Indiana wifflers take 37th annual world title
(7.19.16) In 1987, a group of South Bend, Indiana high schoolers went all the way to the final game of the World Wiffle® Ball Championship. That team, ‘The Westsiders,’ the next year renamed themselves Cult West, a team that passed on their Wiffle® prowess to two subsequent generations of teams over the next 30 years. Yesterday, that team, now the Cult West Warriors, finally realized their dream of a world championship, knocking off perennial power ‘Funky Plastic Offspring,’ 4-3, in a defensive gem at the Skokie Park District’s Channelside Park.
With both teams batting into a swirling wind most of the game, Cult West belted three home runs in the top of the first and never looked back, holding four-time champs, FPO, to a mere three runs, all manufactured early in the game.
Cult West and FPO both went 4-0 in Saturday pool play. The Warriors beat Indiana’s ‘Granger Panthers,’ two-time world champion ‘Balco Boys’ and the local ‘NWL All Stars’ to reach the final on Sunday. FPO, which lost in similar fashion to the ‘Clutch Players’ in the 2015 final, knocked off Southern Illinois’ ‘Sportsman’s Park,’ LaPorte, Indiana’s ‘Maple City Magic’ and Minnesota’s ‘Team Combat’ on their way to the final game.
42 teams began the weekend on Saturday, all playing four games, with St. Louis, Missouri’s ‘The Alpha Team’ winning the extra-inning mini-tournament for teams that finished 2-2 on Saturday evening, joining 19 teams with one or no losses in the single-elimination tournament on Sunday morning.
42 teams came to Skokie from 11 states. Glenn Duddleson of six-time world champion Dud’s Gang, was named to the hall-of-fame on Saturday.