The Time Of Their Lives
Page 8
Dean Evans never could have guessed how much becoming a dominating wiffleball player would pay off in life.
SFS/CW History
Page 15
We don't expect everyone to have our past memorized, so get primed before we hit the field!
Master of Disguise
Page 20
Mark Montgomery hides behind a foil wall at CW Invites. What our new reporter found out was that's not the only place he hides.
SFS Stats
Page 26
Find out just how many HRs Eric Christensen gave up last year.
Kids Corner!
Page 28
What kid doesn't like an impossible crossword puzzle?
Site Review: Fat Bastard
Page 31
Fat Bastard has the best tournament in the country! Their website tho has the worst editors in the country!
Cliff's Notes
Page 32
Cliff returns with thoughts on...eh, who the hell cares.
Also!

  Commish Says!  ::  5 Questions!  ::  Videos!


Big Thank You To Our Advertisers!

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Hello once again everybody! I hope everyone's having a good holiday month! Mine has been a blast! On Thanksgiving, my bro, gf and I got together for a feast. Tuna noodle casserole, salad and of course a Rockstar™! Total grubbin'. After that Terry unveiled dessert, which was a bomb "chocolate chip cookie" pie and tin full of chocolate chip tea cookies. Way to go Terry! Claire fell asleep a couple times afterward during The Sandlot, but don't worry I woke her up before the best part...right before the very end when Bennie and that dorky guy gave each other a thumbs up at the Dodgers game for some reason. Got a little dusty!

You like the new site? We hope it accurately captures the spirit that is our league's Swingin' For Santa festivities. For those wondering, Jason Eberhardt and I buried the hatchet last year and are now on what I'd call "amicable" terms.

Speaking of, it's great to see so many of the wiffleball2k alums making waves in the real world. As you'll see in the coming pages (scroll to the right, money) former wb2kers are storming this big planet. Business owners, entrepreneurs, DJs, pitch men for sort-of-suspicious products. The marriages and the kids were expected, even for the most repugnant among us. But actual life success? Even I found that far-fetched for many of these guys. Happy to be proven wrong! Now go suppport your favorite plastic ballers! Also support your local international energy drink corporation and buy Rockstar™!

Clint will not be there, and Pat's doubtful, but Mark Montgomery will be at the table at CW6, looking to defend his title against the field. I for one am ready for my date with destiny and will be looking to come in under the 10 minute barrier. I'll refer to my personal motto, one I've repeated countless times: "Time To Stop Not Trying"

PS: Here's what I think about all this BCS nonsense: THE BCS SUCKS! That's all that needs to be said. Is Notre Dame still good?




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Hi! Recently I got the pleasure to sit down with one of the legends of the league, Mr. Joey Creighton's dad! He played a lot of years and still remembers a lot too. He also got to play with James Vassar! Let's get right to it!

Cliff Rancho: Hi!
Greg Creighton: Hi Cliff, how are you?

AWESOME! Thanks for asking! How are you?
Uhh, I'm fine. What can I do for you?

Can I ask you some questions??!
Go right ahead.

Ok! #1 How are you doing?
I'm doing really well...is this interview going to get going soon?

Oh yah, it's going right now! Ok, question #2, do you like wiffleball?
What I like about wiffleball is that you can scale down the game to workable dimensions and still provide a realistic feel for the game of baseball with the standard dimensions. My body would scream after playing a Sat. or Sun. group of games, so I don't miss that part, or sitting and watching some pathetic player walk 6 guys in a row. At that point I would rather go read a book. 

Ok, so that's a....yes?
To a degree (why did I OK this interview request? This guy's a douche).

Who's a douche? Someone around you? OK! #3 Do you think the wiffleball league will start up again?
Here in Chico? By the same group? Can't see it since the Creighton boys are in Wash now.

So you don't think there will be a Swingin' For Santa?
I'm not putting "Swingin for Santa" in the same category as "starting the league up"...you know Cliff you're starting to annoy me the way you twist my words...

