News

London is in Ohio???

Written by - Posted 2014-07-27 12:58 in News

I remember when I first joined PWL and there were rumors and talk of a tournament in London. Wow, I thought, they play wiffleball in London too? This league is great! Well needless to say, I found out that it was in fact London, Ohio…Not England.

This year, I managed a PWL team filled with veterans and rookies alike. We were comprised of Colin Gannon, Adriano DeSorrento, Kris Garcia, Michael Burns, Sam Smith, and Steve DuBois. I had a lot of thinking to do with building this lineup, however after watching some previous years game tape as well as watching some practices, I built the lineup out. We’d go Garcia (p), Gannon (s), DeSorrento (lf), Burns (rf), Smith, and DuBois.

Arriving at the “fields” was quite the sight. Situated on a farm in London, there were roughly 25 fields, ranging in size, shape, and on field conditions. Playing in the tournament were 66 teams total, that’s a lot.

After unloading the car thanks to the amazing help all day from Ty fletcher, we made base camp full of snacks and…drinks. We then had our first pool game. If not for the heroic pitching of Garcia, we should’ve gone 0-4 in pool play. Thanks to his pitching and some timely hitting, we were able to get out of pool play going 3-1 with a run differential of +10, earning us the number 18 seed and a matchup with Bradley and the Jets.

Proving more difficult than expected, we went into the final inning down 1, where Burns ripped a ball down the line, dodging a pegging attempt and racing towards home where he was ruled safe to tie the game. Now if you were actually there, you’d know that he should’ve only been given one base (third) on the throwing error, that the slide into home (illegal), and that he was hit in the foot on the peg (out). But hey that didn’t matter, we had tied it and went on to win!

Our next game saw a bit of home run derby open up for us against The Gentlemen, a tournament favorite. After a lot of back and forth, we finally prevailed and advanced to the elite eight (maybe the sweet 16, no one knows because they didn’t use the boards Chris bought for them). We would face the #2 seed Warthogs, who had a +47 run differential in 4 pool play games. Unsurprisingly they came out hitting, placing balls exactly where we weren’t and making it look easy. We lost the game, but we fought hard and were able to go out respectively.

Here are some things I learned from this tournament:

  • It always rains this weekend
  • Pack a hoody
  • Some teens are better than us at wiffleball
  • Ty’s boot smells disgusting
  • Burns can drink a lot
  • Someone has a running tally of “Collins”
  • This is not the best organized tournament
  • This should just be held in the DC area
  • Male bonding

Until next year London…Ohio.

Gallaway To Retire: Commissioner's Surprise Announcement

Written by - Posted 2014-07-24 09:34 in News

Just four days after the completion of the 3rd NWLA National Tournament, and a few weeks after the 18th PWL Season Commissioner Gallaway has announced he will be stepping down from the league he founded and has managed for 10 years.

Gallaway will officially retire following the completion of the Spring 2015 season, providing the next year and two seasons as an opportunity to transition the league to new leadership. Gallaway plans to complete the Spring 2015 Season, and manage the PWL All Stars in one more NWLA Tournament before stepping down.

Statement from Commissioner Gallaway

Exactly one year from today, the managers of the teams playing in the Summer 2015 season will hold a conference call to kick off the season. One of the things on that agenda is the election of a Commissioner. I will not seek, nor will I accept, nomination to that office again.

All I wanted when I started this league was for it to be recognized around the world as the best league, with the best website, and me personally to be known as the greatest Commissioner to ever live. Done, done, and done.

Twenty seasons will be enough, it is time for new blood when my current term expires.

Though I feel like the Barnburners are my illegitimate children, I need to start planning the takeover or creation of whatever league my real son will be playing in soon. Obviously they are probably not keeping accurate stats, or even posting complete game videos. So, I’ll have to take that over, or just start one from scratch.

We all know the league won’t be as good. How could it be? But, I’m confident it will continue, in just a somewhat less great capacity. As a two time National Commissioner of the Year, and likely winner in 2014 and 2015 also, the next person is just going to have to struggle to keep their head above water. We can’t all be referred to as “God’s Gift to Wiffleball”. Some people are just average, and the best average person available will take over for me.

