Hall of Fame: The First Class

Written by - Posted 2015-05-17 20:02 in News

Open Letter from Commissioner Chris Gallaway

As I approach retirement, one of the unfinished things I never got checked off my list was inducting players into the Hall of Fame.

We’ve had a Hall of Fame since the league started. Until 2010 it was even a physical location, with display cases of balls, bats, league shirts, and scorecards from important events. Now all those things are in the storage unit, not available for display, but maintained and preserved. But we never had players inducted.

Part of the struggle for me was how to do it. Do we do active players, or only retired players? Finally, a couple of years ago, I just realized we had to do it, and active or inactive was irrelevant. It was fine to still be playing and be in the Hall of Fame. The test should be how long you’ve played, a minimum number, and how well you did, voted for election.

I toyed with some formulas related to the number of players, and I came up with an initial proposal. Obviously, in July when a new Commissioner is elected he can change all of this if he wants. But, this seemed to make sense to me. So this is where we are starting. We might not elect anyone. And maybe no one will even vote, but we have to try a first round, and I wanted to do it before I stepped down.

Here is how it’s going to work:

  • There shall be an annual ballot to induct players into the Hall of Fame.
  • Any player with a minimum of 200 Plate Appearances shall be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame
  • At no time shall the membership of the players in the Hall of Fame equal more than 10% of the players eligible for induction.
  • Any player with a minimum of 100 Plate Appearances shall be eligible to vote on players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  • Each voter shall be entitled to vote for up to two times the number of eligible inductions that could be made on their ballot.
  • Players that appear on 75% of the ballots cast, shall be elected for induction into the Hall of Fame, unless the amount of players meeting that criteria would violate the 10% membership cap, in which case the total number of players receiving 75% of the vote shall be elected in order from appearing on most ballots to least amount of ballots until all positions are full.
  • Non-Players may be inducted through a special balloting process, separate from the player process.

As of April 1, 2015, there are currently 65 eligible players and 146 eligible voters under these rules.

As a result, a ballot is going out now to those 146 eligible voters, or at least all of them we think we have email addresses for. Each of those voters will get to cast up to 12 votes from among the 65 eligible players. They can vote for any number from 0 to 12. Anyone who votes, even for a single player, will count as a ballot towards the 75% requirement for players to appear.

The ballot is sorted by batting slugging percentage, just because I needed some way to do it. I considered sorting by award nominations, or some other stat. I hate to screw over the pitchers, but I am hopeful people will review the entire ballot. We sort our MVP award by this stat each year, and good or bad, we have to sort it some way.

From this ballot, which obviously covers the first 19 seasons, we could elect as many as 6 players. Obviously, we could also elect 0, depending on how the voting goes. In future seasons, there will be fewer positions open, but hopefully already deserving members will have been elected.

Eligible voters will receive ballots May 17, 2015. Votes are due by Sunday, May 31, 2015. An induction ceremony for those able to attend will be held during this seasons Champion’s Dinner.

I hope this works, and I hope that in the future this is a new tradition that can be continued so that we have formal recognition of the players most deserving in our history.

Yours in wiffleball,

Commissioner Gallaway

Week 5 Preview (Sp15): If I Can Dream

Written by - Posted 2015-05-14 22:49 in News

One of the six teams for the postseason has been set as the Barnburners clinched their division, but there is plenty of wiffleball left to be played. Next Sunday is an off week for Memorial Day, so make sure you get your wiffleball fix this weekend so you don’t go three full weeks without plastic action.

Even with ten teams at least having shots at the playoffs, there isn’t much in terms of important games this week. Canvassers and Gumballers will battle for the East, but the loser is likely a wildcard anyway. Master Batters and Chicken and Wiffle matchup could matter if we didn’t know they’ll both just shit the bed later. The real fireworks come Week 6, including Besley Bashers and Garbage Plates, who will both likely still be winless at that time, playing for who gets the winless season. Maybe it ends in a tie.

There is a 50% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. We will try to get all the games in as long as it’s safe so please make sure you head to the fields on time. Single digit wind again, so we for sure want to play. Make sure you’re following us on twitter (@potomacwiffle) for live status updates or call the Game Information Line at 855-8-WIFFLE about an hour before your game.

