Play Ball!


I spent my formative years in Los Angeles.  We lived in a house overlooking the giant Silver Lake reservoir, named after Herman Silver, a member of LA’s first Board of Water Commissioners.  Think Chinatown with Jack Nicholson.  We were lucky enough to have a swimming pool at our Silver Lake house, so we always had mobs of kids over to swim.  But children can not live by swimming alone.  So after a few hours in the pool, we would adjourn to a giant vacant lot behind our house for endless games of Wiffle Ball®.  In honor of my somewhat foggy childhood memories, I am proposing a Wiffle Ball® brand 32 inch bat in classic yellow with a regulation 9 inch circumference Wiffle Ball® bat combo  as the seventh item on my top ten Made in America holiday gifts for 2011.

Wiffle Balls® and bats are made by the Wiffle Ball Corporation in Shelton Connecticut.  The Wiffle Ball Corporation is really the Mullany family; David and Stephen Mullany are at the helm today.  The Wiffle Ball® came into existence in 1953 after David and Stephen’s grandfather watched their father play a game in their backyard in Fairfield Connecticut, using a perforated plastic golf ball and a broomstick handle. They had come up with their makeshift baseball gear after too many broken windows resulted from using real baseballs and bats.  Mullany the Elder had been a semi-pro pitcher and fearing for the health of his son and heir’s arm given his attempts to throw curveballs using a perforated plastic golf ball, came up with a ball with eight oblong perforations that worked great.  That was how the WIFFLE® perforated plastic ball was invented.

I played thousands of games of Wiffle Ball® over the years.  It was not until I visited the Wiffle Ball® website that I discovered that there are official Wiffle Ball® rules of play.  Whatever rules they use, the son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchild that receives a Wiffle Ball® this holiday season is in for a lot of fun.  Get shopping!

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About tapirking

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make.
This entry was posted in american made, gifts, Made in America and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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