NEWS

26

Turns out this article was due over a year ago, but I just couldn’t bring myself to write it. Keep in mind I DO NOT want to write this, but it has become pretty clear that he’s not coming back. Unfortunately, I believe we’ve seen our final HRL game played out of Dennis “DJ” Demming Jr.

DJ started his HRL career in 2007 for a franchise that many of you won’t remember happened – The Colt .45s. Imagine what this team (probably) should have been, but never was. The original Colt .45s consisted of:

  • Daubs
  • DJ
  • Nightmare (it’s true he wasn’t always a super best friend of the Reds)
  • TT
  • And some dude named Trent (Played for 2 years)

This team had it all. Buddy / buddy connections, cousins (or some sort of relation connection), a teacher, a city worker, and at least 2 lawyers. Their only problem? They drew a division with the Braves and Padres and they ended the season with a 17-21 record. The highlight? DJ leading the team in pretty much every stat in his rookie season:

AVG .362
HR 24
RBI 59
R 53
W 7
IP 66
ERA 2.73

In 2008 the .45s added a guy named “Fella” (he also lasted 2 years). DJ did DJ things as he led the team in all the same stats as the previous season except ERA (Nightmare 4.24). He offset that by leading the team with a single save though. Unfortunately, the Colts had a rough season and ended the year with a record of 12-24.

2009 is where Chops & I come in. After the 2008 season the Braves roster was yet again in flux – to the point where Chops & I were considering folding the franchise. Edgar had gone rouge & declared himself a free agent (I hope he found his happiness) and Box understandably left for Eagan due to the length of drive to Hopkins from his house. Just as we were considering reaching out to other teams to see who might be interested in adding 2 former MVPs (oh what could have been huh K-Mart?) the rumor mill heated up and it was mentioned to us that Daubs and DJ might be interested in finding a new home.  After a parlay at JJ’s Clubhouse (beer, pizza, red pepper flake shots) terms on forming this new look Braves were agreed upon and the franchise finally found what would end up being the roster core for the next 7 years.

DJ was a solid if not spectacular player for the Braves. During his run with the Braves he went 72-30 as a pitcher and contributed as a key component for what we termed the “Braves Offensive Machine.” Ultimately DJ played 13 years in the HRL: 2 for the Colt .45s and another 11 for the Braves. He played his last game on August 8, 2019 against the Biscuits. He hit a HR, drove in 4 RBI, and helped the Braves lose 11-12.

Wiffleball is more than just the game for many of use. It’s a time to gather with friends, get away from the daily grind, and develop social bonds with people you might not normally meet. I didn’t know DJ when he joined the league, but I’m glad he did and I’m glad I was able to call him my teammate for all those years. We never won an HRL Championship in all those years playing together, but we did have a lot of good times on and off the field. It is because of the HRL I get to call him my friend.

A career in review for your HRL HOF consideration:

In case you missed it DJ was a damn fine wiffleball player. In my opinion he never got enough respect for his pitching. Then again when your team scores a lot of runs I suppose it’s easy to overlook the guy with a 2.52 career ERA.

Player page: https://hrltwincities.com/Player-Homepage/PlayerCareerStats/plid/156

Career Hitting Stats & All-Time rankings:

Games Played: 455 (18th)
PA: 3071 (10th)
AB: 2797 (9th)
R: 677 (5th)
H: 870 (8th)
HR: 266 (12th)
RBI: 702 (4th)
SAC: 13 (11th)
ROE: 59 (59th)
AVG: .311 (T-33rd)
OBP: .368 (T-55th)
SLG: .611 (T-45th)
OPS: .979 (47th)

Career Pitching Stats & All-Time rankings:

Games: 142 (15th)
Record: 83-42 (13th)
Saves: 6 (T-12th)
SHO: 31 (T-5th)
IP: 731 (16th)
K: 1228 (8th)
ERA: 2.52  
WHIP: 1.048  

Yellow Slammer Award Winner 2008

Multiple All-Star selections as both hitter and pitcher

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