DO YOUR JOB! – Don’t forget to do two things this week, and every week. Vote for Player of the Week and nominate a nice defensive play for a Webgem. And yes, on Webgems, don’t be embarrassed about nominating yourself.

Player of the Week (Sp15): Week 4 Nominees

Written by - Posted 2015-05-13 11:57 in POTW


Things are starting to settle after Week 4, Barnburners have already clinched and I think Besley is already eliminated. We have a couple automatic nominations this week, and while I think Connor is a fantastic pitcher, as future Commissioner, I am going to propose that only perfect games get an automatic nomination. Just putting that on paper for everyone.

  • If it wasn’t for an error in the first inning, Connor Dierman would be nominated for a perfect game, not a no hitter. If you want to see the play, you can’t, because their catcher blocks it. No review here. On the day, Connor only gave up 2 hits and 1 run. He had 11 IP, 1 ER, 0.55 ERA, and 11 strikeouts for a 1-1 record.
  • Let’s just get out weekly tradition of nominating the Shannons out of the way. First up, Jim Shannon’s line: .611 average, 6 home runs, 6 RBIs, and an OPS of 2.222 (in 3 games).
  • And now Jack Shannon’s line (who still has the best roster photo to date): .500 average, 4 home runs, 7 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.875. It’s kind of amazing how consistent these two are, and very easy to take for granted, try not to.
  • Another automatic nomination came from Jeff Nitto, returning to form on the mound with a perfect game (12 BF, 0 hits, 5 strikeouys). Nitto also earned himself a nomination with his bat, hitting .636, 3 home runs, 6 RBIs, and an OPS of 2.182. One man team right there.

  • Spencer Howard had an off week in Week 2, but bounced back in a big way for the Canvassers in Week 4. He pitched 6 innings, gave up zero runs, then batted .700 with 4 home runs, 6 RBIs, and an OPS of 2.600.


The public vote counts for 50% of the overall total, and the league managers vote counts for the remaining 50%.

POTW Week 4 SP15
Connor Dierman
Jim Shannon
Jack Shannon
Jeff Nitto
Spencer Howard
total_votes: 29

About POTW: Each week five nominees will be announced for Player of the Week. The league, fans, and press will vote for the winner. Winners receive a very limited edition wiffleball keychain. For a history of the award, check out Player of the Week History.

Who's On First?: Week 4 Wrap-up

Written by - Posted 2015-05-11 11:09 in Blog

We’ve rounded the midway point so let’s check in with our preseason predictions -

The Promise – “Every day it just gets harder to live the dream you’re believing in…”

  • Preseason – Garbage Plates, Pitch Perfect, Backdoor Sliders, Besley Bashers, Master Batters, Dupont Circle Jerks
  • Current – Garbage Plates, Pitch Perfect, Backdoor Sliders, Besley Bashers, Master Batters, Bald Beavers, One Hit Wonders

Only the Dupont Circle Jerks have nudged their way out of the cellar, certainly due to dropping their skinny bat warm ups. The Master Batters have an argument based on record but they are getting soundly beat by everyone not in this group so we can’t move them out. Four teams in here have combined for two wins, nice.

Dancing in the Dark – “There’s something happening somewhere baby I just know that there is…”

  • Preseason – Bald Beavers, Chicken and Wiffle, One Hit Wonders
  • Current – Dupont Circle Jerks, Chicken and Wiffle

Tempting to put the DC Twits in here but they’ve played the meat of their schedule and we’re softies for teams that have won a World Series more recently than the Barnburners. We will eat some crow on the OHW and BB calls, who knew Sam Smith was going to ask 37 new guys over 37 who have never played to show up every week?

Glory Days – “Sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory…”

  • Preseason – Canvassers, Gumballers, Janitors, Moose Knuckles
  • Current – DC Twits, Gumballers, Janitors, Moose Knuckles

Things are going pretty much as expected here with tight games when these folks play each other. The Canvassers have proven the most consistent offensive threat to bump them into the top tier and contending for the crucial first round bye. Lots of games among these teams remain but expect to see everyone except the Twits in the postseason.

