26 Jun The Greatest WIFFLE Ball Team Name Ever! Championship is Live!!!
The Greatest WIFFLE Ball Team Name Ever!
The Big One: A Championship Match-up Begs the Big Q: “What’s in the name?”
Thursday, June 25 through Saturday, June 27 (Ayup! It’s Live!)
Broadview Bombers vs Weekend Wifflers
It’s often been asked, “So, what’s in the name?”
SLAMT1D’s “The Greatest WIFFLE Ball Team Name Ever!” tournament is loaded with so many cool names like Sick of Pricks, Gluten Mutants, Dugout Dawgs, Purple Pumpers and even some Wagoneers! While we all would’ve preferred to be playing WIFFLE ball for real or cheering on our favorite team instead of pleading with friends on social media to cast online votes, everyone’s gone after this virtual title as though they’ve swung a bat at one of those whacky wiffle curves. They’re giving their all to chase a tournament trophy; kind of like battling a disease that doesn’t take breaks. Everyone’s been “all in.”
Sixty-four team names were selected from 184 possible entrants. Some crazier than others, some with more rhyme or phonetic flow, and still others with transcendent, everlasting meaning in memoriam, such as Matty’s Men or Livin’ The Dream. Every single team in SLAMT1D tournaments has a wonderful, compelling story behind its name. Here’s a brief look inside the names of our championship contestants, Broadview Bombers and Weekend Wifflers.
The Broadview Bombers’ core group hails from New Milford, CT but has drawn players from Connecticut, New York, Florida, and heck, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were another half-dozen states represented on the Bomber roster given the places they’ve been. The captain, chief organizer and tireless wiffler is Mikey Pascento, and he’s got some serious backing from his dad, Mike Pascento. Mikey makes the Energizer Bunny look like its D cell is runnin’ low! He and his crew played in their first SLAMT1D tournament in Connecticut in 2012, at one of our first test tournaments using our new mobile WIFFLE ball stadiums. They entered as young middle-schoolers who just loved WIFFLE ball; no connection to Type 1 diabetes. They liked our cause, but it was the game that really drew their participation. The Bombers played again in the same tournament in 2013. On October 7, two months after the tournament, Jeff Kolok, our co-founder and CEO, received a call from Mikey’s dad. “Hey Jeff, do you have a minute?” He proceeded to share some news neither man wanted to hear. “I’m in Mikey’s doctor’s office. Mikey’s just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.” At that point, however budding the relationship was between the two men and their families, it immediately took on a deeper, missional and special bond. Mike wrapped up the call this way: “We liked what SLAM is doing with its games, but now, we understand and we’re in.”
And how! The Broadview Bombers have played in thirteen SLAMT1D tournaments in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida and are regulars in SLAMT1D’s Vermont Summer Classic every June. Mikey is now entering his sophomore year at the University of Tampa and he’s doing a great job managing his T1D. One doesn’t need much time with MP to catch his enthusiasm for life: he’s not going to let T1D get in the way of living life to its fullest.
The Weekend Wifflers are from Saint Albans, Vermont and they play some serious WIFFLE ball, with Cayden Chevalier central inspiration for it all. Cayden was diagnosed with T1D when he was just two years old; ten years ago. Cayden’s uncle, Collin Chevalier, has been on the Wifflers since their first entry in the Vermont Summer Classic in 2013, and he’s been playing, fundraising and volunteering in huge ways ever since. The Wifflers have won three championships, once in Vermont and twice in Tampa, Florida. While Cayden’s the inspiration for the Wifflers, their organizer and leader is Dan Pion, a name many of you have seen. Dan is a SLAMT1D’s tournament coordinator and do-anything, do-everything volunteer. He logs more hours on behalf of SLAMT1D than Carter’s has those little liver pills! Here’s what’s remarkable about Dan: He does it without any direct connection to Type 1 diabetes, and yet acts on behalf of T1Ders as though he or a loved one has it. Dan “gets it” as much as any non-T1Der we know. Oh, and he’s got an obstacle that’d keep many of us from achieving what he does. Dan is a quadriplegic. A swimming accident years ago took away much, but that hasn’t taken away his capacity for impacting the lives of those around him. We’re pretty sure his wheelchair has an extra battery or two because Dan’s gotta have extra weight that must come with an oversized, caring heart!
THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH-UP IS LIVE! OVER 1300 VOTES HAVE ALREADY BEEN CAST! IF YOU HAVEN’T VOTED, GO TO SLAMT1D’S FACEBOOK PAGE AND VOTE FOR THE BOMBERS OR WIFFLERS TO CLAIM SLAMT1D’S GREATEST WIFFLE BALL TEAM NAME EVER!