Oh I'm sorry! I didn't mean to. Ok, two more questions. #4 who was your favorite teammate?
Oh man there were so many, let's see there was, uh, and of course, uh, let me see, no not him, uh, well let's say to many to mention or to single out just one.

Cool! My favorite teammate was James Vassar! Not that I ever teamed up with him, but I just know it would have been super awesome! Ok, last question. Who is your favorite pro wrestler? Mine is John Cena!
James was a intense competitor, the main reason I drafted him was because I hated facing him when he was pitching. He had at times some very wicked stuff. My favorite wrestler? In my day some of the names that I recall are: Ray Stevens, Pepper Gomez, Kenji Shibuya, Killer Kowalski, and of course Gorgeous George. I can't tell you what a pleasure this interview has been...so I won't.

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t isn't what you would call a match made in heaven. Back in 1998, Jason Eberhardt sported non store-bought facial hair, bumped Ice Cube in his camaro, bashed deep HRs in his rookie wiffleball campaign, and beat up guys like Joe Creighton on a regular basis. Dean Evans, on the other hand, had a mere dusting of dirt on his upper lip, watched pro wrestling (shh, he still thinks it's real!), dinked a bunch of weak opposite field singles in his rookie wiffleball campaign, and got beat up on a regular basis by Joe Creighton. Thanks to one glorious day at the Sac in late 2009 though, despite no prior meeting between them, the two opposites are now inseparable.

It was at last year's Swingin' For Santa festivities that Jason, the 1998 Rookie of the Year (in his only season), reappeared in the league he'd deserted 11 years earlier. And on his team stood Dean Evans, one of the least-imposing players in the league's 10-year history. If the two had run across each other before, it was probably years ago, Jason no doubt doing something Eberhardt-esque, perhaps cutting in front of Dean in line at Taco Bell. About an hour after the first pitch though, they were like long-lost friends as their team danced to a 22-8 thrashing. The duo combined to go 10-14 with 6 HRs and multiple forearm shivers. After an inning that saw Eberhardt go yard in addition to Dean TWICE hitting the light pole in CF, Evans stepped to the mound and starting rifling the ball at the opposing batters, looking nothing like the wimpy frolfer who

ended his career with a 5.48 ERA that today ranks 3rd-worst among all WB2Kers with more than 50 career IP, ahead of only Derek Byrd and the woeful Eric Christensen. Dean was eventually named the day's MVP.

"Even though he was wearing jeans, he looked like the best player in the league," says Jason, who today sits on the pewter green couch in Dean Evans' living room, as Dean takes his turn in Tiger Woods golf. Dean's two year-old daughter has just woken up from a nap in the other room and is crying. Dean's focus remains solid though as he attempts a 35 yd putt for par. Jason's 2 year-old son has been awake the whole 3 hours I've been here, and he's been eating for all but what seems like just a few minutes. He looks like he could pass for a five year-old and routinely taunts "Uncle Dean." After Dean misses the putt, Jackson drops down and starting doing pushups right in front of him.

"Whatever," says Dean, trying unsuccessfully to seem unimpressed with the two year-old man-child who's been plowing through Dean's pantry all day. Jason laughs and cracks open another Pale Ale while Dean's daughter continues to cry in the other room.

Dean and Jason's friendship began shortly after the SFS 2009 game that brought them together.They exchanged phone numbers and soon started regular phone calls. Phone calls turned into movie outings and, over the summer, some of Dean's favorite sports,

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followed by Chico Outlaws baseball games in the evening.

"I've gotten Jason into frolfing...tennis...he's even come to a couple of my league bowling nights," states Dean.

"And let me tell you, he kicks my ass at all those sports!" says Jason, his eyes projecting what almost looks like a glint of admiration. "Not to mention Tiger Woods golf!" And with similar-aged kids, these playdates are now common occurances for the two as the wives get a chance to escape for a few hours.

