NEWS

21

It all started back in the winter of 2006-07.  Palp, Spoon and I had just finished our first year in the HRL as the Rockies, and Truck had informed us that the franchise was ours to rename and reshape as we saw fit.  We knew we wanted a name change, and while the Pirates were our first choice (gimmicks, ahoy), long time HRLer Ten had already laid claim to the name for his new team.  So we turned to the Reds, long one of my favorite MLB teams since my Dad is from Cincinnati, a name never before used in the HRL, and a name ripe for creatively pushing a Communist gimmick.  What happened next?

13 seasons.

371 regular season victories.

7 Eagan Championships.  

4 HRL Championships.

There was the Spoon era, which saw the Reds win three consecutive HRL titles, a feat which to this day has never been matched (thank you Dodgers).  The first championship saw the Dark Lord pitch 8 strong innings and hit two homers in the deciding Game 6, including the Series winner, while I got IM updates from a computer chair in China.  In 2008, Spoon hit the most dramatic homerun in HRL history to walk off Game 7 in 17 innings against the Red Sox.  In 2009, a rookie Pooh Bear lined a two run double off the chain link in the deciding game against the Red Sox.  A dynasty was cemented.

in 2010, Spoon left, and in the two years that followed, Palp, Pooh and I tried to figure out how to win without our friend/son/nation’s best player.  Then there was the day that Nightmare and I shared a beer on All Star night, and a friendship and camaraderie began to grow.  The Nightmare era began, and we were ready to go back for The Cup, but the Gothmas kept standing in our way.  in 2014, Hardball and Handsome joined the team, and we slayed the two time defending champion Gothams behind two Hardball homeruns in the Eagan finals, to finally get back to the World Series.

That year the Nationals trilogy began with a crushing defeat, took a resounding step forward behind Nightmare’s bat in 2015, and culminated for us in the 2016 HRL Championship, the proudest moment of my Reds career.

Then in 2017, a team of young upstarts shocked us, as Psych and Epstein hit back to back homers in consecutive at bats of different games, taking the young Dodgers from the brink of elimination, to leading the decisive game of the Eagan division series in a matter of moments.  And in 2018 we fell to the Marlins in the first round, and the Yankees took us down in 2019.

And here we are today.  November 21st, 2019.  A day I frankly never thought would arrive. Today, I announce to wiffleball world, that after 13 long, glorious years in the HRL, America’s Favorite Wiffleball Team is folding.  The Reds are no more.  It’s time.  This past decade of managing the Reds has had some of the most joyful times of my life.  I am deeply grateful to every player who ever donned a Reds jersey, every wiffler who ever cheered for us, heckled us, taunted us, or smiled because of us.  Through it all, I have wished only to entertain you.  And to win.  And to play this game I love with my Comrades, because nothing on earth is more fun than being a grown adult playing wiffleball on a Minnesota summer night.

When I think about the Reds legacy, the saying “You either die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain” comes to mind.  I feel strongly, that we have accomplished both feats.

As my last act as manager, I have retained the rights to the team name, but have signed the deed for the franchise over to a new owner, who will make themselves known in due time.  

“Someday we’ll wave hello, and wish we never waved goodbye.”

Today, the Reds wave good bye.

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