South Bend, Indiana's Cult West Warriors won their second straight world championship today, finishing 8-0 over the weekend at the Skokie Park District's Channelside Park.
Cult West went 4-0 in regular season play on Saturday, then prevailed over three up-and-comers and the 2015 World Camps, Clutch Players, on Sunday. Behind the confounding knuckle ball of pitcher Jay Ryans and the solid power bats of the entire team, the Warriors became only the ninth team in 38 years to win multiple world championships.
The Granger Panthers, a group of high school friends from Granger, Indiana went all the way to the final game, dispatching the four-time world champs, Funky Plastic Offspring, in the round of eight.
48 teams began the 38th Annual World Wiffleball Championship on Saturday, all playing four games, with Bolingbrook, Illinois' NWL All Stars winning a 19-team extra-inning mini-tournament for teams that finished 2-2 on Saturday evening, joining 15 teams with one or no losses in the single-elimination tournament on Sunday morning.
48 teams came to Skokie from 15 states. Bob DeLeonardis, 57, of Chicago, set a record as the oldest player in the history of the tournament to hit a home run. Bennett Weiss and Ralph Giammarco also homered at 55, breaking the previous record of 54. (The youngest is Jim Gates of Mishawaka, Indiana, who homered in 1980 at age 9.) A record 1,260 people attended the event over two days.
Park District officials estimate that the economic impact for Skokie over the weekend was more than $52,000.
Complete Tournament Results
World Champions since 1980