Born to Run – “Highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive…”

  • Preseason – Wolfpack, DC Twits, Blandsford Barnburners
  • Current – Canvassers, Wolfpack, Blandsford Barnburners

At this point nobody could object to the Barnburners being moved into a class of their own as they have demolished almost everyone and clinched a playoff berth likely two weeks before anyone else. Wolfpack have yet to put together a complete game against anyone but the hapless Garbage Plates though they caught a break against a depleted Canvassers team for what could be a critical head to head victory. The bye will be important not only for one less round to avoid an upset but to avoid the Barnburners path to the final Sunday.

6 Innings with Kerby Valladares

Written by - Posted 2015-05-09 10:49 in Six Innings

A year ago we sat down with Kerby Valladares to do his Six Innings interview. Like all of you, we completely forgot about him after that. Shortly after this interview, Kerby set a record that likely won’t have a chance to be broken. He became the Iron Man of the PWL, setting the record for consecutive games played. He tied Felix Fernandez’s mark of 95 with the tiebreaker game in the Spring 14 season, and broke it week one of the Summer season. As of Week 3 of the Spring 2015 season, he has played in 115 games, every one scheduled for this teams, without missing one. In fact, since the day he joined the PWL, Kerby has never missed a game. A remarkable feat. If only he was a better manager.

Kerby Valladrares
[ player profile page ]

Nickname: Kerb, Special K
Age: 21+
Hometown: Uniondale, NY
Resides: Washington, DC
Employer: Working for the Man
Bats: with super human strength, cat like reflexes, and still manages to strike out looking
Throws: to the pitcher when playing the catcher position
How did you find the PWL: I found PWL through Craigslist. I was doing my usual nightly viewing of Casual Encounters when I responded to an ad. I received a response from a woman named Christina, who invited me to a picnic on a Sunday afternoon at Gravelly. The location of said picnic turned out to be Spring Training for Potomac Wiffleball and I found out Christina was actually Chris Gallaway posing as a spam robot to recruit creepers to the league. He suggested I play wiffleball. Naturally, I changed out of my spiffy outfit and got into my wiffleball gear and…Honesty, I searched, “wiffleball leagues in DC” on Google and found PWL. End of story.

Seasons: 9
Career Batting Avg: .261
Awards: Nomination for Gold Glove Catcher and Manager of the Year, but no wins.

TWIF: What is your favorite baseball team and who is your favorite baseball player of all time?
KV: My favorite baseball team is the New York Mets. My favorite baseball player of all time would be Darryl Strawberry.

TWIF: What is your favorite thing about wiffleball?
KV: My favorite thing about PWL is that it is a true sports league. We have scorekeepers, umpires, fields with bases, baselines, and a fence with foul poles. We get new balls and bats, recorded games, a website that tracks league leaders and the league has teams with their own personas. It’s like we’re professional athletes but not.

TWIF: Tell us a joke.
KV: Chris Gallaway’s .302 career batting average. (Ba-Dum Tshh!) EDITORS NOTE: 41 points higher than Valladares.

TWIF: Have you ever used a wiffleball bat for other than its intended purpose?
KV: Only when I throw a hissy fit. *Please see the Easter egg on the box score of Janitors vs. Chuggin’ Chorizos – Bottom of 2nd.

TWIF: If you could drown one player in the Potomac river, who would it be and why?
KV: Jeffrey Nitto. We have yet to face him. We’ve faced Gumballers twice, studied Nitto’s game tape, only to have McClintock pitch shutouts against us. Plus, the Gumballers are the only team to bring dates to the end of the year awards dinner only to stand them up at PWL headquarters. Yet people bad mouth the Moose Knuckles?

TWIF: The Janitors are off to a hot start, but we’ve seen this before, followed by an epic meltdown usually with you standing on the pitcher’s mound asking for a new ball from the umpire. You’ve never made the playoffs. But you made some offseason pickups, notably Felix Fernandez, and roster filler Pike. Your sophomore Jimenez might be finally figuring this out, and your All-Star Higman is back after dislocating his elbow sliding into second base last year. Certainly you’ll improve on your all time .324 win percentage, but, what will the Janitors have to do to get to the postseason for the first time?
KV: Funny you should ask that, the team had a retreat during the off-season. We went to Fairfield, Ct, the birthplace of wiffleball, and I asked the team, that same question, “What will the Janitors have to do to get to the postseason for the first time?”. Here are the responses I received from each player.

