Fast Plastic: Your online Wiffle-ball Newsletter
ABOUT THIS SITE
It's grand that Wiffleball is alive and well in 2019...but way back in the early 2000's....
How exciting it was when the Fast Plastic Newsletter website appeared. It allowed us serious wiffleball enthusiasts finally to be able to be able to connect with like minded players all across the US. So I give thanks to the six players from various parts of the country who formed the United States Perforated Plastic Baseball Association. This governing body published rules, sanctioned a series of tournaments on both coasts during season, and conducted post-season playoffs that culminated in a fall national championship. It was a heady time. And special kudos go to Billy Owens who was the editor of Fast Plastic. I was a fan of Fast Plastic and was disappointed when it disappeared.
Of course I stay up with the news surrounding wiffleball tournaments. I am still able to play, but these legs and arms aren't what they used to be when I ws in my 30's and 40's. In fact my eyes are not as sharp as they once were either. Living out in the sticks doesn't make it easy to get new glass frames or for that matter, to replace lens in my glasses when I scratched them. However, my son-in-law, also a wiffleball player, showed me an online site that can provide me with new glasses lenses without my having to drive miles to the closed eyeglass frame store. All you have to do is mail your glasses in to them. They install the replacement lenses and mail back the eyeglasses. And if I get a new prescription, I can just send in my glasses with the new prescription along with my phone number. An optician will call to discuss the best, high quality lens choices and options. Boy, will this save me a lot of time that will be better spent playing wiffleball.
Ah, but I digress. Recently I discovered that the domain for fastplastic.net/ was available so I bought it with the goal of recreating some of its content from archived pages. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website.
DO not get too excited. I am NOT going to update and follow the tournaments, give the most recent statistics, or announce each seasons game schedules. There are other sites which are doing that already. Two sites I would suggest you looking at are:
- National Wiffle League Association - www.nationalwiffleballrankings.org/
- NWLA Tournament - www.nwlatournament.com/
Instead my purpose in resurrecting Fast Plastic is for historical purposes and nostolgic reminiscing . Below are some of the archived content from Fast Plastic's 8th ISSUE. Enjoy.
Selected Archived Content from the 8th Issue
UNDERWORLD SLIM LOOKS BACK
By Underworld Slim
Las Vegas, NV - Now that this year's championships are over I thought it'd be fun to go back and take a look at how I did.
I've kept the the original odds and comments so everyone could be reminded. Overall, with just a few exceptions, I think I was right on the money!
TOURNAMENT RECORD 7-1
The Shockers finished 2nd only falling to the Vipers in the championship game. Their overall record was an amazing 7-1. The Shockers allowed only 2 runs all tournament! Their bats went quiet when they needed them most.
Pitching in wiffle is at a premium so it's no surprise that the team with the most depth at the position is the favorite to win it all. Any team that can bring 4 quality starters will have an excellence chance to bring home the trophy. Add it some patient hitting and you'll have a dangerous combination.
The team that seems to possess all of the above is the Tracy Shockers.
Although they did not win their region the Shockers have all the tools necessary to win it all. They're young and talented. Don't be surprised when this group of kids brings California its third straight wiffleball championship.
Sorry East Coast.
MUD DUCKS 4:1
TOURNAMENT RECORD 1-4
What the hell happened to these guys??? "The East's only legitimate shot" misfired in a big way...a Texas way! Out played, out hit and out pitched. The Mud Ducks finished a very disappointing 1-4 with their only victory over the Texas based Can Of Corn. This tourney was all about crunch time and the Ducks struggled like never before.
The East's only legitimate shot of winning lies with the Mud Ducks. The Ducks have done well this year but have truly under achieved. They have the talent to walk away with the title for some reason struggle at crunch time.
This is the first year the Ducks have been together so even if they don't take it all in 2003 they will be back and should be more formidable next season. This just might not be their year.
Once again, sorry East Coast.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 7-1
I'm so proud of this one. I guess not allowing a run all tournament is pitching "lights out" wouldn't ya say? Can you say 2003 National Champions? Can you say MVP? Jim Balian can!
Hat's off to Randy Dalbey too. His double against In The Box and triple against runner up Shockers set the table. In both instances Greg Edwards batted in the runs. A very good team effort.
The 2002 National Champions have a good shot of repeating despite loosing one of the best pitchers in the game, Bill Owens, and one of the most feared hitters, Rich Ewald. Vipers will also be without Tom Jankowski who defected to pursue a law degree.