Gallaway stated that he hasn’t identified a successor yet, but cautioned that the role is large and diverse, and splitting some of the responsibilities might be possible. “There has to be one, single, Commissioner to make decisions,” Gallaway said, “But there are plenty of things that could be delegated to other people. We’re going to explore all these options over the next twelve months.”

There are several league officials currently in the Gallaway administration. Greg Hudson is beginning his fourth season as Deputy Commissioner and was also tapped to manage the London Tournament team this season. Andrew Martin and Alex Filides are starting their sixth seasons as head scorekeeper and head groundskeeper respectively. There is also the possibility of a Commissioner from outside of the current league leadership and manager’s pool completely.

When asked if the timing of the announcement had anything to do with the recent DC Twits World Championship, Gallaway laughed it off. “The Twits victory was good for the league, it was good for wiffleball. I hope I get to present the trophy to two more new champions before I’m done. WSEM winning the NWLA though, that might have pushed me over the edge.”

Gallaway will manage one more NWLA Tournament for the PWL team, where the franchise has a disappointing 7-14 record over three tournaments. The tournament is held between the PWL Spring and Summer season. This year’s team was eliminated by the defending tournament champions after surrendering a 3-0 lead with just three outs to go. “I definitely want to get one more shot at the NWLA tournament”, Gallaway said. “That ending was bitter for me, we had a chance to really do something, and we just need a couple of missing pieces.”

In addition to managing the PWL team for the NWLA, Gallaway serves as the PWL’s representative on the host committee, and largely has primary responsibility for putting on the now annual event. He gave no indication of what effect his retirement as Commissioner would have on his NWLA responsibilities.

Other organizations going through leadership changes as founders stepped down have struggled, and many have even died. The one year transition and succession plan is designed to ensure stability for the future of the PWL. Gallaway expects to roll out the transition plan during the Summer season, with components taking place over the next two seasons and off season.

To date, Gallaway has helmed the PWL through 10 years, 18 seasons, 748 players and 1,771 games, with two more last seasons to go.

HOT STOVE: Teams Die in Summer

Written by - Posted 2014-07-21 20:27 in News

REGISTER NOW

The deadline to register teams for the Summer 2014 season is July 24th. Sign up today so you don’t miss out.

July 21, 2014Current Players and Teams

  • Just 3 days to go for Summer registration and we’re sitting at 11 teams. 1 more would be ideal, though our smallest season since Summer 2010.
  • Matt Gagnon is no longer a Moose Knuckle. He signed with the Canvassers as his desperation for a title is reaching unmanageable proportions. Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria.
  • Lots of rumors on the Ohio trip about a “super team” of All Stars coming together. Unclear if it was just the alcohol talking, or if the team steak dinner Saturday night destroyed any potential relationships with a lot of truth talk.

July 14, 2014

  • Just 10 days to go for Summer registration and we only have five teams signed up so far and several big announcements of big retirements, at least for the summer.
  • COMING BACK: Bald Beavers, Canvassers, DC Twits, Janitors and Suns Out Guns Out
  • UNKNOWN: Besley Bashers, Chuggin’ Chorizo, Garbage Plates, Gumballers, Master Batters, Nasty Boys, One Hit Wonders, Sacbunt, Torn Labrums
  • LIKELY OUT FOR SUMMER: Moose Knuckles, Superman’s Wheelchair
  • OFFICIALLY OUT FOR SUMMER: Blandsford Barnburners, Dupont Circle Jerks

NWLA TOURNAMENT: Less Social, More Media

Written by - Posted 2014-07-10 20:16 in News

What if your podcast fell in the forest and no one was around to hear it? Would it make a sound?

The recent release of the annual WSEM NWLA preview podcast got me curious about the state of social media throughout the wiffleball word, and specifically, the 16 teams competing in the 2014 NWLA Tournament.

When I first wanted to host a national tournament in Washington, DC, one of the things I decided immediately was that I didn’t want to just host a bunch of random pickup teams that come just for the tournament. I wanted to host all stars from official leagues, leagues that existed outside of this tournament, leagues that had websites, and presence, and would have an ongoing organization of which the NWLA tournament was one small part of what they did.

