WIFFLE Origins: Adam "Milzy" Milsted
As did most of the WIFFLE community, my story starts in the backyard. Growing up playing at my grandparents' house or in my own yard.
Then we started playing in my friend, Tustin's, backyard. That's when it started to get serious. It seemed like every day of the summer we would be over there playing. Finally, one year, one of my best friends, Ian Crosby, saw WIFFLE Up was coming to Philly. Crosby had played in a tournament a few years prior and told me how awesome it was. Ian, Tustin, Panara, and Jeff had won 1st place in their age bracket.
We signed up… and so began our competitive WIFFLE careers! That first tournament (2006) we went in our high school baseball uniforms and if I'm not mistaken, our team name was Heights Baseball… how creative. I don't remember how we did that first year, but my guess is we lost to 10 Run Rule, Old School Risers, or Free Beer in the playoffs. That seemed to be the case for a while. Those guys were good and still crush the game today!
2007… our second year at WIFFLE Up! This time we would bring our friend Mike Baumhauer along. We were sitting in the car before the tournament started and shocker, we didn't have a team name yet. We decided the next song to come on the radio would be our team name...https://youtu.be/MrTz5xjmso4
The first line of the song, you're "way too beautiful" girl. And there it was. The team name that is known across the country now… Way Too Beautiful.
Way Too Beautiful today is myself (Adam Milsted), Ian Crosby, Mike Baumhauer, Brett Poulton, Kenny Sturman, Erick Schules, and honorary players that have filled in a lot over the years, like Connor Young.
We used to keep track of local tournaments that we wanted to play in. When I say local, that would include Hicksville, NY where we would travel a couple hours to play in WIFFLE Up against some great teams/players. Doom, Ryan Wood, The Absolute Gunners, In The Box… to name a few. Anyway, I digress. We used to keep track of these tournaments on a Word document. The summer of 2015 I was down the shore in Ocean City, NJ and thought, let's see what I can do.
That's when WIFFLEBallTournaments.com was created. I made a very simple website hoping it would just make it easier for us to track tournaments. If you notice, the color scheme of the website is an ode to W2B (Way Too Beautiful).
The first year, I ended with 1,000+ views on the site. I was pumped. I honestly thought 10 people would be using it… fast forward to the end of 2016. Any guesses on how many views the site got? 30,000… that's right. I couldn't believe it. That's crazy! I would've never guessed it would be doing so well, but I'm beyond stoked. I'd like to think it has helped the sport grow over the last 5 years and is leading to more traveling WIFFLE-rs.
WIFFLE has taken me to some pretty awesome places over my long career. I've been to Vegas, Savannah, Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. All for WIFFLE ball! So I'd love to see the sport continue to grow. Which leads us here today. The next chapter. National WIFFLE. My site isn't going anywhere, but a group of us are putting together the new National WIFFLE site. It'll have everything WIFFLE orientated that you want/need to know. You'll still be able to use WIFFLEBallTournaments.com to find tournaments and leagues across the nation so don't worry about that, but I'm excited for this National WIFFLE site to go live because I believe it will help the sport continue to grow. It'll have pictures, videos, stats, tournaments, leagues, rankings, articles, podcasts… literally everything.
Good luck in the 2020 season my fellow WIFFLE-rs!