by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Whomever said Minneapolis and St. Paul don’t get along has never bowled in the 700 club event. This is a scratch tournament for any bowler who has scored 700 pins or more for three games in a sanctioned league or tournament. There is a one time national membership fee and a small annual local fee to participate. There are five separate divisions – Average over and under 200. Ages Under 55, Ages 55-69, and a Division “C” for all bowlers 70 + regardless of average.
For the past several years, the St. Paul event has been held at Flaherty’s while the Minneapolis event takes place at Memory Lanes. These venues have also been selected for the 2019 events. Participating in the tournament is only half of the fun. Each year after the final frame is completed, the players are invited to meet at Mancini’s in St. Paul for a banquet meal and awards presentation. There is a remembrance of those whom the club lost over the past year, introduction of the 700 club officers including new volunteers. There are some awards to honorees, as well as trophies and plaques for those who were fortunate to knock down the most pins in their age group. Then every year there is a gag award for Rich Anderson, who always shows up wearing something funny on his head.
There was a bit of a wrinkle this year as a major storm rolled into St. Paul right about the time we were finishing up the meal, and Mancini’s lost power. There were a few emergency lights but the loss of air conditioning made it a bit uncomfortable. The 700 Club directors handled it well and the award ceremony went ahead just fine. Those members who stayed around all received a valuable door prize.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, the division “C” winner in the Minneapolis tournament this year was none other than a guy named Randy Ooney ! Sometimes it’s an advantage to be a Geezer.