After their first three games were canceled due to the weather, the college’s largest intramural wiffle ball team, Ragtag, finally played their first games last week. The team currently has 29 players and is still growing, although only four players are allowed on the field at a time. The rules of wiffle ball are very similar to those of baseball, with a pitcher and three outfielders. Confusing wiffle ball for tee ball is fairly common, but there is no tee. There also isn’t a catcher—instead there is a red plastic square to represent a strike zone. If the pitch hits the square, then the ball is a strike. If not, it’s considered a ball. Each batter is only allowed two strikes, but four balls are required for a walk, which advances the batter to second base, instead of first. It only takes two outs for the inning to be over, another deviation from standard baseball.
These slight changes in the rules can be a little confusing at first to team members as well as spectators. When asked if she understands the rules, Anna Mulhern ’22 responded, “No. But do I let that stop me? No.” Ragtag does have two additional rules beyond the official league rules. The first is that every player on the team must have a walk up song, and the second rule is that Ragtag players must form a tunnel for the batter to run through if a run is scored, regardless of which team scored the run.
One of the team’s pitchers, Erik Moe ’23, began playing wiffle ball in the fall of 2021. The first team he was on had around four members, which seems to be closer to the norm for a wiffle ball team. He takes the game quite seriously and has perfected pitching a riser, slider, and curveball. This is the first season that many team members have played in, but team captain Claire Strother ’22 is also an intramural wiffle ball veteran of sorts. She played with the team Friars and Nuns last year, and this year has started a team of her own. In her introductory team email, Strother writes, “In my senior spring nothing would make me happier than spending my evenings swinging a plastic bat at a plastic ball every once in a while.”
The first game they played, on April 26, was lost 4-3 to ur mom, and the game played on Wednesday was lost due to a mercy ruling when their opponent, BOMBA SQUAD, scored 10 points to Ragtag’s zero. Ragtag may not be the winningest team, as Strother believes that the next two games the team plays will result in further defeats, but many team members will attest that they’re there to have fun, not to win. Who are the team members? A ragtag group of people that have happened to encounter Strother. Many are friends, some she lives with, others are just acquaintances.
Disclaimer: Claire Strother is the Managing Editor of the Olaf Messenger.