Jim Balian will have to pitch lights out if he wants to taste champagne for the second consecutive year. The Vipers slipped as of late in Phoenix losing several to Cuatro but rebounded nicely; taking the Los Angeles pennant.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 3-2
Heartbreaking. No, heartwrenching. With one out left til the 'Round of Eight' the Toadkiller Dogs ended Cuatro's dreams when Frankie Traina hit a walk off homer. I predict Cuatro will be back and better in 2004.
Slightly behind the Vipers are their brethren from Phoenix, team Cuatro poured it on late in the season taking the last few NCQ's including the regional playoffs.
Cuatro has proven they can beat the best of the best. They took the much publicized Los Angeles 7/26 NCQ where they defeated the Shockers. They are however, untested on the national scene and will have much to prove against the other parts of the country. Still, Cuatro has a very good chance of becoming a champion in 2003.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 4-2
They're young. They can hit. They can throw. They're cocky!!! They are the Gunners of the Los Angeles region.
They are led by Dereck Anderson; the brash young gun who wears his heart on his sleeve and is the heart and soul of his team. The only thing standing in the way of this super-talented team and their first national championship is experience.
They will do well but expect them to collapse when the going gets tough. The Gunners will finish out of the money but should make a loud splash in Texas.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 2-3
Missed this one I'm afraid. Someone forgot to wake these guys up. My sleeper has yet to wake up.
If I had to pick a sleeper this would be the team. The Bandits are no stranger to pressure situations with a plastic bat and ball. You see, these are the guys that tore up the Yardball circuit a few years back.
Their only downfall is lack of innings. These guys are good and will do well next weekend.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 3-2
Fast starters, DGW had some hot bats early in the tournament scoring 21 runs in their first two games. They should have saved some for the later rounds though. They crossed the played just 3 more times in their final three games. I predict DGW will need to go through the FP Open to make it to the 2004 championships.
A long time slow pitch team, DGW has developed into a powerhouse fast pitch squad. Perhaps the best hitting team going to Texas.
Doom Gone Wild would have been ranked higher if it were not for the devastating injury to Justin Dana. Dana is questionable for the tournament and will be missed greatly if he cannot go for this New England team.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 2-6
Don't let the record fool ya. TKD made it all the way to the Round of Eight. Gutsy performance against Cuatro (see above), snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Came up short in the end. This team needed more pitching as noted below.
This is also the last time the Dogs will be playing as a team. Mickey Hyde has moved to NY and rumor has it will be a Boxer next year. Watch out New York!!!
Todd Silverman and Frankie Traina will be searching the free agent market looking for his replacement.
The Toadkiller Dogs have maybe the best all-around player in the country in Mickey Hyde. This guy is a stud.
The Dogs will have to meet a easy schedule if they want to raise the NCT trophy as Hyde is their only big time pitcher. With the talent that will be in Texas don't look for the Dogs to even see an easy game.
Note to Toadkillers: You need more pitching.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 1-4
Another New England bust. Perhaps Joe and Chris were already in San Diego. The Hurricanes neither showed well or got close. Not much of a swan song I'm afraid.
This year's NCT is the final swan song for the Hurricanes. The team is breaking up at the conclusion of the 2003 season with a few of the players moving out of New England and heading to warmer climates. San Diego to be exact. Can you say San Diego Region in 2004 for FP?
Unfortunately this does not help their cause to capture their first national championship. The boys of Brockton are a solid team. Look for the 'Canes to show well but come up a few games short.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 3-3
A solid showing by the Wiff's. Very respectable. Going three and three with the schedule they had is very impressive. There were some rumors going about that they make break up after this year. If they don't they'll need to get some more pitching in order to improve on their 6th place.
Hot off their dramatic upset over the Shockers in NorCal, the Make Ya Wiff Foundation has proven they can win the big one. There are still however, many questions surrounding this Bay area team. Was their win over the Shockers a sign of the times or a fluke?
Make Ya Wiff is a solid performer. A good showing in Texas will show the world they're no fluke and have what it takes to be a contender. With some luck MYW will finish in the top 6.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 5-3
Someone's been eating their Wheaties. These guys only losses were to the Vipers, Shockers and Stompers who finished 1-2-3 respectively. Well done. Not bad for a two-some. Look for Box to be back with a bigger splash in 2004. Although Chrystie's moving on, In The Box has picked up free agent Mickey Hyde.
This once proud "Dynasty" has slipped considerably over the past two seasons. Age and life changes has brought these men back to the ranks of normalcy.
