|Opening Night 2013|
Anti-Heroes Announced As Expansion Team
May 9, 2013
The Griffleball League is proud to announce the addition of the Anti-Heroes an an expansion team for the 2013 season. The Anti-Heroes will fill the void left by The "U", who will not be able to extend their franchise into a third consecutive season.
The Anti-Heroes will be managed by John Reyna, who has had made his way around the GBL since his rookie season of 2011. Reyna was drafted 4th overall in 2011 by the Stallionaires. In his rookie year, Reyna hit 9 home runs in 18 games and helped get the Stallionaires within one game of the World Series. Following the termination of the Stallionaires in 2012, Reyna caught on with The Academy, although he played a very limited role due to availability issues.
The Anti-Heroes currently have 4 players on their roster. They will be led by Nate Bryan, who like Reyna, has bounced around the GBL in his two-year career. Also a rookie Stallionaire in 2011, Bryan cranked out 19 home runs in the regular season and 11 in the playoffs, earning him an award for All-Postseason 2nd Team. In 2012, Bryan was drafted by the GasHouse Gorillas (4th overall), but was traded to The "U" midseason. In 12 games between the two teams (playoffs included), Bryan hit 10 home runs. The Anti-Heroes will also feature two rookies, Griffith High School graduates Ryan Bandura and Randy Zellers. All four current members of the team graduated in 2007 from Griffith, so that should bode well for their team chemistry. The Anti-Heroes will have one selection (6th overall) in this year's draft if they would like to add a 5th player to their roster.
"It's truly an honor to be given the opportunity to manage a new team in this great league. I'm looking forward to putting this team on the map of wiffleball. I am intrigued to see what kind of impact my two rookies, Randy Zellers and Ryan Bandura, are going to have on this league, as I know they both have a lot to offer. Also, with having two veterans in Nathan Bryan and myself, I believe we have a great opportunity to make some noise. Can't wait for opening day!" - John Reyna
Zac Adams Named Lightning Manager
March 11, 2013
The team that has been all over the GBL news feed over the past couple of weeks has made yet another announcement. Zac Adams has been named the Lightning's new manager.
After Kyle Lidster recently announced that he would not be able to manage the Lightning for a fourth consecutive season, all eyes quickly turned to Adams as Lidster's successor. Adams entered the GBL in 2011, appearing in 23 games for the Lightning including postseason play. Adams finished near the top of the charts in Rookie-of-the-Year voting as he was a vital part of the Lightning's championship run. In 2012, Adams improved on his impressive rookie season, capturing the league's "Comeback Player of the Year" award. In two years in the GBL, Adams has 14 home runs, 5 wins, a 3.19 ERA, and has saved 4 games.
Although the Lightning's reaction to this roller coaster ride of an offseason will remain uncertain until the season begins, Adams admitted that he expects his team to be in a rebuilding phase in 2013. The Lightning have been arguably the GBL's most respected and competitive franchise throughout the league's history, but the loss of Kyle Lidster as an everyday player could certainly take a toll on this team. Adams, however, is more than excited about his new role with the team, and definitely appears to be the right decision to fill Lidster's shoes as the Lightning's new skipper.
With the draft two months away, the Lightning's roster consists of Adams, Travis Litke, and Cole Tribble, with Lidster playing a limited role.
Tyler Walk Retires as Player to Become League's Head Broadcaster
March 8, 2013
Tyler Walk is hanging up his cleats so he can pick up a microphone. After spending two seasons as a member of the Lightning, Walk decided that he can better serve the GBL as a broadcaster.
Walk joined the league midway through the 2011 season, apppearing in five games during the regular season. He was not a member of the Lightning's playoff roster during that championship season, but he did manage to jump start his GBL broadcasting career during that August Classic. Walk announced Games 3, 4, and 5 of the 2011 GBL World Series and did a tremendous job with the broadcasts. Walk did not appear in any action in 2012 for the Lightning due to a busy work schedule.
