Breaking News: Wifftober is good, very good.

Breaking News: Wifftober is good, very good.

I, David Wiffleberg, debatably the second most celebrated Wiffle journalist, have returned to the LowPress from a season long, completely self-chosen “sabbatical.” I totally sabbaticaled on my own. Despite the swirling rumors, it has nothing to do with the “suspension” the LowPress handed down on upon me for embezzling $23.75, or stealing a copy of “Swinging Bunt” and 4 stickers, or pillaging the LowBall museum and/or leaking the Wifftober 8 poster months ahead of time.

With my newfound time off, I set off to see every Wiffle game I could, across the country. However, having spent $23.75 that I totally found on my own, all I got was a little less than half a tank of gas and a Slim Jim. After doing some things I’m not proud of, working a few temp jobs and a brief stint as an online university President, I was able to fund my Wiffle Tour. Here’s what I can tell you. There is nothing quite like Wifftober and LowBall.

In Lancaster Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country, wifflers travel by horse and buggy to wiffle. The traditional season ending championship, is followed by a community barn raising for the most valuable wiffler. Across the state in Virginville, wifflers play a 12 game season that ends with the pitcher with the most wins taking, you guessed it, the virgin of his choosing.

Outside of Columbus Ohio, Hipster Wiffle has a strong following that is usually sponsored by dark, tiny, dart filled bars, online ironic t-shirt making start-ups and mustache/beard comb companies. Like in LowBall, players don’t run the bases. But unlike LowBall, it’s due to the lack of range of motion on account of the skinny jeans.

In Tupelo Mississippi, the penultimate game is played upon on the grounds of the Elvis Presley birthplace, on January 8th, the day of Elvis’s birth. Thousands of Elvis impersonators flock to a tournament who’s tagline is “A little less conversation, a little more wiffle” to be crowned “The King…. of Wiffle.”

In Midland Texas, the Midland Cowboys and the Midland Indians have a 2 team league, similar to LowBall. However, regardless of the actual score of any games, the Indians can never win. Following any game they are forced off the field and told to play the next game on land the Cowboys “generously” give them.

Rumor has it that in Nevada, on a remote air force base, is a rather unworldly league. Having never personally witnessed one of the rare ALW (Alien League Wiffle) games, I can only report on what locals and believers say about the extraterrestrial league. It is said there is never a home team, only Visitors, therefore eliminating the home field disadvantage. It is said that anyone who has ever witnessed a game was immediately abducted and probably probed repeatedly.

In Hollywood California (where I was 3 hours early to all the games I watched thanks to something called the Pacific Time Zone), a league comprised of failed, failing, struggling and out of work Hollywood types is quite strong. No actual teams exist as most players are usually waiting tables, working on a script or busy making adult films. Speaking of the adult film industry, it has one of the strongest wiffle leagues I saw. The 69ers are like the New York Yankees of the league, full of high priced stars like Rod Longfellow, who is known for sending it deep and Rocky Balboner who always swings a big stick. The Swinging Johnsons are perennial cellar dwellers due to performance anxiety.

Of all the leagues, single games and tournaments I saw, nothing compares to the pageantry, the tradition and the ridiculousness that is LowBall or Wifftober. The number of Living Legends in the league alone is a testament to the high quality of play, or something. No league had a championship game consisting of 18 innings. Sure other leagues played 17 inning affairs and others played more than 18 innings, but 18 innings is unique to Wifftober. No other leagues were even clever enough to combine Wiffle and October.

So on the Eve of the Eve of Wifftober 8, I feel confident saying of all the Wifftobers I have witnessed, this one is sure to be an instant classic. And despite some unsettled times that may lay ahead, it could be worse. Lowballers could be barn raising, virginity taking, skinny jean wearing, Elvis impersonating Indians that get probed by aliens and male porn stars.

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