Rumor has it that the two original Boxers, Frank and Tom LoCascio are not making the trip to Texas. If this is the case that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on rookie sensation Joe "Mariano" Nord and the aging veteran Bruce Chrystie.
When fresh the Box two-some will give any team a run for their money. Once they've hit their fourth game look for In The Box to fade...and fade quickly.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 5-3
WOW!!! Top ten finish my ass. Try TOP 3. This team is odd defying. If you asked 100 wifflers if they thought the Stompers would finish in the top 3 you'd get 100 "no ways". A truly remarkable performance.
Rising up from all this was one solid performance after another by pitcher Nick Schaefer. Nick has catapulted himself over almost every pitcher in the country. My sources tell me he is going to test the free agent waters. Nick, your phone is ringing.
There has been a tremendous amount of negative press written on various message boards about the boys from Maryland. It looks like everyone believes all this hype except the Stompers.
Any team who looks past these guys or takes them too lightly will be sorry...very sorry. Just ask the Lakeside Kings.
The Stompers will have a top ten finish.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 0-2
These guys are totally unproven and don't stand a chance against the beasts of the east and west. Wait, wait, wait. I already said that. How good am I? Guapos were just happy to be there and their zero runs scored reflected it.
Does anyone else other than me find it funny that the top team from Texas South is made up of a bunch of northern transplants? Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts are their former homes. This being the case maybe I should rethink the 50:1.
Nah. These guys are totally unproven and don't stand a chance against the beasts of the east and west.
Guapos will finish in the basement.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 4-2
Okay, I might have had these guys in the grave a bit too prematurely. The Avengers had a tremdous showing narrowly missing the Round of Eight by losing to the Champion Vipers in a 'play in' game.
DeMasi's performance was magnificant. But fellas, do yourselves a favor and pick up another pitcher. Mark is getting too old for this kid's game to be pitching every inning.
Done. Done. Done.
Mark DeMasi is there only pitcher and he is hurt...really hurt. Even his outstanding bat cannot save this team.
They'll be right next to Guapos.
TOURNAMENT RECORD (DNP)
My minions were right. The only 2nd place team not to show.
My minions tell me these guys aren't coming to Texas even though they earned their way via the Midwest. I'm guessing they are scared of finally facing some real competition. "Toto, something tells me we're not in Michigan anymore".
Come on fellas, make the trip!!!
MUFF DIVERS 75:1
TOURNAMENT RECORD 0-2
Just happy to be playing with the Big Boys. The Divers failed to score a run.
Texas North Champs. Very experienced but struggle against top teams.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 0-2*
Okay so let hear it fellas. Where the hell were you? The Whoofs showed up a the sign in Friday night but forfeited both their games when they failed to meet the call for their games. Rumors. Yeah, I heard the rumors. Let's see. There was they were lost (but that one sucks). There was they spent the night in jail (that's better). But the best was they were captured by aliens and forced to listen to Bobby Vinton records.
World to Whoofs...Grow Up and Show Up!!!
How happy are these guys that the Vipers won the Los Angeles region???
The Whoofs could be the sleeper of the NCT. They definitely have their work cut out for them. Look for these dogs to finish along the back of the pack.
FB OPEN WINNWER 150:1
TOURNAMENT RECORD 3-3
HOLY CRAP BATMAN! Miami's Team Longball rose from the ashes of the FP Open and went all the way to the Round of Eight. Think of what might have happened had they came in first or second in the Southeast. We may be talking about them as National Champions instead of the Vipers.
To go 4-1 in the Open and follow up with a 3-3 in the NCT is nothing short of amazing.
The winner of the Fast Plastic Open really doesn't have a chance. Unless, they bring 5 solid pitchers who have a clue up at the plate.
Like I said, the winner of the Fast Plastic Open doesn't have a chance.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 0-5
The Brothers were outscored by a total of 1 to 37. Their best performance was against Cuatro losing only 0-1. Great bunch of guys. Just completely overmatched by the competition.
These guys from Texas will have quite the up hill climb.
TOURNAMENT RECORD 1-4
These guys beat the Bandits 2-0 and came within a run of beating the Avengers. That's why we play the games. Not a bad performance.
Newcomers from Ft. Worth, TX. Untested. Will be on the same hill as Band of Brothers.
WHAT IF... 8TH ISSUE
THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND
By Fast Plastic
After taking a look back at the 2003 season and especially at the National Championship a lot of questions come to mind. Questions that make you wonder how much different the outcome of the tournament would be if….. take a look
The Whoofs from AZ show up on time for the National Championship. Their first two games were scheduled for In the Box and the Shockers. Could they have possibly knocked one of these two from the Final Four?