Sure, it sounds a little too Little League World Series, but that’s what I wanted. And, with the exception of a couple of teams, that’s largely what we have here. Leagues that exist for the purpose of having wiffleball in their community for months of weeks every year, and they also send an all-star team to Ohio once a year.

One of the benefits of including leagues is they have a year round (or mostly) social media presence already. This helps build the buzz, the credibility, and raises the stature of the tournament. We’re only as strong as our weakest leagues, at least social media wise. While we can’t all have the #1 ranked website in the country, and we can’t all have the most followers on Facebook and Twitter, (yeah I’m an asshole) we should absolutely use the NWLA tournament as an opportunity to grow wiffleball not only in our hometowns, but across the country.

The NWLA website, the grand connector that allowed us to steal their name and endorsement and run this tournament featuring “recognized” leagues does a great job to connecting us, and allowing us to easily see what other leagues are doing well, or not so well. One of the things we can ALL do better, and I hope the 16 NWLA tournament leagues will start now, is making sure we’re growing our presence on social media. Both for our own leagues, and for the NWLA tournament and NWLA website as a whole.

Here is a snapshot of the Twitter and Facebook followers for the 16 leagues, as well as the NWLA tournament. Let’s help each other out this “Follow Friday” with 1 week to go until Ohio, and help build up our numbers.

If only the results of the tournament would match this list.

League Twitter Followers Facebook Likes
PWL 417 922
WSEM 235 285
KWL 230 285
HRL 245 207
WWL 186 252
SWBL 255 158
NWLA Tournament 241 136
HVWBL 136 232
MWLWI 216 111
HWL 116 159
OCWA 180 65
SRL 84 149
GBL 116 112
MYWL 208 0
MNWA 170 20
TBW 98 0
CWBC 0 0

Numbers as of 2 PM, July 6, 2014

And yeah…CWBC, as cute as you guys are on the website, it’s basically malpractice that you’re not on Facebook and Twitter right?

Let’s get our numbers up, so that next year when Carl Coffee and whoever this new guy Alex Shore is do the podcast, we’ve all got a lot more reach via social media (if it will even still exist in 2015) to spread the word about it.

You can see a complete list of the Facebook and Twitter accounts for each league on the TEAMS page of the NWLA website. http://www.nwlatournament.com/teams

London (Ohio): Underhanded

Written by - Posted 2014-07-06 20:21 in News

Commissioner Gallaway announced the roster today for the PWL All Star team that will be returning to London, Ohio, this summer to represent the league at the 2014 London Wiffleball Tournament.

This will be the eighth tournament with PWL representation. The event, the largest slow-pitch wiffleball tournament in the world, will be held Saturday, July 19, 2014. There are 58 teams currently registered.

For several seasons the PWL sent two teams, the Nationals and the Senators. However, with the NWLA Tournament being held simultaneously with the London Tournament, the league is cutting back to one team for the second year in a row.

In the past the Senators and Nationals have both made deep runs in the tournament, but never broken into the final four teams. Last year’s team, which lost half it’s members, made it to the sweet 16, and ended up 9th in pre-tournament power rankings.

The two biggest losses are long time tournament veterans, and first ballot PWL Hall of Famers, Ross Duenas and Joe Gortenburg. A much, much less significant loss is Ty Fletcher of the Barnburners who is still recovering from a broken ankle playing frisbee with unattractive girls.

In addition to several new players, Deputy Commissioner Greg Hudson has signed on to manage the team. It will be Hudson’s first trip to Ohio.

Past London Stories


2014 Potomac Wiffleball League Nationals



#POSBT
#2OF/EHRR
Steve Dubois

Steve Dubois will be playing in his 5th London tournament. He missed the inaugural tourney in 2007 and also missed the 2011 and 2013 events. Dubois semi-retired from the PWL following the Spring 2010 season, but still lives in the DC area.

A solid hitter with a “London swing”, and probably the best overall athlete on the team, Dubois prefers to not play the field and only hit, letting the other players do the running around. He’ll have to play some outfield with this roster though. He also likes the Yankees, but we let him play anyway.

His favorite punctuation: Apostrophe.

