Out of Left Field

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Out of Left Field

by Bill Reznak



Nine Months in the Making




Where Have You Gone, SRL Website…

In the first two and a half seasons of the SRLs existence, one of the league’s greatest attributes was the fact that we always kept our website up to date.  Whether it be stats, game highlights, or the latest news, it was immediately posted for all to see.  I’m not sure how many people view our site regularly, but I’ll bet all of them noticed that something suddenly changed last July.  Game stats were still updated quickly, but that’s about it.  Game highlights and weekly awards for the final three weeks were never posted, and all end-of the-season information came months later or not at all.

So what happened?

Well…let’s just say that life got in the way, and that’s not meant to sound like a bad thing.  I’m one of those people who could say a lot without actually revealing anything.  Most people who feel like they know me could probably tell you very little about my personal life.  I’m guessing that most everyone who knows me through Wiffleball would be surprised to know that the first two and a half seasons of the SRL were also the worst two and a half years of my life.  Don’t count on me revealing anything more than that.

Why did I seem so happy?  Because that’s the only time I ever really was.  And spending countless hours working on the website and writing a lengthy, regular column were great diversions.  But in late July, everything changed.  Let’s just say I fell in love.  Her name is Kristen, and that’s all you’re getting from me here.

I still enjoy everything Wiffle; it’s just no longer an escape.  The truth is that I stopped working on the website because I just didn’t feel like doing it.  It must have been frustrating for players and fans who kept clicking on for updates, only to see no changes, but I needed the break. 

Fear not.  I’m having fun working on the site again, and I’m catching up on everything.  While I might have inconvenienced some people for a while, no real harm was done.  Well, no harm except for the NWLA honors that I cost our players.  And that brings us to… 


Where Have You Gone NWLA Website?

WIth NWLA Founder John Converse


Among the many thrills I enjoyed at the Ohio tournament last year was meeting NWLA founder John Converse.  I was proud that he knew our league well.  He even commented that he was impressed that our website was always updated.  There was a touch of irony in this statement because the NWLA site had mysteriously disappeared a couple weeks earlier, and it remained down for a few months.  When the site was finally up and running again, they quickly announced that the 2015 National Teams and Wiffy Award winners would be announced soon. The previous two seasons, while our site was always up-to-date, those awards came late, and we received many accolades.  Now, with our site lagging, the announcements came earlier, and the SRL was grossly under-recognized.  Ultimately, this is all my fault.  The NWLA gave plenty of warning on Twitter to get everything updated, and I moved too slowly. 

We did get some recognition.  Zach “Artim Bomb,” Bob Loftus, and Josh Sorber were named First-Team Pitchers and Artim took the Wiffy for best nickname, but those individuals are well known nationally and didn’t need my help.  Someone dug into our site and decided that Justin “Juice” Blakeslee would be honored with Third-Team Hitter as well, but he deserved to be ranked higher.  With the proper write-up that I eventually did, he would have undoubtedly made the First-Team while more players in the league would have been recognized for their great season.  

I also cost members of EPS, especially the LeSoine brothers, and several Cobras recognition on the All-Rookie team.  What hurts the most is that the NWLA always takes the info from our Gold Glove Award and recognizes our winners on the All-Fielding Team.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I cost five players recognition for their defensive efforts.  I’m sure I kept Beau from being named to the First-Team Fielding.  It still bothers me months later that my inaction cost honors for my only son, which brings us to…


“Boycotting” Ohio

The days of calling Beau my “only” son have come to an end.  I won’t be heading to the NWLA tournament this year because…well…because this summer, at the age of fifty-one, I’m about to become a Dad again.  No surprises with modern technology.  It’s a boy.  And that brings us to…


"Old Fart" Retires


I have always found it sort of tacky when people give themselves a nickname, but I am guilty of doing such.  A couple years ago I decided that when I turned fifty I would don the nickname “Old Fart.”  In fact, my 2015 uniform hung in my closet for an entire year before I ever wore it.   I meant the term ironically.   It was my reaction to all the times I hear people half my age saying, “I’m too old for this.”  Age is a state of mind, and too many people I know are talking themselves into premature old age.


So, I’ll still be playing this year, but I’m retiring the nickname. I feel better physically and mentally than I have in ages, and it seems like a pretty stupid nickname for somebody who will be welcoming his child into the world.


Catching Up

I did eventually take care of all that end of the year stuff, and I have been hard at work recently.  I recently completed the 2015 Pitching Leaders, the 2015 Batting Leaders, and I have updated the All-Time Pitching Leaders and All-Time Batting Leaders.  More is on the way, and that brings us to…


Work to be Done

I still need to go back and write the final three weeks’ worth of highlights as well as the weekly award winners.  It might seem kind of pointless to do it now, but I need to close the door on 2015 before I can look ahead to 2016.  After that, I need to update Player Profiles so that they are ready for the upcoming season.  And that brings us to…


Out of Left Field

I’m not sure when my next column will be posted, but I can assure you that you won’t be waiting another nine months.  Trust me, I know how much can happen in nine months.