"My wife can't stand Dean," says Jason rather matter-of-factly as he sets up his approach shot on the 16th hole. "I don't get it either. Even though I've told her multiple times about those back-to-back pole shots, and the time he bowled a 189 with nothing but behind-the-back shots, and the time he threw a -2 at Oroville Municipal Disk Golf Course. So she doesn't see him much, and wants at least 24 hours notice if he's coming to our house. But I've changed a bunch since high school. I could be a little intimidating back then, I suppose. I don't know where Dean went to high school but he probably would have hated me. Now look at us!"

It's this seeming transformation that has saved Dean in his few friendship with Pleasant Valley High School's former BMOC candidate. Jason apparently doesn't realize that Dean did in fact go to the same high school that he did, graduating only one year later, and has no recollection of Dean that is


Two Men And A Baby Wife-less trips to the baseball stadium were a routine summer activity for the No Girls Club

anything other than the guy bashing HRs Eberhardt-style and firing the fastest bullets from the mound one day a year ago. Thanks to that one game--just one inning and 7 ABs--Dean is seen in Jason's eyes as being nearly as alpha as he is. And nothing Dean says or does seems to change that perception.

"Perhaps most impressive is this guy's wrestling knowledge," says Jason. "He's got notebooks full of Monday Night Raw trivia! I heard he also used to be in a trampoline wrestling fed!"

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Alpha Male? Players are now wondering if Dean Evans of all people really is one of the best players in the league

When it comes to whether he'll be at SFS 2010, Eberhardt plays coy, perhaps hesitant to show any sort of devotion to the league he once simultaneously dominated and ridiculed. It *is* hard to top going 6-7 with 4 HRs, and Jason would likely be dissatisfied with anything less.

"I might be there...maybe if Dean agrees to show up too," he says. "And if Dean and I end up on the same team again, expect a similar beatdown. How did this guy not win the MVP every year back in the day?!" Dean laughs nervously at this rhetorical question, and it's clear he's never admitted to Jason his former failures as a wiffleballer. Lucky for him, Jason is too busy to check the website for Dean's real-life career stats. It's unlikely he even knows this league still has a website.

For a moment the house is silent. Dean's

daughter has suspiciously stopped crying. Jason's son, oblivious to his father's admiration, is quietly shoveling Cheez-Its into his mouth and glaring at Dean. It's been a good year for these two SFS studs, their burgeoning friendship growing into a seemingly unbreakable bond.

"Totally Jaybird, we'd dominate everybody at the...field" says Dean, ending the unbearable silence, his voice breaking ever-so-slightly. "Me and you would hit lots of...deep homeruns. Especially off Creighton."

"Yeeeeaaahhhh," drawls Jason, after a swig of Pale Ale. "Creighton sucks!" His belch serves to hammer home the point.

They then perform one of the most awkward 7-step handshakes ever recorded in human history. Outside, it starts to rain. Dean cracks open a grape soda. ♦

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The 2005 debut of our Swingin' For Santa party was actually an extension of the winter-fied weekend(s) we'd done in years past (dubbed "Winterball"). But 2005 was the first get-together since the league disbanded in 2003, so these would not be practice games for the upcoming season. These would be the only two games of the year, as the commish now lived in Seattle. Missing the excitement of wiffleball web design, Terry and Joe put together a little mini-site and a tradition was born.

2005
  
Videos : Stats

The Games:
The long time between the last day of the official league and the first SFS gameday (roughly 26 months) meant players were bubbling with excitement but were for the most part rusty as all hell. Twelve guys played in all and the league bat only .230 for the day, with a slightly-below-avg 10.9 AB/HR ratio. Joe Creighton and Clint Wattenberg, both formerly of the Horsemen, did not suffer, accounting for half the hits, including 7 of the 13 total extra-base hits.
The Gifts:
Since the event now "included" Santa, and it went down on Xmas Eve, the Creighton Bros. felt obligated to provide gifts for all nice enough to show up. DVDs of all available league-produced highlight videos were handed out. About 30 miutes later the DVDs no longer worked on most DVD players. But they made one hell of a coaster.
The Misc:
Three young girls were running around blasting Beatles songs and flirting with Nate Stuempfig. Darnell played with an injured back, limping all over the field and testing everybody's patience. Mike Walsh showed up on his lunch break from work, wearing jeans. He couldn't stay but for his effort he walked home with a highlight DVD coaster.

