Wiffle Ball Is Now Big Time In Grand Rapids
This is one of the "coolest" things I have seen in a long time. Wiffle Ball goes big time.
Why, in my day...which was just a "few" days ago, I was a wiffle ball master. We'd have monster games in our back yard.
Flash forward to 2011 and it truly has become a field of dreams because they built it and people came right here in Grand Rapids.
In case you missed it, WZZM takes you there.
This is the third straight year the city has become ground zero for wiffle ball.
It's one thing for a ten year old to coax their dad to the backyard for a game of catch. It's another thing to have a scoreboard, an organist and a couple hundred fans watching games.
Welcome to the back yard of John and Kara Doyle, who live in a subdivision on Grand Rapids' west side.
Three years ago, they built a wiffle ball field in their back yard and it's become an annual attraction for young players and parents from all over the area.
"We knew we had some property down there we could clear out," said John Doyle, who came up with the wiffle ball field idea. "We cleared out around twenty trees and brought in a landscaping company."
Three years ago, "Hollow Field" was born.
"We had 11 teams last year," added Doyle. "This year we have 18 [teams competing]."
Hollow Park now has several sponsors logos all over it, and there's a new addition for 2011 - the "Hollow Monster."
"It's 40 feet long by 16 feet high," said Doyle, describing the Fenway Park-like green wall that now occupies right field at Hollow Park.
"Next year we're going to have a terrace on top [of Hollow Monster] so that the kids can stand behind the wall and look down onto the field and cheer for their teams."
The Doyles provided free cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs to everybody who came out to the tournament Wednesday.
The games got underway around 11:00 o'clock in the morning.
Recently re-elected city commissioner, Walt Gutowski sang the National Anthem, and Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The tournament was double elimination, with the championship game held at 7:30 p.m.
"It's just giving back to our kids who live on the west side [of Grand Rapids]," said Doyle. "Nobody's ever a loser here at Hollow Park."