On the lanes with John Burkett

    04/16/08

    United States

    By Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications

    2008USBCOCJohnBurkett.jpg In the coming months, we'll talk with some of best-known bowlers at the Open Championships and get their thoughts on their time at the tournament and what it takes to succeed on the championship lanes.

    This week, we heard from former Major League Baseball pitcher John Burkett, who will be in Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in this year's event on April 15 and 16.

    Burkett started bowling in junior leagues as a youngster, and his first job as a teenager was setting pins in a duckpin bowling center.

    Baseball didn't interfere with his first love until halfway through high school when professional scouts were starting to take notice.

    Now that he's closed the books on a 15-year pitching career that included a 166-136 record with five different teams, the two-time National League All-Star enjoys each opportunity to compete at the Open Championships.

    HOMETOWN: Southlake, Texas
    OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: This is the third
    OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 0
    BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 15
    FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Ebonite


    ONE all-time favorite host city: Las Vegas

    TWO best Open Championships memories: (Both in 2006) 1. 753 in singles. 2. 2,082 all-events total.

    THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. Try to play as straight as possible. 2. Be consistent with you ball speed. 3. TBD.

    FOURgettable Open Championships moment: (2007) 507 team series. Yuck!!!!!!!!!!

    FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Tom Sposaro, Louis Sposaro, Bill Calhoon, Eugene Tabone and Jeff Russell.

    SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: Secret Agent, Total NV, Momentum, Gamebreaker, Resurgence, Complete NV.

    SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Arlington, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas; Pittsburgh; Las Vegas; Reno.

    EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Red Hammer, Yellow Dot, Total NV, Secret Agent, Momentum, Gamebreaker, AMF Total Impact, Complete NV.

    NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: Dan Trent, Matt Hubbard, Mark Giliam, Bobby Witt, Robert Johnson, Patrick Lawler, Rusty Greer, Larry Dean and Goose Wall.

    TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Mark Roth. I was amazed how much he could rev up the bowling ball and wanted to do the same.

    ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: One more.

    TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: Hopefully, I've won an eagle.