|League History: 1997
|You would think the transition from a very silly game that featured swimming and
very little actual athletic activity to a more structured and true-to-baseball setup would be fairly simple, given the
league's players were getting older, bigger, and more mature. The fact of the matter is, the transition was embarassingly
rough and almost resulted in the loss of a league. The Creighton Brothers' iron-fisted parents moved to a different part
of town late in the summer of 1996. The new house also had a pool in the backyard, but the area's configuration would not
permit the same game to be played. Believe me, both Joey and Scott wasted hours of their life in that backyard trying to
come up with something. Then one day, the legend goes, the two noticed that the cul-de-sac on which the new house sat
formed, as most cul-de-sacs do, a nice semi-circle. The lightbulb went off in one of their heads and that was that. Hands
were shaken, brows dried, and new rules were written up.
True to form, the Commissioner of this league did not plan well. Appointed "Assistant to the Commissioner," Scott
Carmichael was also a little short-sighted as far as the rules went. The two decided it wasn't necessary to try the
new field out before starting the new season. They simply took a bird's eye view look from the Creighton's roof and
noted that the field "appeared" larger than the old field, and thus there would be two fielders in addition to the
pitcher (1994-1996 only saw one fielder). The plate was situated at about the same place it would remain for years to
come, but the pitcher's mound was placed questionably closer to the batter than common sense would probably dictate.
And thanks to a largely worthless American Legion baseball season that would eat up most of the Commissioner's wiffle
ball time over the summer, games were hard to come by. And those that did come to pass (all five of them) were played
by terrible players under horrible conditions. Luke Carriere, Joey Holt, and Matt Holmberg were at a grand total of zero
games. In their place was Clint Wattenberg (who had to be taught beforehand how to hold a bat), Mark Montgomery, Tommy
Irvine, Evan Markey, and Rickey Stephens. Imagine what Major League Baseball looked like in the 1940's when all the
stars were over in Europe for WWII. Nate Stuempfig surprisingly returned after his 4-32 debacle in 1996 and went 3-19,
heroically raising his career average to .137.
As for the five games...they were horrid. Bad players and bad rules were impossible to overcome. Having two fielders
in the field made it nearly impossible to get a basehit, and the pitcher was seemingly 10 feet away from the batters.
He also had that gargantuan strike zone working in his favor. To sum up, hitters were being owned, and no one was
enjoying it. Well, Clint appeared to enjoy it, but Clint would enjoy a colonoscopy if it were somehow turned into a
competitive sport. Most people do not enjoy colonoscopies though, and for hitters, that more or less what the 1997
season was. A nice, long colonoscopy.
After simply giving up on the summer (arguably the Commissioner's 2nd wise decision in four years), Joey and Scott
would then spend the off-season deciding whether it would be worth it to make a 2nd attempt in 1998.