turned around. The crowd would let me know.”

A small crash later, the crowd erupted. Strange just took a deep breath.

“Thank goodness,” he said to himself after it was over.

In return for his feat, Strange gets a diamond ring.

“I can now retire my 298 ring and change it for the diamond ring,” said Strange with a chuckle.

Todd Scallions, who bowled a pair of perfect games, Toney and Scott Forrester are the only bowlers in the 40-plus year history of the bowling alley to throw a 300. Coincidentally, the night before Strange rolled his 300, Bruce Klein hit a 300 in a practice game.

Strange’s wife, Pat, also missed the festivities. The two bowl together during couples league games, but on this night, she was home.

“He came home and said he had a pretty good night,” Pat Strange said. “He just handed me the scorecard.”

Jackie Strange, who made his final shot on lane 14, but split between 14 and the dreaded unlucky lane 13, hit 12 strikes in a row, then started his next game with three straight strikes and finished the night with a 729 series.

“It’s one of those things that, when you hit it, you know it,” Toney said. “It’s kind of like a pitcher and a perfect game: you never forget it.”