Swingin' celebration: Wiffle ball tourney added to 375th anniversary lineup
Updated 3:55 pm, Tuesday, September 23, 2014
A vacation in Maine led Craig Kimball to pitch an idea to help celebrate the town's 375th anniversary.
Kimball, an administrator in the town's information technology department, said on his yearly vacation in Maine to visit family, his cousin's son convinced Kimball, his 17-year-old son Keith, and Keith's friend to field a team for a local Wiffle Ball tournament in that town. "At the end of our vacation, Keith told me the Wiffle Ball tournament was the highlight of his vacation," Kimball said.
After a little research on their return, Kimball said they learned that the popular Wiffle Ball -- while made in a factory in Shelton -- was actually created in Fairfield. Kimball decided to register a tournament with the company, and after exchanging emails with owner David J. Mullany, learned that Mullany's father and grandfather designed the Wiffle Ball at their kitchen table at their Edgehill Road home in 1953.
The tournament Kimball was organizing suddenly became something more.
"That's when the bulb went off," Kimball said. "What would be better than to bring Wiffle Ball back home where it all started, especially on our 375th anniversary?"
Kimball approached First Selectman Michael Tetreau with the idea, and with his support, Kimball said he "hit the ground running."
Thus was born the Wiffle Ball Tournament, slated for Saturday at Roger Ludlowe Middle School with a round-robin format of play.
According to Kimball, Tetreau suggested there might not be enough time this year for a full tournament, and recommended it be a game between the Police and Fire departments.
It was after meeting with Public Works Superintendent Scott Bartlett that the field was expanded to four teams.
After reserving the field through Sue Kiraly of the Parks and Recreation Department staff, Kimball met with Bartlett to work on a design for the tournament's field. Bartlett, he said, was not only happy to help with the design, but also asked about his crew fielding a team.
"That's when the public works and Town Hall teams were created," Kimball said.
At least one member of Mullany's family will be on hand to throw out the first pitch for the inaugural tournament.
The entry fee of $120 will go to a local charity.
Tournament play will start at 10 a.m., with each game expected to last an hour. Trophies are expected to be awarded about 3:30 p.m.