  • Alex aka Felix Fernandez – Watch his entire Tom Emanski video collection to learn the fundamentals of baseball.
  • Kevin Higman – Set up a team camera that only records his at bats, so we as a team can copy his hitting skills.
  • Scott Abrahams – First, have fun out there, then read the Blandsford Barnburners’s book, “Championship Hitting and Living like a Champion”. (Which can be found on Freecycle or at any Manassas library in the Free Giveaway section.)
  • Arnoldo Jimenez – Beer, booze, and team uniforms.
  • Chris Pike – Walk up music for our team and a friendly game of knockout against our division rivals.

After all these great suggestions, I decided I shouldn’t pitch unless there are two pitcher ejections. Even though recently retired Janitor, Darryl Wilson, said, “Say it ain’t so K!”. I decided it’s time for someone else to ask for a new ball from the umpire.

NOTE – Since this interview, the Janitors have made the playoffs twice.

Player of the Week (Su14): Week 7

Written by - Posted 2015-05-08 12:49 in POTW

The end of the Summer 2014 season wreaked havoc on awards voting. Our trusted system, BallotBin went DOWN. And since it was free, we couldn’t really complain too much. It finally came back up, but too late to handle manager voting for POTW for Week 7, and also to handle our season end awards.

As a result, we used a different system for the Summer awards, and our method of voting BROKE the results on it. They had to manually generate the results and email them to us. For the first time award winners were not announced at the Champions Dinner, but were announced on the website after. That hardware will be handed out this season.

Due to an oversight, we never announced the POTW winner. The managers voted over email for that one, with the votes being manually tallied. And we actually had a TIE, which has happened several times.

The public vote on the website, which worked fine, was won by Adriano DeSorrento after a perfect game. Stephen Crawford came in second place. In the managers voting, manually tallied, only 6 of the 12 manages voted. Crawford came in first, and DeSorrento second. This caused an overall tie, since each round of voting is worth 50% of the total.

Ties are awarded to the public vote winner, so Adriano DeSorrento gets POTW for Week 7. Despite it being awarded seven months late.

Player of the Week (Sp15): Week 3

Written by - Posted 2015-05-08 12:32 in POTW

Jack Shannon won his 4th Player of the Week Award for Week 3. This was the week he set the career home run record, with 88 home runs.

He won both the public vote and the managers vote.

Week 4 Preview (Sp15): Blue Suede Shoes

Written by - Posted 2015-05-08 09:39 in News

We’ve reached the half way point of the Spring Season. Some of you need to start playing better.

There is a 20% chance of rain this Sunday, with an 87 degree high assume even with no rain it’s going to be muggy and sticky. Isn’t this the Spring season still? Wind will be back in double digits, which usually means gusts in the triple digits at Gravelly. Blowing from the south, which generally makes every field a home run field, blue especially. Possible someone hits 91 home runs alone this week to overtake Jack Shannon’s record.

DO YOUR JOB! – Don’t forget to do two things this week, and every week. Vote for Player of the Week and nominate a nice defensive play for a Webgem. And yes, on Webgems, don’t be embarrassed about nominating yourself.

TRYOUT FOR NATIONALS – Second week of tryouts of Nationals are at 3:30 this week on the blue field. Have what it takes to be an all star? If you want to go to Ohio and play in either the NWLA Tournament or the London Tournament, email the Commish. Details here

SCORING CORRECTIONS – Now that box scores and game videos are going up you will no doubt feel like you were robbed of a base hit, or unjustly assigned an error as you review the tapes. If there are any corrections needed for the scoring, or if you aren’t sure, and would like the issue reviewed, please contact the Commissioner. Corrections must be made by the Saturday following the games at 11:59 PM. You MUST submit the youtube link to the game, as well as the time (minutes and seconds) where the play occurs you’re challenging or it will not be reviewed. Please note, we definitely want to get corrections (wrong players, incorrect coding, etc), but if you complain about things that are judgment calls, like a hit or an error, it will still be reviewed, but you will be mocked online.