2006
  
Videos : Stats

The Games:
Oy. The first game went 10 innings until someone finally scored (on a based-loaded DP). The 2nd game was a bit more run-of-the-mill, but overall the league hit only .206 and hit a HR only every 15.3 ABs.

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It was really bad. And they couldn't even blame rain. Or hail.
The Gifts:
Terry and Joe showed up with the fruits of their newest stupid hobby, personally-labeled bottles of rancid homemade soda. People were polite regarding the effort but Jeff Morrison was overheard lamenting that he "wished we'd gotten them an xbox or something."
The Misc:
Terry faked having plantar fasciitis and was limping around with a boot, trying to elicit sympathy. In all, 16 players picked up a bat. Joe Creighton put up good offensive numbers again, cementing his legacy. Of course, he also donned a silly hat that Clint Wattenberg thought was made from the living room carpet and promptly grounded into a game-ending double play. Clint Wattenberg wore a hideous reflective vest.

2009
  
Videos : Images : Stats

The Games:
Oy again. Three years passed before we got together again, and in the meantime the league members forgot how to pitch. Batting-practice conditions as well as the miraculous return of Jason Eberhardt (and his suspicious not-technically-the-wiffle-brand bat) brought the offense back to heights not seen since those famous Holy Whites/Y&R matchups in 2001.
The Gifts:
Jeff may have been wishing for an xbox in 2006, imagine his disappointment when Terry and Joe unveiled multiple-colored versions of "What Would Vassar Do?" silicon bracelets that surely nobody except Joe has worn since that day.
The Misc:
Commish Creighton tried to make peace with his enemy from 1998 (Eberhardt), to what most would call no success. There were two non-mom women in attendance, and only one fell asleep. Eberhardt rejected a bases-loaded BB in his first AB of the day and then promptly hit a grand slam on the next pitch.

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CW1
  
Videos

Pat Plummer yacked about being a better/faster eater than Mister Wattenberg. Commish Creighton wanted to put them head-to-head. With Clint in town for Thanksgiving break, the timing never worked and instead we got Clint in a handicap match against two scrubs. Clint lost. It was the definition of anti-climactic.

CW2
  
Videos

One month later the Commish finally got his head-to-head dream match, and thanks to a inspired undercard, the event was a smash. Patrick took Clint to the limit but untimately fell short, both men posting insane times. Eric Christensen won the "undercard" and Nate Ogden from CW1 couldn't even beat Joe Creighton.

CW3
  
Videos

There was no Pat Plummer, so Clint Wattenberg cruised to victory at CW3 over Eric Christensen. The undercard stepped it up though, with our first ever women taking part in the carnage. Surprisingly, only one of the two women beat Joe Creighton.

CW4
  
Videos

Pat Plummer returned and finally made good on his promise. He narrowly defeated Clint and unseated the champ. Terry and Darnell broke ranks and finished apart for the first time, and despite a promise to win, Joe Creighton actually finished last.

CW5
  
Videos

With no Wattenberg and no Plummer, the field became the favorite for once, and after the dust settled it still managed to be an upset as Mark snuck by a pained Nate Stuempfig in the final seconds to take his first title despite finishing 3rd-to-last at CW4.

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e rises early, damn near before the sun, and heads straight to the kitchen. With purpose, it seems. Rummaging through a cupboard, he produces a bowl and a box of what must be cereal. No milk, apparently. He eats alone and quietly, above the kitchen sink that affords him a view of his spacious backyard. The sun, now barely above the horizon, bounces off the reflective running vest I realize I shouldn't have worn and almost finds its way through the kitchen window into his retinas. Though noise-wise I'm protected by about 40' and two panes of glass, I hold my breath, hoping for a distraction. Anything. He turns briefly to put the box of Smart Start back on the shelf, and with the speed and wits of a frightened toddler I bolt from the shrubs. That time was a little close. I was almost spotted stalking Mark Montgomery.