Adriano DeSorrento

Adriano DeSorrento returns for his sophomore season in London after a rough rookie outing in which he barely outpaced Colin Gannon on offense.

Commissioner Gallaway sees potential in the former MVP and Cy Young Award winner and hopes his bat can fill part of the gap left by the two departing veterans.

His favorite ice cream: Ice Milk.



#POSBT
#24EH/OF/PSR



#POSBT
#6P/SSLL
Kris Garcia

Kris Garcia was one of the three old veterans who led the 2013 squads deep run in the tournament. Now that he’s the only one left, in addition to his offense, he’ll have to pull double duty and pitch as well. A crafty lefty he struggled in the PWL this season on the bump, but London is an entirely different animal.

In 2013, he hit two triples, which are impossible with four fielders on fields smaller than ours. Making him still the only PWL player ever to hit a triple, adding 2 to his previous total of 1. Garcia is the only original player from the 2007 tournament still participating. This is his 6th tournament, he missed the 2011 and 2012 events.

His favorite join: Left join.

Colin Gannon

Colin Gannon is consistently the worst player on every team he’s a part of and is probably the reason the Barnburners lost the World Series this season for the first time ever. Despite that, he’s back for another go around in Ohio. This will be Gannon’s 6th trip to Ohio.

Especially interesting will be to see how rookie manager Greg Hudson, who’s team defeated Gannon’s in the World Series, handles the moody, unrealistic expectations player that Gannon has become. Gannon is a likely candidate for the important shortstop position, and hopefully is not needed to pitch.

His favorite decisions: Bad ones.



#POSBT
#13SS/OF/PSR



#POSBT
#88EHRR
Sam Smith

One of two rookies on this year’s team, Smith is also a rookie in the PWL. A member of the One Hit Wonders, he’s already used to the kind of disappointment in Chris Fantasia that the rest of us will get to experience as a league in Ohio.

We hope he can hit underhand pitching, though we have no reason to believe he can.

His favorite One Hit Wonder: Come On, Eileen.

Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a rookie on the London team, but is well known around the PWL as a six year veteran. While he had his worst offensive performance in his career this season, the London rules might just be what he needs to get back on track.

The umpires have noted Burns personality changes as he gets in later innings. They attribute it to alcohol consumption, but we think it’s competitive spirit.

His favorite colada: Pina.



#POSBT
#33OF/EHRR

NWLA Exhibition: Lightning Strikes

Written by - Posted 2014-07-05 21:34 in News

PWL’s final Sunday the last two seasons has been jam packed with not only the World Series, but the return of the All Star Game, the Home Run Derby, and the season ending awards Champion’s Dinner. This season, an additional feature was added that mad it a long, but productive day to close the Spring Season.

The PWL Nationals, a team of league all stars, who are heading to the NWLA Tournament July 18-20 in Columbus, OH, hosted the defending tournament champions Tampa Bay Wiffleball Lightning in a three game exhibition series to get ready for Ohio on Sunday, June 22nd.

TBW were the runners up in the inaugural 2012 tournament, and in a rematch beat the OCWA Freaky Franchise to claim the title in 2013. The PWL team improved in 2013, and has an overall middle of the pack record of 5-8 through two tournaments.

Rosters were expanded from 6 to 8 for this year, and the PWL held open tryouts, the first in league history, to put together the final team. [ Meet the Team ] Three new players are joining five returning veterans for this edition.

Commissioner Gallaway extended the invitation to TBW to come to Washington, DC for the exhibition series.

“I wanted the defending champs to come in here, kick our ass, and make us a better team heading into the tournament,” Gallaway said. “They definitely kicked out ass, whether or not it made us better we’ll have to see in Ohio.”

TBW flew to DC late Friday and spent Saturday touring the city via Capital Bikeshare, avoiding one close call which almost made the team one Harley brother short. The team then joined Commissioner Gallaway, Kevin Higman, and the Shannon brothers at Nationals Park to watch the “MLB Nationals” take on the Braves.

Sunday morning started early with the series set for a 9:30 AM start to be completed before the World Series. TBW won the first game 13-6 despite a 3-2 PWL lead through four innings with Jack Shannon and Stephen Crawford both throwing two effective innings. A 9 spot allowed by Chris Fantasia without recording an out did the Nationals in though, with Matt Gagnon coming in for mop up duty the last two innings.

