Photo by Michael Johnson
Recently constructed Belcoda Park in Caledonia was the site of the Washburn Wiffle Ball League All-Star Game.
Wiffle Ball mania
CALEDONIA — Washburn MVP Regis Pollard is a Wiffle Ball fanatic.
So much so, that he started his very own league.
Washburn Wiffle Ball, based out of Caledonia, consists of six teams in two divisions playing games, sometimes doubleheaders, every Sunday.
“We were all baseball players,” Pollard said. “Once high school finished, we wanted something fun to do during the summer. We’ve been playing Wiffle Ball our whole lives and I decided to make an official league.”
The teams, broken up into the WWL East and WWL West divisions include Pollard’s Oatka Quackers, Donia Dozers, Westside Whompers, Burnwash Bombers, Washburn Workhorses and Mumford Suns.
“The league is extremely competitive,” said Pollard. “Guys show up and dive and slide into the bags. It’s awesome and no one is getting paid to do it.”
Washburn Wiffle Ball became a part of the National Wiffle Ball Association this year. This summer, members of the league, Pollard included, participated in the National Wiffle League Association Tournament in Columbus, OH.
“It was a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday and we finished fourth place out of eight teams,” said Pollard. “One of our guys (Sean Ancker) threw a no-hitter. They put us up in a hotel for free with free food, free everything. We just had to pay for gas.”
The Washburn Wiffle Ball League Warriors consisted of a self-assembled All-Star team.
Mike Anderson, Jake Kocher, Jordan Shelton, and Ancker from Caledonia; Josh Swan from Wheatland; and Pollard.
Pollard led the entire tournament in batting average with a .536 and four players from WWL hit .300 or better (Kocher .353, Shelton .312 and Ancker .300).
In addition to playing in national tournaments and Sunday regular season games, Washburn Wiffle Ball also hosted last Tuesday’s annual All-Star game and an upcoming World Series.
The Pizza Land Home Run Derby consisted of eight wifflers and was won by Pollard who hit 26 total home runs to secure the W.
His East Ave. team also won the All-Star game over Main St. to a close score of 21-19. Pollard went 4-6 with a double at the plate, while teammate Shelton went 4-4 with two home runs.
In addition to being the league MVP and Home Run Derby champion, Pollard also won the Cy Young Award, after going 8-0 as a starter and maintaining a 2.85 ERA. He was also second in the league with 65 strikeouts.
He also managed and stared for the league’s best team, the Oatka Quakers, who have already secured their spot in next week’s World Series.
But he doesn’t even want to talk about his season’s Wiffle Ball dominance.
“I don’t really like talking about my personal play,” he said. “Our team is doing well, four of our guys are in the top-10 in hitting. We are one of the best in the league.”
Pollard and Shelton also maintain an official website for the league (washburnwiffleballleague.com). The site keeps track of every players stats, a box score for every game and weekly video highlights. It also ranks teams within the WWL and nationally. Upon surfing around the site, you can see that the Quakers are ranked No. 9 in the nation, a fact Pollard didn’t even bring up.
And Pollard’s passion for the WWL doesn’t exceed anyone else’s. He, along with the rest of the guys, play in the league simply because they love it.
“A lot of other league’s struggle with numbers,” said Pollard. “Most of us are friends or have become friends. Guys take off work to play games and everyone comes out. They like playing Wiffle Ball and they like hanging out and it’s a great group of guys.”
Pollard is entering his third year at RIT, where he plans to finally try out for the baseball team after a few years away from the game.