London Calling, Again: 2 Teams Return

Written by - Posted 2015-05-07 20:21 in News

For the first time since 2012 the PWL will be sending two teams to the London Wiffleball Tournament.

The tournament, held on a farm surrounded by cornfields about 10 minutes outside of London, Ohio, is the largest slow pitch wiffleball tournament in the world. This will be the 17th tournament, the PWL has been participating since 2007.

The PWL teams have been named the Nationals and the Senators.

Tony Cani, former league New Media Director and four time Player of the Week will manage the Nationals for the first time.

Greg Hudson, Commissioner-elect, who managed the Nationals last year will manage the Senators this season.

“In my final season, I wanted to return to two teams. We stopped doing it when NWLA got big, but I wanted to get a chance to get back some of the people who made London an experience, and ultimately led to the creation of the NWLA tournament”, Commissioner Gallaway said.

Rosters are not expected to be announced until June. All Star teams of PWL players past and present are selected each season. The event is the same weekend as the NWLA Tournament which takes 8 active PWL all stars for its roster also.

“I think it would be great to get the original band back together,” Gallaway said. “And the last two seasons the PWL has had a strong presence, with a new crop of players. I think we’ll be in good shape for both teams.”

All Time London Roster

  • Michael Burns – Nationals 2014
  • Tony Cani – Nationals 2007, 2009
  • Brian Clapp – Senators 2009*, 2010*
  • Adriano DeSorrento – Nationals 2013, 2014
  • Nicholas DiCrosta – Nationals 2010, 2012
  • Matt Dreyfus – Nationals 2010 Senators 2012
  • Steve DuBois – Nationals 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
  • Ross Duenas – Nationals 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013** Senators 2011
  • Ty Fletcher – Senators 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Nationals 2013
  • Chris Gallaway – Nationals 2007*, 2008*, 2009*, 2010*, 2012* Senators 2011*
  • Colin Gannon – Senators 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Nationals 2013, 2014
  • Kris Garcia – Nationals 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
  • Joe Gortenburg – Nationals 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
  • Kevin Higman – Nationals 2012
  • Gregory Hudson – Nationals 2014*
  • Michael Lemaire – Senators 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Jim Shannon – Senators 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Jack Shannon- Senators 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Samuel Smith- Nationals 2014
  • Jacob Tomko - Senators 2009, 2010, 2012
  • Stephen Zigmund - Nationals 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012

* – Manager ** – Player/Manager

Player of the Week: Week 3 Nominees (Sp15)

Written by - Posted 2015-05-06 21:06 in POTW


  • While he finally gave up a run, Adriano DeSorrento has improved his batting average every week, showing signs of the old Adriano pitchers feared. This week, Adriano batted .364, hit 2 home runs, had a double, and 3 RBIs.
  • The Barnburners are off to a ridiculous start to the season, feasting off just about everyone (but the Besley Bashers?). A lot of that has to do with Jack Shannon breaking the home run record this past Sunday. On the day, Jack batted .667, had a double, 5 home runs, and 9 RBIs, for an OPS of 2.400.
  • Speaking of the Barnburners, brother Jim Shannon had his own day at the plate, matching Jack’s 5 homeruns. Jim batted .563, hit 5 homeruns, had 10 RBIs, and an OPS of 2.125. Can someone stop these guys from hitting already?
  • He might have missed week 1, but Nick West has made up for it by being near impossible to get out. This week, West batted .692, and had 3 doubles — leading to 4 of his teams runs on the day.
  • The defending home run champ is BACKZach Carter made his spring debut and helped Master Batters keep up in a tough division. He pitched a game (7.5 IP), had 4 strikeouts, gave up 1 run — then batted .625, hit a homerun, and had 2 RBIs. Welcome back!


The public vote counts for 50% of the overall total, and the league managers vote counts for the remaining 50%.

POTW Week 3 Sp15
Zach Carter
Adrian DeSorrento
Jack Shannon
Jim Shannon
Nicholas West
total_votes: 29

About POTW: Each week five nominees will be announced for Player of the Week. The league, fans, and press will vote for the winner. Winners receive a very limited edition wiffleball keychain. For a history of the award, check out Player of the Week History.