None of this tomfoolery would be necessary if Mark, the 2009 Clint Wattenberg Invitational champion, would have agreed to help me out with this feature. But the same man who during competitions hides his face and eating progress between a thin layer of foil, wouldn't even grant me a five minute interview. Also, he recently rejected my plea to let me use his bathroom since I really had to go after a long day of rooting through his trash and it was a 35 minute walk home. That was weeks ago. Now my article is due to the Creighton brothers in 3 days and I'm desperate for any insight on how this formerly mediocre eater finished before everybody last time. Maybe if we start

from the beginning.

Mark was born in either 1981 or 1983 to two parents who, I think, lived in Chico, California. As evidenced by his calm demeanor (it seems impossible to rattle Mark...unless you're a stranger and threatening to drop a couple bricks in his toilet), I can only assume his childhood was fairly benign and happy. He isn't married but is living with a woman who might be his girlfriend (I saw them hug once while I hid in his backyard), and according to my best guesses he has two older sisters and one younger brother. Maybe the recently-discovered ability to eat fast was a repressed art from a childhood spent with his brother?

He drives a red Toyota that looks about 15 years old, and sometimes he rides his bike to work. His bike has two wheels. It is not a tricycle...or a unicycle. At least I think he's riding to work; I can never seem to follow him in my car for more than a mile before I lose him. When he drives, he tends to drive responsibly, though he doesn't signal his turns when he rides his bike. Is it this recklessness that served him so well in '09?

While the field's avg time slowed, Mark's did not.
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Clint Wattenberg himself was apparently not impressed with Mark's winning time last year (7:13), even though it was faster than all comers. Surely Mark would not have beaten Clint, or CW4 champ Pat Plummer, but eating competitions can be dangerous and it was probably wise to do just enough to win. Needless to say, the burritos had never been larger than last year's, and Mark was the only competitor to actually not post his worst time ever. In fact, he posted his best time ever. How will he manage to outdo that performance?

This is where I'd insert a quote from Mark, where he makes a vague statement about perseverance and heart that doesn't really answer my question above, but fills up space and gets me closer to reaching my word count. But I have no quote. The only thing I have are the words "no" and “sorry” from when I tried to use his restroom. I tried to call Mark's father to see if he could give me any insight into the inner working of his son's mind, but I must have received the wrong number from my source. Instead I found myself haggling over the price of a Persian rug I didn't want. This must be par for the course when trying to track down the local man of mystery.

Like a magician and his tricks, many of us would like to know just how Mark Montgomery did it last year. It's not likely he was wrapping

Big Winner While the rest of the field trudged on, Mark was already planning for CW6
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up bites of his burrito in cloth napkins like they were mutton and stuffing them in his jacket pockets. Among the mere mortals at CW5, struggling with their own massive problems, Mark's victory likely showed them that they too could pull off the magic trick if only they can harness his secrets.

It's unlikely Mister Wattenberg will be at the table at CW6, and Pat Plummer himself seems a long shot. Which once again leaves the door wide open for everyone else. Nate Stuempfig almost did it last year but was outmaneuvered by Mark in the final seconds, the table stunned when Mark released his aluminum foil wall, exposing an

Sworn To Secrecy It's never easy knowing just how much puerco asado Mark has left on his plate

empty & clean plate.

Terry Creighton was only 20 seconds back. Eric Christensen only 38 seconds back. Just as one can only be underrated & successful for so long, so too is it hard to keep winning while maintaining your air of mystery. At CW6, the field won't see much, but rest assured everyone at the table will have one eye on their shrinking burrito, one eye on their shrinking appetite, and one eye on Mark Montgomery and his foil wall. I will join them...in the Creighton's backyard, in the bushes, watching through the window. Wondering just how close he is to raising his arms.

