Musings of a Celebrated Wiffle Journalist

Musings of a Celebrated Wiffle Journalist

Last season I made the decision to leave my regular job as famed wiffle journalist for the LowPress to concentrate on writing "Where There is Smoke, There Are Clouds - the biography of The Black Cloud". Following the inaugural Wiffle Scramble, I started working on "Swinging Bunt" on the side. When the Cloud learned that I was to release "Swinging Bunt" ahead of his rather uninteresting tale, he was visibly upset, as he typically is, but insisted I include a passage he had originally wrote for the LowPress. Here is a portion of that piece, included in Holy Matriwiffle section of Swinging Bunt.

I sat fixated to the old color television, gripped by the storyline that years later would seem cliche and tired. I was well into my formative little league years, a youngster fully entrenched in the grassroots of America's pasttime. As Roy Hobbs limped to the plate, blood showing through his jersey, I scooted to the edge of the couch, anticipating the storied ending to come. Chills went up my spine and my eyes watered as the destined home run inexplicitably set off a series of lighting explosions. I was hooked.

The next day I marched into the woods with purpose. After much searching and contemplation, I found a down tree that I could amply justify as being hit by lightning. With my trusty handsaw, I removed the straightest limb and trucked it back to the garage. For the better part of a day, I chiseled, planed, and sanded until I had my own homemade bat. It sort of resembled Wonderboy and was marginally straight, it was perfect. Hours upon hours of my summer were spent recreating the fantasy while competing in the reality of the game. I would face up to my siblings and friends, confident that my bit of the forest would carry me through. These were the memories that we treasure and too often lose in the mess of modern day stress, norms, and buzz.
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After reading through the section, instantly becoming the third person ever to do so, I asked the Clouded One why he was so resolute in its inclusion. He stated, "Well that's it right, that's the whole point, to find that intersection of reality and fantasy and live in it as long as you can." While I don't typically agree with the Ominous Water Vapor, I had to admit that he had a bit of insight into the soul of LowBall.

As children, it is simple for us create experiences that blend fantasy and reality. As we grow older, for whatever reason, it becomes near impossible to obtain. Perhaps we lose that imagination or perhaps we lose the courage to put ourselves out there. Either way we are resigned to being observers in the fantastical rather than participants. For seven years, I have witnessed the mythical adult occurrence of this intersection and have attempted to document it as the games played out across the LowBall fields, culminating in the runaway best seller "Swinging Bunt."

In a rare instance of introspection, the Opaque Nebula admitted that he had embarked on his Soul Wiffle quest, in the process walking away from the league he so loved, because, for him, things had drifted too far to the serious side of reality and too far from the whimsical side of fantasy. Honestly it was not a good time for either of us, Cloud had lost the desire to play and I had lost left my job at the LowPress. It was pretty dark right up until Wifftober. I was in attendence to witness the dedication, the spectacle, the enthusiasm of the rookies and the intensity of the veterans, it all screamed LowBall and I, celebrated wiffle journalist Hugh S. Wifflerton, was once again hooked.

On my book tour, I happened to stop into Lincoln, home of the Lager/Loggers, for a book signing. The scene I walked into brought a tear to my eye and joy to my soul. The intersection of fantasy and reality, nurtured on the fields, was being spread by the Widows Wives Women of Wiffle (WoWs) and was being fully embraced by all. It was billed as a celebration of "Swinging Bunt", but in reality it was a celebration of our ability to find that spot in between reality and fantasy. It was splendid, a truly inspiring and reassuring event. I was reminded of the Soul Wiffle saying that I heard all summer - "Wiffle Where You Find Yourself". After witnessing the full soul of wiffle on display, I have to wonder if perhaps you find yourself where you wiffle.