You can smell it……… The 2018 season is right around the corner. With March coming in on Thursday, it has awoken some of the players in Colonie Wiffleball to the yearly mayhem. 2017 was one for the books. Looking back at it, it was transitional year. A lot of up’s and down’s, a lot of unique things happened, new faces adjusted to a new style of play, and most of all, the league came together when it should have. The first ever winter meeting combining team captains both in person and virtually came together to go over the functionality of the league. Compared to some we may not have the numbers or the excessive amounts of talent that other leagues have although, our guys have/can go up against anyone in the country. What we do have is a collective of friends, schoolmates, and colleagues who all get together to share in a pastime that is a childhood game played by adults (50-70 times a year!!). Considering as we age and grow, the number of baseball leagues dwindle and this for us is our version of the major leagues. We take it serious, we expand, we argue, but most of all we just love to play no matter what it is. Looking back on 2017, it’s one of those years that makes us look forward more than back compared to recent seasons. The drive and the unification to make this work is all still there from every team, captain, and player.
In 2017, we saw the first ever expansion team win a WS Title in their first season. The Mets dominated the entire year, struggled in the WS and mounted a comeback solely on the back (or should we say right arm of Josh Camp). Down 4-2 in the series, the series drew out allowing for Camp to get the necessary rest to grind through the Yankees lineup that won the year before. It was a great series that came down to three moments. They often say that things happen in threes and with us this was no exception for this series. But the Mets came back to win in 9 games. This triggered the off-season that was mentioned above and now have a number of things that came out of November and December. Along with WS MVP, Josh Camp won CY Young and Rookie of The Year. He is only the third person in history to do so. Michael Ilyadis won his 16th MVP award, while Anthony Gadani won his 7th Gold Glove Award in 9 years. The league had 10+ people with at least 10 home runs, and six pitchers with 8 wins or more.
In the off-season though, it is worth mentioning that a number of rules have been added or changed for the 2018 season. These rule changes were brought about because of the expansion of the league among several other events that occurred over the course of 2017. We saw a disregard for rules or “gentlemen’s agreement’s” that we’ve had for a long time and for 2018 these will provide a significant change of strategy and approach for all teams in the league. In 2018, and something that occurred after the winter meeting, was the expansion of the Phillies to the league. Even though the Phillies were a team from 2011-2013. They will be managed and run by Alen Kalic a soon to be seven season veteran. He will bring along a rookie, a great pitcher in Dakota Jackson, and role player in Jesse Coppolo. This team looks to make a splash and Kalic is very excited about this team. Predictions will be posted as we get closer to the start of the season and rosters get completely filled (remember, 5 max, and that includes your substitute) out. it should be an exciting year and the buzz from the players kind of insures that we are in for something special in 2018.