And why he had to make my life so hard and just done a damn interview. ♦

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Swingin' For Santa Highlights:

2009 - Highlights

2006 - Highlights

2005 - Darnell : Joe : Morrison : Eric : Misc.

CW Invite Highlights:

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Play the always challenging and always fun WB2K Crossword Puzzle!


Guaranteed* seconds of fun!

Kids will love the ultimate brain workout with our mind-bending crossword puzzles! See if they can answer the painfully esoteric topics regarding our ancient league, its many inside jokes, and other useless trivia.

* Not a guarantee

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The second link on Fat Bastard's top navigation bar is called “A Clue”. Now, in this sort of set-up, the top navigation is the most important part of the site. It’s what everyone looks at after getting over why there’s a picture of a dog on the banner. “A Clue” is second to Home, which is the most important. When clicking on “A Clue”, you get rewarded with one post from, I suppose, the commish, from back in 2007, about the “new” design and how to easy it is to navigate. An example being the search engine with the blank button next to it. There is also a link to their old site. As a designer, the first thing I want people to do is look at my old work! :D The next couple of links on the navigation bar provide valuable pre-2009 information. (Nothing has been updated for 2009, and 2010 was apparently canceled. Maybe because they're still updating the 2009 content. 2011 *will* happen though! For sure!)

“Categories” is on the left, because that is what you would look for next. I don’t think this league has ever met a category it didn’t like. I couldn’t help but escape into the wonderful world of alluring categories such

as “All the Others” and “The Professor”.

There’s this little section on the right (aka the last place you look) called “Pages”. This is where a Contact page resides that lets you know, if you happen to consider flying in, which airports are nearby. If you want an address or something to help figure things like WHERE you should book your hotel, you’re gonna have to wait for the official packet of information to come out.

Sarcasm aside, Fat Bastard's is a site we reviewed because there is a lot of content and it's still being updated. However...it’s depressing. There is absolutely no direction to the content, so it’s like looking at your co-worker's extremely messy desk. Yeah, HE knows where everything is, but you're confused and lost. This isn’t a desk though, it's a group that raises money for charities and puts a lot of time into their effort. It's just to bad they don’t have “A Clue” on how to keep their site together. Rating: *1/2 (out of *****)

-Terry Creighton

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Hi everybody! I finally got my own column...in official print! I can’t wait to have the actual copy in my hand! I can finally stop writing for stupid websites and wikipedia’s on the web. I’m gonna send it to all of my online friends. They're gonna be all, “sweeeettt!” and I’m gonna be all, “Yah, that ain’t nothing, wait till you see my spread on the next Men of Wiffleball calendar!” (Which hasn’t been leaked yet, so don’t tell anybody I said it!)

So I don’t know if you know this, but the back of magazines in the ‘stry (that’s short for ‘industry’!) is sectioned off for only the most important columns! Commissioner Creighton said they made sure to keep this section secure just for me! My mom said it was because the last page is always the least read, but what does she know, she’s not a well-published author like I am. At least


Concussions? Cliff's not impressed

Cliff Rancho  

I don't think she is. :\

But what was I talking about before? Uhhh…hmm, oh yah, Hi! Has anybody been watching football recently? This whole concussion thing is pretty stupid, huh? Why is everybody getting them? I think it’s because the players are not protecting themselves and this generation has been conditioned to be frail and puny. I know that if I was out there, I wouldn’t care about anything and let’s see if you can try and get me to get a concussion!

In other news, I started crocheting! It’s pretty remarkable what you’re capable of. With the sudden knowledge I decided to make gifts for all the players at the 2010 Swingin’ For Santa. I hope everybody looks forward to the WB2k Stockings I made! The Creighton’s have always given some pretty sweet gifts in the past, so I was humbled (yet not surprised) by the decision to hand them out as the official gift.

(Editor’s Note: We *ahem* lost them and will be presenting something else instead)

With that, I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to my favorite player in the wiffleball league: James Vassar. Let me know if you want to hangout!

E-mail me at cliffrancho1984@aol.com

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