The 2018 Wiffle ball season concluded recently at Singerman Park in Côte Saint-Luc
Wiffle ball is a variation of the sport of baseball designed for indoor or outdoor play in confined areas. The game is played using a perforated, light-weight, resilient plastic ball and a long, typically yellow, plastic bat. Organizers of the local Wiffle ball league want to construct an actual stadium modeled around the old Jarry Park, the original home of the Expos. See photo below.
Mark Rabinovitch, a cardiologist practicing at Clinique MedicElle, told me that he started playing Wiffle ball with a group of friends from Côte Saint-Luc’s and the Montreal General Hospital around 1999. “We played our games at Macdonald Park, and when we heard about a Wiffle ball tournament in the US, a group of us went to South Bend, Indiana to compete,” he says. “We were outclassed, but had a memorable time. Our love for Wiffle ball led us to hearing about another aficionado in Jericho, Vermont, who built a Wiffle ball field named Little Fenway. We made about three trips to Little Fenway and that site has grown to include Little Wrigley and Little Field of Dreams.”
About three years ago, Harold Cammy from our Parks and Recreation Department invited the group to start playing at Kirwan Park. They now have a pool of about 25 players and compete with teams of five to eight on each side, every Sunday morning from May until the end of September. Singerman Park serves as their base. Players range in age from nine to their late 70s. There are three father and sons players and daughters have played, too. “The games are fun and not too competitive,” Rabinovitch says.
Our council has allocated funds for a dedicated Wiffle ball field at Singerman Park. Rabinovitch and his group want to call it Expos Park at CSL Yards as a homage to the Expos and Camden Yards. City Council has yet to discuss the name and I am told this will be placed on an upcoming agenda.
“Wiffle ball is a game I used to play in the country with my cousins and neighbors, including kids of all ages and our parents,” noted Dr. Rabinovitch. “That is one of the attractions - it doesn't require any expensive equipment or special talent to go out and have fun together.
I love baseball, but as we all know, a softball can hurt, if you're hit. The wiffle ball is a plastic ball, with several holes, designed to throw curve balls, and other tricks. That's all Wiffle ball requires - a plastic bat and ball. A friend of mine even sent me an algorithm, showing how injuries from a wiffleb all are almost nonexistent.”
I must admit I have not seen any games yet. But next season I will make it a point of doing so, perhaps even offering to step in as a pinch hitter.
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