Timeline of Key Events
The Founding: 1990s-2007
Along with the new Olive Elementary School, the New Prairie Little League complex received substantial upgrades. Among the improvements, a
new tee ball field was constructed at the corner of Meridian and Ada Streets in New Carlisle.
Late 90s-Mid 00s
Wiffleball doubleheaders at the tee ball field were an everyday activity in the summer for a group of local kids. Games were 9 innings long and
featured heavily taped balls and bats.
The New Carlisle Wiffleball League was established. However, the league failed to last longer than a day.
With permission of the New Carlisle Police, a huge night game was organized at the Olive parking lot. After a blown save, the game went into extra
innings, with the final score of 23-22.
Jason Maitland and Koby Keck pitched the idea of a wiffleball tournament to the newly formed Hometown Days committee.
July 30, 2005
The inaugural Hometown Days Wiffleball Championship was held, attracting 16 teams from 3 states. Crafty veterans Matt Flagg and Jared Colanese led the Late Arrivers to victory in the double-elimination tournament.
Migley Field was constructed in New Carlisle. The park's name originated from Garrett Curless, who once called the tee ball field Migley
(mini-Wrigley). Pickup games were played often throughout the summer. In a last minute decision, the Finals of The Wiffleball Championship
are moved to Migley.
With interest in wiffleball growing, Jared Emmons and Koby Keck decided to start the Old Republic Wiffle Ball League during a conversation on AIM.
Emmons posted the declaration on his profile, and the league was born.
Chatter about the league reached incredible levels. A frustrated Mark Peterson, New Prairie's baseball coach, has to shut down wiffleball talk
during baseball practice.
Wiffleball's Golden Age: 2007-2008
June 3, 2007
The Newts hosted the Lil' Saints at Migley Field in the first ORWBL series. The Saints took game one, but the Newts won the next two.
Teams completed games sporadically, as the league's original schedule allowed five-day windows for teams to play a series.
June 12, 2007
The first night game in ORWBL history was played at Migley Field, as the Newts swept Cornhole. Night games became more common in 2008,
when the LaPorte Sox played home games at The Cell, the only field in league history with permanent lights.
June 22, 2007
The league hosted its first All-Star Game at Migley Field. The National League won, but the American League talked them into playing a best of
three series. The AL won the next two games and gained homefield advantage for the first ORWBL World Series.
As scheduled games continued to go un-played, the league held an emergency meeting. The owners decided to cancel the rest of the season and
start the postseason immediately. When some postseason series were not completed, the league failed to recognize any of the postseason.
AL Manager of the Year Marc Lindsey shocked the wiffleball world by leaving the Banana Slugs for a $3.24, three-year contract with the Newts.
The ORWBL standardized the playing style for the American and National Leagues, with five players, including a catcher, playing the field.
August 3, 2008
After an undefeated regular season, the LaPorte Sox win the first ORWBL World Series. The Sox won nine games on the field and 15 by forfeit.
Expansion Era: 2009-2010
The league expanded into South Bend, as the Bajer Beerfarts (known as Speedy's Chickenheads in The Wiffleball Championship) entered the league.
After their first season, the team changed their name to the Sour Wowers and went on to win consecutive championships in 2010-2011.
Upon their arrival to the league, Emery's Army released a flurry of YouTube videos. The attack promos were primarily directed at their division rivals
Newts and Marmosets.
June 28, 2009
With NCFD dropping out of the league mid-season, the league moved the Lil' Saints into the ORWBL West Division. The move put the Saints, who
were in third place in the Central at the time, in position to compete for the division title.
March 20, 2010
The Old Republic Wiffle Ball League became a member of the National Wiffle League Association.
June 27, 2010
LaPorte Sox ace Keith Ludwig tossed the first perfect game in league history against the LaPorte Bombers. The Sox swept the crosstown Bombers
in a six-game doubleheader ORWBL set.
July 28, 2010
After years of forfeits and unpaid league fees, Phat Dong was officially contracted. A ceremonial flag burning was held at Migley Field after Emery's
Army eliminated the Newts from the NLDS.
In order to be eligible for NWLA awards and recognition, the league officially made keeping statistics a requirement for all teams.
June 12, 2011
After the Minutemen failed to show up for its first three series, Alex Friedman purchased the franchise and fielded a team within a 24-hour span.
Now known as the Maple City Magic, the franchise has completely turned around. The league's forfeit problem also faded away.
Nick Arndt of the Federalists belted 110 home runs, destroying the previous record of 59 homers in a season. Offensive numbers across the
league were insane in the second season of stat-keeping.
August 1, 2012
The Sour Wowers dropped two of three to the Gangster Slugs and were eliminated from the postseason. The losses were the only two in the
postseason for the franchise, which racked up an incredible 17-2 postseason record. The franchise folded a few days later.
August 11, 2012
The Cult West Warriors won the ORWBL World Series in five games over the Gangster Slugs.
June 30, 2013
Scott Soos of the Warriors threw the second perfect game in league history in a 1-0 victory over Emery's Army.
August 18, 2013
In front of a sell-out crowd of 41 at Migley Field, the New Carlisle Newts broke the Curse of Chief Wahoo, defeating the Maple City Magic, 18-12, in
Game 6 of the ORWBL World Series to clinch their first championship.
August 17, 2014
The Newts went on the road and held off the Warriors, 8-7, in Game 6 of the ORWBL World Series to win back-to-back championships.
ORWBL expanded north of the border for the first time, as the Bertrand Bombers joined the league.