Mark DeMasi, the Bopper, was playing with a healthy arm. He reportedly tossed a nasty 35 innings for the Avengers while single handedly carrying the team with his bat. Could the Bopper have taken his team to the top with a healthy gun?
Frankie of the Toad Killers Dogs does not hit the walk off bomb against Cuatro in the final Round Robin Game?
What if Team LongBall finished first or second in the Southeast Region and did not have to play the five games (30 innings) in the FP Open to qualify for the NC. Would they be National Champs?
Or how about if the Loco's, Tom and Frank LoCoscio, played with their team, In the Box, in Austin? Could this team have taken the title?
What if the rain would have held off on Saturday? Would teams like the "Mud Ducks" have played better? Obliviously, they need to remove Mud from the team title or do they?
If Can of Corn loses their game against the Bandits would Texas wiffle teams throw in the towel forever or use the tournament as a bad learning experience from hell?
What if Bill Owens would have played for the Avengers? Bopper got the team to a Sudden Death game to make the Elite Eight but lost 0-0 on extra bases. Could Owens have pitched the team to the finals?
What if the Lakeside Kings would have allowed Palinczar to pitch against Team Longball in the finals of the FP Open? Were the Kings privy to info about the "Czar" that we have yet to learn?
What if Make Ya Wiff had an effective second arm and Marc was spared from his 30+ innings of work during Round Robin play. Would he have mopped up in during the Elite Eight?
What if Ryan DeRoche of the Shockers pitched the championship game? Would he have baffled the Vipers as well as he did all hitters all tourney?
What if the Vipers did not start Randy in the game versus the Stompers? Would they have not allowed a single run all tourney?
What if Tim "the New Hammer" Cooke wasn't the motivating factor behind his team, the Stompers? Would they have folded under the pressure of championship ball?
What if Danny "Dano" Isenberg turns the Sac Fly DP at the plate against the Shockers? Could they have faced the Vipers?
What if all the critics on the FP Message Board had not bashed the Stompers so harshly? Did the Stompers play with a chip on their shoulders?
What if Balian doesn't hit the walk off HR versus Team Longball? Could LongBall have won the tournament?
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, probably not!
MUD DUCKS' COUNTDOWN TO DISASTER
By Fast Plastic
Being ranked number one in the world is a tough job. Sometimes it seems as though everything is stacked against you. And when you're playing world class championship wiffleball in the form of the Fast Plastic National Championship things get tougher and tougher and tougher. Don't believe it? Just ask any player from the Mud Ducks.
To start the Championship tournament off in fashion the number one ranked Ducks flew right into the defending National Champions, the Vipers (ranked third). Both teams being fresh spelled doom for the hitters and promised to deplete all reserves from both pitchers' arsenals. The game raged into the bottom of the ninth inning with no score until being decided on total bases. Chalk up a victory for the Vipers.
Next up for the Ducks was a "brink of disaster" Band of Brothers squad from the Austin area. Good for Ducks, bad for Bros. The Dirty Ducks beat up the Brothers in formidable fashion by a score of 8-0. So two games into the National Championship the Mud Ducks had not allowed a single run to score. Things seem to be OK. Maybe…
The team advanced to the sweet 16 and looked over a very tough Pool Play schedule. The team would have to beat two top 15 teams in order to advance to the Elite Eight.
The first game would be against number 11 ranked Make Ya Wiff from Nor Cal. These guys were coming off a Regional Championship high. Through regulation, both teams struggled from the plate, neither scored. So on to extra innings the game progressed until total bases finally decided it. Yup, you guessed it, Make Ya Wiff comes out on top.
The Mudders, at this point in the tourney, had to win all remaining games to make the playoffs. Doom Gone Wild was pretty much in the same boat. Both teams slid through the rain and put together an impressive outing. But Doom Gone Wild won and forced the Ducks to near death. Final Score was 1-0.
Through four games they had allowed zero runs while scoring eight At this point the Ducks are 1-3 and have to win in order to force a sudden death play-in game to move on. Insert number 7 Gunners here. Maybe it was frustration, maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was disbelief. The Gunners had the Ducks number. Dereck Anderson and the boys went hunting and came home with their limit of waterfowl. The Gunners scored eight times to win 8-3.
