We had a dream. We had a dream that one day, our brothers from both cities in HRL: Twin Cities, Hopkins and Eagan, would come together and unite to take down evil wiffle doers nationwide. Instead, we’re coming together to take on the NWLA in Columbus Ohio the weekend of July 19-21..
HRL has a long history of traveling to wiffleball tournaments. From Iowa, to Michigan, to Illinois, the state of Minnesota has not been able to contain us. We look forward to bringing our fun loving brand of wiffleball to a Motel 6 in Ohio, and if we can wake up in time, quite possibly to the NWLA tournament itself.
With that said, here are the HRL’s cast of characters you will see:
Manager – Pat “Truck” Moriarty – The godfather of Midwestern wiffleball, Truck has made an impact on the sport nationwide. His influence can be seen in the form of countless websites, multimedia, and tributes from wifflers far and wide. He is a member of both the HRL and NWLA Halls Of Fame. His determination to grow the sport and passion to see it flourish are unparalleled…
You will see none of that in Columbus, however. What you will see is a heckler in a lawn chair swilling beer.
Erik “H8R/Princess/The Legend” Ganeles - When we were picking dudes to head out to Columbus (read: anyone who was available and could count to at least 7), we realized our team was just… just… just too damn nice. Cue H8R from the 2012 HRL champion Eagan Gothams. Definitely one of the more skilled hecklers in the HRL, H8R’s shtick is pushing people’s buttons to get under people’s skin all in the name of fun. Off the field H8R is a bit of a gym rat, and a possible pedophile, we’re still waiting for his background check to come back so stay tuned on that. Have you seen the dude’s mustache? Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.
On the field, Princess has drastically improved his pitching over the past couple years. After being voted as an all-star pitcher in 2012 he is following it up with another stellar performance on the mound this year. Don’t expect this guy to hit any less than 20 home runs in a given year with his biceps (don’t worry, he’ll be wearing wife beaters to show them off). I’d not expect him to be voted to fun-star but he has definitely solidified himself in his own corner of the league. While fielding, expect to hear a lot of “YEP!” Don’t worry, you’ll grow to love him (or pull a gun on him, I guess I don’t know how readily available firearms are in Ohio).
Ben “Box” Gapinski – Box is a 6 year HRL veteran, and among the most respected players in the league. A member of the Eagan Pilots and a private school math teacher by trade, Box has frequently wasted donors’ money by recruiting his best students to calculate the most effective angles, velocity, and gyration needed for pitching a wiffleball. The end result has been reflected in his sharp pitch movement. Box is the 2008 Hopkins Rookie of the Year, the 2010 Eagan MVP, and a 2 time All-Star.
Travis “Two Bat” Heyda - As part of a trio of brothers (Pork Buoy and Spaz) that entered the league in 2007, Two Bat will forever be linked to Team O’Doyle of the Hopkins White Sox. After being a bit feisty in his first couple years in the league with some of the veterans, he has definitely grown up and chilled out a bit. I guess I can’t really blame the guy for being a little bit of a douche in his first couple seasons. First of all, he was like 13 when he got in the league and secondly I can’t really blame anyone who has had to suffer the pain of not being able to enjoy a BEER. IN. CANS. at the wiffle rinks for more than 12 minutes (Hopkins has a police/fire station right near the field, we’re responsible people folks).
Similar to H8R on the field, Two Bat has improved his pitching (and heckling) in more recent years being selected to the HRL All-Star team in 2012 as a pitcher. Most of the league attributed this to the fact that he a lost good chunk of weight last year after affectionately (that’s what we tell him at least) being called “Three Bat” for a couple seasons. Though his fielding skills are questionable because he is often caught staring at the tennis girls, he is a perennial All-Star at the plate earning National Hitter of the Year in 2009 for the NWLA (most of the voters were drunk at the time we think, though we can’t point fingers).
Nate “Vlade” Hill - Ah Vlade. Our resident grumpy old man with a stellar beard that if seen in the right moonlight, can truly shine majestic shades of silver and white. A beer connoisseur and part of the HRL Blue Jays, Vlade makes fun of his own teammates just as much as the opposing team. Along with fellow BJ Eddie Bauer, Vlade is one of the HRL’s best videographers and commentators and has established himself off the field as a great contributor to the yearly league DVD’s.
A true Fun-Star through and through, this old fart is a good time on the field. Though he is often found with a plethora of great beer choices don’t expect him to see double at the plate: even with onset arthritis he won the league-wide batting title in 2012 and belted 26 dingers.
Rob “Beardfacé” Raymond - When Beardfacé/Breadface isn’t at the wiffle rinks either mowing people down on the mound, mashing homeruns at the plate, or grooming the fields for the rest of us he can be found in the nearest silver maple tree grooming the shit out of it. Seriously, the guy spends more time manicuring and taking care of trees than Justin Bieber spends being a complete douche bag. Indeed, Beardface enjoys most of the Earth’s green creations. His best friend is a fucking squirrel.
Although Beardface is the newest HRL'er on this esteemed all-star (again read: only people available) team, his short tenure certainly isn’t lacking in any accolades. He was part of the Orioles crew that took the league by storm in 2010 and won the HRL Cup in only their second year. Hell, the pompous bastards even broke up the band to split into groups in 2012 (Beardy’s team, the Nationals, heading over to Eagan and the Senators sticking in Hopkins) just to see if they could play each other at the Cup. After playing second fiddle for a year or two for MVP and Cy-Wiffles in Hopkins, the move to Eagan for Beardface proved to be a smart move as he took MVP and Cy-Wiffles honors in his first year on the east side, no small feat (unless you ask someone from Hopkins, then it is a cake walk). Did I mention the dude is a lock for an HRL All-Star every year at pitcher and batter?
Expect to find Beardy dazzling batters with his beard and dirty pitches. If only he still had his dreamy Johnny Damon hair too, the rest of the NWLA field would be screwed.
Dan “Rex” Recchio – Rex joined HRL in 2009, and immediately made an impact. A career .356 hitter with a sub-1.0 WHIP, and a 9.81 K/6 rate, Rex is an all-around threat. He is the 2009 Eagan Rookie of the Year, 2011 Eagan MVP, and a 4 time All-Star. Rex spends his free time coaching high school wrestling, and grooming his 7 year old son to take over the wiffle world. You will see him at the NWLA tournament in 2027 (you’d see him this year in place of Vlade if his mom would let him stay up past 9:00).