July 26, 2015
Three ORWBL teams advanced to the Hometown Cup Finals at The Wiffleball Championship. The Cult West Warriors defeated the Maple City Magic in the semifinals and the New Carlisle Newts in the championship game to clinch their third consecutive title.
August 16, 2015
In a Hometown Cup rematch, the Warriors defeated the Newts to claim the 2015 ORWBL Championship. It was the first ORWBL World Series to ever go the complete seven games. Cult West announced their franchise's retirement following the seven-game epic.
January 1, 2016
Alex Friedman took office as the second ORWBL Commissioner in league history.
The "Cult West Core" of Scott Soos, Matt Soos, Jay Ryans, and Danny Hernandez announced their signing with the New Carlisle Newts after both franchises' struggles with league roster consistency.
The league expands to 12 teams, as the Galena Marsh Dabbers, South Bend Sour Chicken Muffs, Great Lakes Godfathers, Olive Township Mechanics, and Jet City Junkballers enter the fold.
The National League defeated the American League for the 5th consecutive time and earned the rights for Home Field Advantage in the World Series. Jet City's Zach Feldmeier and Galena Marsh's Steve Pravecek snuck into the mid-summer classic after the league's first attempt at a "Last Man In" vote via Twitter.
The New Carlisle Newts' big off-season paid off as they swept the Maple City Magic (4-0) in a rematch of the 2013 World Series. New Carlisle won its then-record third ORWBL championship.
The league office announced that the league would operate under a 30 game regular season schedule entering the 2017 season, expanding the regular season to its most games since 2012.
The newly-added Granger Panthers swept the Lynn Street Leprechauns (3-0) in their first ORWBL series, honoring their late teammate and friend Cam Snead.
June 3rd, 2017
Second-year franchise the Olive Township Mechanics shock the New Carlisle Newts in a night series at Migley thanks in no small part to a copious amount of booze consumed by the defending champs.
Maple City's Wes Ellis tossed two perfect games in the same afternoon against the Lynn Street Leprechauns. The Magic swept the series.
For the first time, the All Star Game was played as a best-of-3 series. The American League snapped a 5 year losing streak, winning 2 games to 1.
The Cult West Warriors and Maple City Magic faced off in the Hometown Cup Championship game. Under the watchful eyes of over 300 people, the Warriors were able to hold off a late Maple City comeback. This was Cult West's 4th Hometown Cup.
For the 2nd straight season and 3rd time in 5 years, the New Carlisle Newts and Maple City Magic met in the ORWBL championship. Maple City claimed their 1st World Series title by taking down the Newts in five games.
As interest in wiffleball continued to climb, ORWBL expands to 14 teams. Following expansion, the league returned to the traditional 24 game season.
After helping lead Maple City to their first title, outfielder Anthony Rieff put together a new-look South Bend Muffs roster. Rieff thanked the Magic for his championship ring on opening day by taking two of three against his former team.
The hometown Newts battled through one of the most competitive Hometown Days tourney's to date and brought the cup back home to New Carlisle. They defeated NL rival the Granger Panthers in the final.
The off-season returns of Drew Luther and Shane Anderson powered the Maple City Magic to their second consecutive World Series championship. The Magic swept through the entire playoffs, capped off with a 4-0 series sweep of the Granger Panthers.
Heading into his 4th season, Commissioner Friedman announced the first ever Deputy Commissioner in league history. Friedman chose Mechanics manager Aidan Cotter to be his right hand man. This was just the beginning of a league-wide effort to expand league responsibilities.
Following the path of NBA Cares, ORWBL raised over $1,000 in donations for a local New Carlisle family who had lost their home to a house fire. Maple City's Drew Luther spearheaded the effort.
Alex Friedman won the NWLA's National Commissioner of the year. The Maple City Magic finished the season as the #3 overall ranked team in the country... the best finish for an ORWBL team in NWLA history.
ORWBL's Gilded Age: 2019-Present
The expanded again, this time to 16 teams. The league now stretched from Union Mills to Elkhart, nearly 60 miles.
League managers passed the "Mookie Clause" allowing the use of a Designated Hitter. A maximum of seven players could now participate in a game simultaneously.
The Granger Panthers won their first ever Hometown Cup after taking down the New Carlisle Newts in the championship game. This was the Panthers first every major championship title and with these kids entering their prime, it won't be the last. The Jumbotron also made its first Hometown Cup appearance this year in what was a fantastic addition to an already electric atmosphere.
The Maple City Magic made ORWBL history by becoming the first team to 3-peat as Champions. Facing off in their 4th World Series matchup, Maple City was able to even the score at two apiece after the Magic took down the Newts four games to two in the best of seven series. One of the league's brightest stars Jared Jonkman was named World Series MVP.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the start of the 2020 regular season was postponed by 3 weeks. The season kicked off the last weekend of May.
Night wiffleball returned to Migley Field as the New Carlisle Newts hosted their long time rival Rolling Prairie Emery's Army. The Newts took 2 out of 3 in the series.
Prior to the 2020 Hometown Cup Championship game, a ceremony was held on Migley Field to commemorate the inaugural New Carlisle Wiffleball Hall of Fame Class. Fifteen different members were inducted into the inaugural class.
Ten years in the making, the Maple City Magic finally won their 1st Hometown Cup title after one of the most dominant performances by any team that we have ever seen at the tournament. Maple City took down the New Carlisle Newts in the Final Four before beating Granny's Quilt in the championship game.
After taking down Elkhart BFAM in 6 games, the Maple City Magic won their 4th consecutive ORWBL World Series Championship while becoming the winningest team in ORWBL history with 4 championship trophies. After his dominating performance both on the mound and at the plate, Maple City's Wes Ellis took home World Series MVP honors.