My ticket winning, pancake eating, wiffleball playing day.

Yesterday began as any other. After an early morning bible study, some sermonizing at the office, and picking up my fair entries, I was on my way back home. As I often do, I had my radio tuned to "790 the ball", our local sports station. All I heard was, "The first 3 callers get a chance to win". I picked up my cell phone and dialed. On a side note, 75% of the time I try calling in to a radio station, I get through. This time was no different. I was caller three. The rules were simple: I would be matched up against the other 2 guys in a sports trivia elimination game. Our first task was to name the top 20 payrolls in baseball in 2006 one at a time. It wasn't long before the first guy was out. So now it was just me against caller two. The new challenge was to name the players off the 2005 UNC championship team. Caller 2 claimed to be a UNC fan so I knew i was in trouble. After the first few obvious answers (May, Felton, McCants) the guy was stumped. I was able to name a few more so when it was all over, I beat a UNC fan at his own game. My prize: 2 tickets to see Wake Forest vs UNC in football!

For dinner, Beth and I decided to take the kids to High Point to eat at "Tex & Shirley's". T&S is a family owned restaurant that began many years ago in Greensboro and now has recently expanded to HP. Wednesday night is their pancake night where you get all you can eat pancakes for $2.19 ($2.35 with tax) Our whole family ate for $7.00! The food was great as always but the best part came when Beth decided to order a side of eggs. When the waiter brought out our food and started setting it down, Beth and I both noticed at the same time that something was sticking out from her scrambled eggs. Upon closer examination, it appeared to be a rubber band. Beth pointed this out to the waiter to which he yelled, "Oh my God!!" with a look and sound of fright as if we had just found a rat's head in our food. The waiter was more shocked and disgusted then we were. He was a young kid who obviously had never seen this happen before. I really thought he was going to throw-up right there on the spot. He took the eggs back and brought out some more. He said he wasn't charging us for the eggs. Gee thanks. I'd still recommend T&S but don't get the eggs, they're a bit rubbery.

The following story begins back in 1997 when my friend Brian introduced me to the amazing sport of Wiffleball. Yes, the sport with the yellow bat and white ball with holes in it is an official sport. They even have a Wiffleball world series that is held every year. The two of us played most weekends, practicing various pitches and competing in our own home run derby. It was around this team that Brian saw a vision. “If you build it, they will come”. Brian decided to organize the first ever Piedmont Wiffleball Championship. We built backstops, got sponsors, and found teams to play. Then in late summer of ’97, we participated in our first tournament held at the High Point YMCA. 12 teams from around the state showed up to give it their all. To make a long story shorter, our team (consisting of Brian, myself, Beth, and two friends I grew up with: Jason S. and Jason M.) made it to the finals against a group of firemen from Greensboro. The situation was this: bottom of the last inning, 1 out, down by 2, bases loaded, and I’m up at bat. I went for my famous BOTS (Bat on the shoulder) which meant I was looking for a walk. The first pitch was a strike. I looked over at Brian and he says, “Just swing away, give it all you got!”. I dug in and waited for the next pitch. All I remember is swinging with all the force I had. The next thing I knew, the crowd went wild. I had hit a walk off grandslam to win the championship. It was my proudest sports moment. We went on to play in a few more tournaments but none with the success of that first one. Soon we retired to just playing once a week on Brian’s back yard. On a “Did you know” note: That is how I met Kipp. Brian worked with Kipp at the time and invited him to come join us in our wiffleball games. Kipp and I hit it off (no pun intended) and the rest is history. I say all of that to say this, Brian and I along with a secret weapon will be coming out of retirement this Saturday to play in the Eastern Wiffleball Championship in Lexington, NC. We’re not sure what the competition may be or what our level of play might consist of now; nine years later, both married with kids. But one thing is for sure, when we step on that field, we’ll do our best to resurrect the wiffleball ghost of old and bring home one more championship.


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