Combined, for the day, the Mud Ducks, ranked number one in the world for a good part of the 2003 season, scored 11 runs while allowing 9. The team faced the number 3, 5, 7, and 11 ranked teams losing all four. Their opponents combined W-L records were 18-13. They finish the tournament "plucke - 1-4.
VIPERS REPEAT - 2003 National Champions
THE TITLE GAME
By Fast Plastic
Cedar Park, TX - At precisely 1:05 PM what had promised all year to be the best of the best began. The Fast Plastic National Championship of Wiffleball. The defending National Champion Vipers were poised to repeat their task of 2002. Standing in their way were a young group of Northern Californian's - The Tracy Shockers.
Tracy won the flip and would be the home team.
On the hill for the Shockers was their 21 year old inspirational leader and arguably the best pitcher in the country, Joel Deroche.Leading off for the Phoenix based Vipers was Randy Dalbey. First pitch - BALL ONE.
Deroche walked the younger Dalbey on four straight and the title game had its first baserunner. Unphased by it all, Deroche struck out Edwards, Balian and Newman to end the inning.
The bottom half of the inning was a mirror image of the top. Balian walked leadoff hitter Josh Smith but took a page from Deroche and struck out the next three Shockers, Joel, then Ryan Deroche and Smith.
Both pitchers cruised through the first three innings. Deroche had not allowed a runner since he walked Dalbey in the first. Balian walked a batter in each of the first three innings but left them on first in each case.
With the game halfway over and both hurlers pitching lights out it seemed to be a matter of which pitcher would blink first.
Leading off the fourth inning was Randy Dalbey. Dalbey was the catalyst of the Vipers semi-final match against In The Box. Dalbey roped a Deroche offering off the left field wall for a triple. The ball nestled under the Fast Plastic banner where it was quickly retrieved by Ryan Deroche. Next up for the Vipers, Greg Edwards. Edwards had struck out in his previous two trips to the plate.
This time would be different.Deroche reared back and fired. Edwards smacked the offering into left-center bringing home Dalbey and giving the Vipers the lead 1-0.
Deroche got out of the inning striking out Balian and forcing Newman to ground out into an inning ending double play.Ryan Deroche retreives Greg Edwards RBI triple. The run proved to be all the Vipers would need.
Balian retired the next nine of ten Shockers to retain the National Championship for the Vipers. A one out walk to Joel Deroche in the sixth was the only baserunner allowed by Jim Balian who was also named the tournament MVP for the second straight year.Balian finished the tournament without allowing a single run.
THE FAST PLASTIC OPEN
By Bill Owens
What could the 2003 season hold for a semi-retired national champion? Honestly, after winning it all in 2002 with an amazing group of teammates I felt I had nothing left to prove as a wiffler. So I decided to take it easy in 2003. Let my arm rest and enjoy my new home in North Texas.
After about a six-month layoff from the game, I hit the wall. I decided to give up Gilligan's Island, Laverne and Shirley, and the Munsters. It was time! I missed the game too much to just let it go. I discovered that I truly am addicted to tournament ball.
What to do?The FP Open was a great renewal.
This tournament was open to any and all teams. But due to the threat of stormy weather four registered and slugged it out for that coveted bid to the Real Deal, the National Championship.
My team consisted of Brian Schilz of the Wave and Tiger King of the Devil Rays. We went into the tournament knowing we wouldn't win, but wanted to act as a spoiler- try to do some damage. And we did. We beat Team Longball the Open favorites, and pushed the Lakeside Kings to the limit.
Teams entered in the tournament were:
- Lakeside Kings of IL
- The Texas 3 of TX & CA
- The Ragin Cajuns of OK
- Team LongBall of FL
Here's how it played out through the round robin play:
- Texas 3 over Cajuns 7-3
- Longball over Kings 5-0
- Texas 3 over Longball 2-0
- Kings over Cajuns 7-4
- Kings over Texas 3 (3-1)
- Longball over Cajuns 13-0
The Kings- 3 match-up was a great game. Both Levonchuk (Kings) and Schilz (3) pitched great. This forced a Sudden Death Play-in game between the two teams which the Kings won 2-0. The game ended in the second inning on a two-run opposite field walk-off HR by Jerome Coyle.
The FP Open Championship Series was Team Longball versus the Kings.
- Team Longball 2
- Kings 0
- Team Longball 10
- Kings 1
Longball's Mickey Perez was named Open MVP with Longball's Alex Hernandez finishing a close second. Mickey's Championship pitching and big bat was the difference.
Hey, I didn't want to win anyway, I had a National Championship Tournament to run. And boy oh boy, was I in for a treat.