B’nai B’rith bowler Aaron Radner proves to be unstoppable, bowling a record-setting series of 858 on March 18.
By Steve Stein
Not many 24-year-olds make history.
But that’s exactly what Aaron Radner did March 18 at 300 Bowl in Waterford Township.
Radner rolled a 258-300-300 — 858 series in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith bowling league. It’s the highest series in not only the 58-year history of the league, but in the history of B’nai B’rith bowling worldwide.
Radner threw 24 consecutive strikes to end his night after leaving the nine pin on his final ball of the first game. He had strikes in 33 of 36 frames over three games.
There was no luck involved for the youngest bowler in the league, and former outstanding bowler at North Farmington High School and Michigan State University.
“My ball hit in the right spot on each strike,” Radner said. “There were one or two times when a pin was left standing and it got kicked out, but that was it.”
Longtime B’nai B’rith bowler and Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league historian Gary Klinger watched Radner’s record-breaking night unfold from the next set of lanes.
“It was hard to believe,” Klinger said. “Aaron buried every shot. Each of his strikes was right in the pocket. He’s such a smooth bowler. His style is picture perfect.”
When it was all over, Radner said, he walked away from the lanes to be by himself for a while and tried to let the moment sink it.
“It wasn’t until the next day that what I had done hit me,” the Farmington Hills resident said.
By then, his phone was blowing up with congratulatory calls and texts from family, friends and bowlers. And he had to focus on his job as an accountant for a Plymouth company.
While the back-to-back 300 games was quite a feat, it was the 800 series that Radner was most excited about because it was the first of his career.
“It’s much more difficult to put together an 800 series than bowl a 300 game,” he said. “As someone said to me, it’s very easy not to bowl an 800 series. All it takes it a couple of bad frames.”
Radner’s 800 series was only the seventh in Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league history. The previous high league series was 279-246-290 — 815 bowled in 2012 by Barry Fishman.
There have been 34 perfect games in the league, including four this season. The first 300 game in league history was by Eric Goldberg in 1997.
Only twice has a Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson bowler had two 300 games in a season. Rick Reznik did it in 2007 and 2008. Radner did it in one night.
It was the 800 series, not another 300 game, that was on Radner’s mind as he began his third game back in March.
“I’d thrown an 800 series in practice, but never in competition,” he said. “After I threw five or six strikes to start the third game, I knew I had a great chance to get an 800 series, so I focused on getting another 300 game.”
Radner now has four career 300 games, all rolled in the Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson league. Each was bowled in March.
The first two were in 2015 and 2018. He was only 20 and bowling as a substitute in the league when he rolled the 300 in 2015. He became the youngest bowler to have a 300 in league history.
Radner had been bowling well before his big night, throwing 715 and 740 series in his previous two league nights. So, his 858 series wasn’t a complete surprise.
“Every time I bowl, I go in there thinking I’m going to bowl well,” he said.
After throwing two different bowling balls in practice, Radner decided to use a Storm Intense Fire he had purchased recently. That was the ball he used on all 33 strikes.
His 858 series increased his league average from 222 to 225 and that’s where he ended the season. It’s the highest average in league history, beating his former record of 223 set last season.
“I struggled at the start of the league season this year, like a lot of other guys in the league because we hadn’t bowled much at 300 Bowl,” Radner said. “I hadn’t competed there until the end of last season. About the fourth or fifth week of this season, it seemed like we all turned the corner.”
Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson had bowled since 1986 at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills before switching to 300 Bowl at the end of last season after Country Lanes closed temporarily because of the death of its owner.
Radner is the third generation in his family to bowl in the league, following his grandfather Eddie Radner and father David Radner. They were league bowlers from the early 1970’s to 2010 and 1982-2010, respectively.
This was Aaron Radner’s second full season in the league after bowling as a substitute while he was a student at MSU.
Believe it or not, Aaron Radner’s 858 isn’t the highest series in 300 Bowl history.
“I was told it ties for third place,” he said.
So there is another mountain to climb.
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