Walk's addition to the GBL Network will certainly add to the professionalism and exposure of the league. In the upcoming season, the GBL Network plans to add a "Sunday Night Game of the Week" to the regular season schedule. The Game of the Week will be filmed and announced by Walk and his crew, and will likely feature two teams that are at the top of the standings, although every team will be guaranteed at least a few appearances. One of the main things the GBL will focus on this year will be more videos and more game photos, and the addition of Walk to the GBL Network will definitely allow that to happen. Walk also plans to contribute to the website and other forms of the league's media.
"It's a great opportunity to do something I love. I've always wanted to announce pro games, but I'll take the Griffleball League to the next level with my talents. I expect to make the league nationally known," Walk said of his decision to join the GBL Network as the Head Broadcaster.
Kyle Lidster Steps Down as Lightning Manager
February 20, 2013
Kyle Lidster has officially stepped down as manager of the Lightning. A dedicated co-founder and Vice President of the GBL, Lidster announced this news on behalf of an out-of-town career opportunity he has been presented with this summer.
Lidster helped form the Griffleball League back in the league's inaugural summer of 2010. In three years as the league's Vice President and manager of the Lightning, Lidster helped the GBL accomplish more than anyone could have ever asked not only as a player, but as a member of the league's office as well.
Lidster led the Lightning to back-to-back GBL World Series titles in 2010 and 2011 along with three consecutive Cy Young awards and one MVP trophy. He has also served as the right-hand man of league President Jeremy Ratajczyk throughout the existence of the GBL, approving and suggesting just about every idea and every rule that is associated with the league.
With the resignation of the managerial position of the Lightning, Lidster made it clear in a phone call to Ratajczyk that he still wishes to contribute as much as he can with his team as well as be able to compete on select weekends throughout the summer. Despite his limited availability, Lidster would like to play a role with the Lightning this summer similar to that of John Reyna last year with The Academy. Reyna lived out-of-town last summer, but made the trip home on various weekends to play as many games as he could.
Kyle issued the following quote on his announcement:
"Griffleball has been a big part of my life as long as I remember, whether it was in (Ryan) Galiher's front yard or under the lights on the Griffle Grounds as we play it today. Me resigning as manager of the Lightning does not change that. It was great playing with and against everyone affiliated with this amazing league. Thank you."
As for the state of the Lightning franchise, the GBL will do everything in its power to make sure that the Lightning remain a team this season. The league plans to determine Lidster's succesor as manager of the Lightning as soon as possible. Travis Litke or Zac Adams are the obvious choices to fill Lidster's shoes, as they have the longest tenure on the team's roster. The league will look to make that determination in the near future. Lidster's role of Vice President will also be addressed as the season approaches.
League President Jeremy Ratajczyk also issued a quote on Lidster's resignation.
"The Griffleball League will undoubtedly miss the presence and contributions of Kyle Lidster as both a dedicated player and league Vice President. A person of his significance to this league cannot be replaced. If it wasn't for Kyle, the GBL would have never achieved the respect and success it has on this day. On behalf of the entire GBL, we wish Kyle the best of luck in his personal endeavors, and we look forward to the games when he will be able to return to the Griffle Grounds this season and in seasons to come."
Important Dates for 2013 Season
We are sorry to disappoint everyone who keeps their tabs on our website with the lack of new articles and updates. But as we all know, the winter months are quite hard-pressed for any action other than trades on the wiffle front. However, league president Jeremy Ratajczyk has still been hard at work with getting prepared for the 2013 season.
Rumors have been swirling over the past couple months that the GBL is working on adding a two-week preseason this year, giving players time to shake off the rust as well as giving managers time to evaluate their squads before opening night. With that being said, Rat gave us the list of important dates that he has been compiling for the start of the season. At this point, all of the dates are tentative.
April 28: Manager Meeting
April 30: Last day for returning players to re-sign with their teams. Players who did not re-sign will enter draft.
May 12: Combine Game for incoming players / free agents
May 13: Draft
May 15: $25 League Fee Due
May 16 - May 30: Spring Training
June 2: Opening Night
July 29: All Star Game / HR Derby
August 1 - 15: Playoffs