I discovered this league called Wiffleball Argentina this afternoon. They’ve uploaded a handful of videos so far. They are ahead of many leagues just starting out in the regard that they have and use a strike zone board. My Spanish isn’t what it used to be so I can’t translate much in the description of their videos. What I can make out is that they play in San Miguel, Argentina. But Argentina is just another country outside of the United States that we’ve noticed starting to play wiffleball over the past few years. This is the first league we, at Wiffler’s Digest, have seen in South America though.
This morning Sean Steffy, better known as “Wiffleboy,” made a post on his facebook page letting followers know that he had “a common injury that is side effect of my lifelong obsession with throwing things.” He noted that during the 2012 season he noticed “a distinct difference in my arm” and that it never “healed and rebounded the way it always had before.” He visited a specialist in April 2013 that confirmed he had torn his MCL ligament in his right elbow. He says the experienced has “humbled me athletically” but he has not let it get the best of him.” He sees a silver lining in the situation saying that he now has an “opportunity to learn and prepare for the next big outing. Not to mention that I’ll come back throwing even harder in about a years time. Muhaha!”
Now some of you may be thinking ‘Hey, why did this guy played during the 2013 season if he needed Tommy John surgery?’ Valid question. Steffy admits that he could have not played in the 2013 season but instead decided to continue playing to try to “help my GSWL fast pitch team reach the #2 regular season ranking as well as finish second at nationals. ” But it appears that Steffy has already had the surgery judging by the picture he included of his wrapped up arm along with the post. He still does not show any signs of slowing down for 2014 as he plans to continue providing advice for aspiring wiffleball pitchers across the country through his website and youtube channel.
Wiffle in Southeast Michigan played their 2nd Hallowiffle game yesterday afternoon in what appeared to be less than desirable weather. Last year they simply dressed up in costumes and played a 6-inning game with their unique fun-star rules in which batters may use different bats each inning and even a racquet at one point. The rules were similar to last year, the only big difference is that they dressed up the field a bit as well.
The Off-Season is typically a wiffleball league’s slowest phase each year. Very rarely does a league’s down time after the playoffs intrigue anyone to the extent that WSEM has in 2013. On September 1 the league announced something that would change the league forever: the talent cap system. The talent cap will go into effect for the 2014 regular season. The league has went through the trouble of ranking players by skill on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Each team can have a maximum of 21 stars before having to pay a luxury tax of $100-200 (no team may have more than 24 stars worth of talent). 2014 Rookies are only scored as 1.5 stars.
Carl Coffee and Brandon Corbett have been tirelessly analyzing the free agency with articles on the website and episodes from their highly entertaining podcast. October 1 the free agency opened up and several teams have been getting busy filling/organizing their rosters. Seeing teams develop this early for the 2014 season is pretty exciting but knowing that they are getting two expansion teams for next season makes the WSEM off-season the most exciting to watch in 2013 so far. There are a few notable leagues that have yearly drafts, such as Palisades WBL, and that has always been seen as a big step reserved for exceptional leagues but the Talent Cap era could be a bold leap forward in leagues keeping things competitive. The talent cap looks like it’s off to a great start but we will not know how it truly went until April 24 when the talent cap goes into effect.
The Potomac Wiffle League is presently in the midst of their summer season playoffs but the pressure has not only been on the teams striving to get to the top but on the league’s commissioner, Chris Gallaway, to maintain a place for them to play. “We’ve actually had a scare [like this] once but it was averted,” Galloway commented. The PWL normally plays at Gravelly Point Park in the George Washington Memorial Parkway National Park but due to the U.S. Government shutdown that began October 1, all national parks have been closed and effectively putting Galloway, and his league, in a jam. “Now…it’s not like there is a gate [to the park] or anything, it’s a wide open area. But, legally, it’s closed, and they’d kick us off, and probably never give us a permit again if we played there during the shut down.”
“We were REALLY close to being done with the season,” Galloway admitted. But anyone who knows Chris Galloway knows that he is rarely caught off guard. “I knew this was a possibility, so I went ahead and booked a backup field, rented from the county of Arlington, Virginia not far from our fields.” The new facility they are playing at is a soccer complex that is similar to Soccer First in which the NWLA Tournament was played this year. An unforeseen perk to the move is that they have been able to play under the lights instead of relying completely on sunlight.
It’s easy to forget just how far the effects of the government shut down reaches. It’s been since 1995 since we last had a government shut down and it’s unclear just how long this present shut down will last. Could Galloway be forced to find a permanent new home for the PWL? Perhaps. This is a problem that could be facing many leagues if there is no resolution before spring.
After months of waiting, the wait is finally over. The forthcoming issue of the Wiffler’s Digest magazine is finally ready for the eyes of the readers. This issue is the first not published by Mason Everett and lacks that familiar clarity but is still an issue busting with a lot of good content. The issue will be re-released soon in a booklet format so readers can print out the issue front-and-back and have a hard copy version of this issue. This is the first time we’ll be having that feature. Also, the full hour-long interview with Chris Gallaway will be uploaded onto our Youtube channel soon as well. We’ll keep you posted.
Wiffle in Southeast Michigan has done it again. “It” of course means release another fabulous podcast episode. Lately they’ve done a great job focusing on the national level of the sport rather than their own league. This time Carl Coffee, Brandon Corbett, and Alex Shore hosted the podcast with interviews with PWL’s Chris Gallaway and the entire roster of OCWA’s Freaky Franchise. These two interviewees won a lot of NWLA Wiffy Awards in 2012 and Coffee, Corbett, and Shore had plenty of questions for them. This episode quite robust and lengthy, finishing at around 45 minutes.
If you listen to the end of the podcast you’ll notice a taste of what’s to come in the next episode that’s due for release in mid-January. There will be interviews with members from the Tampa Bay Wiffleball League and yours truly (Josh Smith) of Wiffler’s Digest. Tampa Bay will be beginning their season by that point and I will be plugging the latest issue of the magazine. I know it’s been a long wait but much work has went into this long lost issue recently and it should be ready by New Year’s Day. It will be a long issue (probably longer than the last) and will feature an interview with Sean “Wiffleboy” Steffy and many other articles. This issue has been a long time coming and I can only offer an apology for it not coming out sooner. 2013 should feature more regular publication of issues.