06 Jun Big League Wiffle Ball
By Kate Deeks
Both men and women, current WIFFLE players and childhood fans, are passionate about the iconic WIFFLE combination: skinny yellow bat and a holey white ball. Nick Benas hosted national tournaments for BIG LEAGUE WIFFLE BALL from 2006-2014. How did Benas get into the stick and ball game? A native of New England, he grew up playing and started competing in 1994. Though he hasn’t played much in the last five years, Benas fondly paints a picture of a WIFFLE day in the park. “Medium-pitch WIFFLE tournaments were popular 1980s-90s as charity events. Tournaments evolved from charity events into the friend-and-family fun WIFFLE day where father-son-mother-daughter teams would grill and play all day in the park. Same ball, same bat, same field.” Benas and his co-creator Jared Verrillo made BIG LEAGUE WIFFLE BALL (BLWB) …a big hit with many weekend-warriors looking for active play and a unique experience. The bats also evolved with BLWB, getting bigger barrels, and moving from plastic to aluminum or even carbon fiber material. What Benas agrees was the biggest success of BLWB Tournaments was how they, “connect the weekend warrior to the game…players can’t be ruled out…hand-eye coordination is more important than looking athletic.” Still produced by the family business out of Shelton, Connecticut, WIFFLE Ball was inducted into the 2017 Toy Hall of Fame. The yellow color of the bat is protected from replication, but the fun of playing WIFFLE ball in the park with your family can be duplicated all summer long.