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October 9, 1999
WiffleFest '99

Trenton, New Jersey - Wiffleball Capital of the world...
One day while browsing the web, I came across the website for the NJWA (New Jersey Wiffleball Association). Among the plethora of information it had on the game of Wiffleball, I noticed the dates for a few upcoming tournaments. One of these tournaments was WiffleFest '99- the World Series of Wiffleball in Trenton, New Jersey. The teams had to be between two and five people. Five could bat but only three could field at a time. So I set out to find my team.
I ended up teaming with Doug and his friend, Hugo, or as we called him, Hob. We spent many a day playing Wiffleball in his old backyard. We named ourselves the Dover Generals. Hob lived in Dover and we just liked the flow of the name. Another friend of Doug's, Steve, came along for the ride, but he didn't play. Pictured here is Mike Palinczar (a.k.a. Czar), who organized the tournament. He also runs the the NJWA and is a member of the Tri-State Terror, the number one ranked Wiffleball team in the country. His skills are unreal. I especially have never seen anyone pitch with such speed and such curve as he does.
Our team wasn't too bad despite not having played Wiffleball since we were about twelve. Doug took over most of the pitching duties since he at least played a little during college. Hob and I roamed the outfield. One of our biggest hurdle was learning the specific rules of the tournament. Basically, there were three outs a side, three strikes, four balls, four innings. There was no base-running, everything was done using "ghost men". And you had to hit the ball past a certain point to be a single, double, triple, etc.
Here's a picture of Hob taking a few practice shots. You can see the white ball coming down the pipe. You get a perfect view of the "stike-zone", which was the cut-out in the wooden back-stop. It may look like a decent sized hole, but it was very, very difficult to throw strikes. It's tough enough getting the ball in hole, let alone adding speed and some curve to it. Our first game, which was against some punk college kids who thought they were awesome ended up being a walkfest.
But we got some key hits when it mattered most. We came back from being down and ended up winning out first professional game. Dover Generals, 1-0. Needless to say, the college kids we beat weren't too happy. The icing on the cake was when they lost their second game a couple hours later, falling out of the double elimination tournament.

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