About the Author: Jack Shannon is possibly the greatest wiffleball player in the history of the world. Just ask him.
Late Sunday, following the conclusion of the 4th NWLA Tournament, new comers Hess Field Wiffleball pointed out something that, in our opinion, is a universal truth of wiffleball. Ceteris paribus, brothers will always be better than any randomly selected pair of non-brother players. Why? Very simple. Brothers always have someone to play against. Speaking as a Shannon, I will represent to you that if I add up all my PWL games and all my NWLA games and then multiply that number by 20, it still won’t be more than the number of 1-on-1 games I played against my brother. 1-on-1 wiffleball breeds wiffle excellence. It’s pitcher versus batter. Any weakness in either side of your game will be promptly exposed. Throw in the ever-present sibling rivalry (and the need to impress your father who is currently wearing short shorts and white wide-footed New Balances while grilling steak, slugging MGD’s, blasting Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” and shouting “you’re hitting like Joe Crede!” at you while you’re at the plate) and you’ve got a primordial soup brewing that is waiting to evolve and take over the nearest wiffleball league.
I didn’t look at every roster, so I’m just going to assume there are 3 brother pairs in the NWLA tournament this year. The Harleys, the Skibbes, and the Shannons. Each pair brings something unique to the table. The Harleys are both elite pitchers, the Skibbes both elite hitters, and the Shannons are elite at bitching at one another (I assume the Harleys and Skibbes don’t heckle each other when the other one gives up a hit). WSEM had the Bischoffs, but with only one remaining on the roster this year, they do not make the cut. We hear Hess Field has a dominant brother pair (by looking at their league stats, I’d say those rumblings are true), and we look forward to them coming next year and further proving this law of wiffleball.
So without further ado, I present my inaugural Bro-wer Rankings.
- Harleys — Both are absolutely elite on the mound and will wreck havoc on your batting average. Luckily you won’t get many at-bats against them, though, because they don’t walk anyone either. They can also hit real well, which isn’t fair. We’ve been eliminated by TBW in back-to-back years now. Last year, Jack Shannon had them on the ropes only to see his arm fall off in the last inning. This year, Jim Shannon got the start, pitched one inning, and then pulled himself (coward, right?) due to arm soreness. We lost. Chris Harley hit a ball that hasn’t landed yet. The Harleys would go on to face Skibbe, but without Chris available to start, fell to everyone’s favorite smiles.
- Skibbes — The most unassuming power hitters in the world. When I first saw Skibbe’s chompers on the jumbotron as being the NWLA leader in HRs, I thought to myself, “He must’ve been playing Huntington and the wind must’ve been blowing out.” Wrong. These guys mash the ball. In the regional tournament in St Louis, I told Gallaway I wanted to start versus Skibbe. Not going to lie, it was so the Shannons could finally get a win over one of the other brother pairs. But to my dismay, the Skibbes sat out. PWL won the game, but it provided me no satisfaction. The Skibbes do share something in common with the Shannons, though. One of them can pitch real well and the other, while not bad, is not necessarily scaring an opposing lineup. This limits both teams in the DE tourney. Although the PWL is, admittedly, much more handicapped. Additional thought: hard to say who is nicer between the Harleys and the Skibbes; the Skibbes introduced us to fried ravioli, so I’m leaning towards them.
- Shannons — Jack is a very good pitcher. Jim is an average pitcher will no stamina. Jack is a good hitter. Jim is an average hitter. We’re neither better pitchers than the Harleys nor betters hitters than the Skibbes. But I think we’re either a solid second or a “you-can-make-the-case-for-second” in both categories. Jack only got to throw one game this tournament. Is that Gallaway’s fault? No. I should’ve walked out to the mound in game 1 of the DE and just taken the ball. Maybe we’d then have been able to avoid the regionals next year. But Chris is the head man and I believe in accountability, so let’s just give him the blame on that one. Jim and Jack went back-to-back twice in the tournament, embodying the sibling rivalry mentioned above. Surely we can’t let the other look better than us.
Let’s get a statistical recap (sorry Skibbe, apparently your family crest was burned at Ellis Island)
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