Game two ended little better for the Nationals, losing 17-4, with the teams playing six despite the run rule being applied after the 4th. Spencer Howard allowed five runs through three innings, and the Nationals trailed by a run when TBW pounced on Matt Gagnon who gave up 12 runs over the final two innings.

Game three was shortened to four innings due to time, with the Nationals ahead of the Lightning at the time 7-5. The Nationals hammered TBW’s Derek Linderman in the bottom of the first inning before being held scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd.

Despite the outcome of the games, the practice was beneficial to Commissioner Gallaway in planning strategy for Ohio.

“We’re going to make a standing offer to the tournament champs, whoever they end up being this season to come to DC, unless it’s WSEM. The exhibition was great, and a great way to kick off our tournament experience,” Gallaway said.

Back for More: Summer Registration Is Open

Written by - Posted 2014-06-25 09:51 in News

Registration for the Summer Season is now open!

We crowned our first new Spring World Champion in 6 seasons last Sunday, can your team take the trophy away from the DC Twits this summer?

The registration page has the full details on the Summer Season, but team deadlines are July 24th. The season will begin August 3rd, and run through the middle of October.

There have already been rumors of some big retirements following this Spring Season, watch for Hot Stove updates starting next week and send any of your trade rumors into the PWL.


Congratulations to the DC Twits

Almost nobody gave them a chance but the Twits beat the Blandsford Barnburners to win the Spring 2014 World Series.

The World Series final Sunday was packed full of all kinds of league business and our league photographer Tara Shegogue was on hand to record it. Check out our photos page or visit some of these specific albums.

Hey Now, You're an All Star

Written by - Posted 2014-06-23 18:55 in News

The Spring 2014 All Star Game was an exciting affair settled on a walk off hit after a collision at home plate.

Goliath Falls at Gravelly

Written by - Posted 2014-06-22 19:49 in News

The DC Twits beat the heavily favored Blandsford Barnburners 2 games to 1 to win their first franchise World Series.

The Fernandez Forecast: World Series Predictions (Sp14)

Written by - Posted 2014-06-21 11:59 in Blog

About the Author: Felix Fernandez is the guy most of the league hates for no reason, and some of the league hates for very good reasons. He’s aggressive in the game, eats, sleeps and breathes wiffleball, and left the winning run in two postseason series stranded on third base.

The DC Twits will play the Barnburners this Sunday for the 2014 spring World Series championship. The Twits had defeated the Barnburners during the regular season two years ago, however that was with a stiff wind blowing in and the Barnburners trying to jack homeruns.

The wind appears to slightly favor the Barnbuners this time around. The Twits have enough offense to be able to score at least a couple of runs with several strong hitters in the lineup and with power. Their ace, Stephen Crawford has greatly improved from the time he stepped into the league approximately 3 years ago, with this year possibly being his best season yet from the mound. Daniel Lockbaum will be the key, if he can hit with consistent power and if the guys in front of him, get on base, they have a chance. Crawford most likely won’t shut them down completely, his job will be to keep them in the game by keeping the Barnburners offense to
two runs or less.

After Cy Young award winner Jake Tomko left, the Barnburners had at least one person they could rely on to shut down the opponent, first it was Colin Gannon and then it was Jack Shannon. This year, it was Ty Fletcher, except he is out of the series with an injury. Allowing 4 runs to the Suns Out Guns Out team, with no Will McNally is a bit of a concern for the Barnburner pitching staff. They need to find someone that is willing to step it up.

However, with all of the factors taken into consideration, there is only one thing that matters. The Barnburners are the team that gets the job done when it matters the most. The Twits do have the talent to pull off the upset, but I have to go with history and common sense. Barnburners will end up winning the series 2 games to 0 over the DC Twits.

Keys for the Twits:

  • Crawford shutting down the Barnburners in the first inning.
  • Crawford holding the Barnburers to two runs or less
  • Daniel Lockbaum coming up big.

Keys for the Barnburners:

  • Playing “small ball” when they need to.
  • Smart aggressive baserunning.
  • Not being overly aggressive at the plate against Crawford.