What happens when a community comes together to throw one helluva Wiffle ball tournament in Decatur, Illinois complete with its own Field of Dreams, people paying for reserved parking and 44 teams competing for bragging rights in the 4th Annual ALZ Backyard Wiffle Ball Classic?
The great people of Decatur step up, show up and throw one of the best Wiffle ball tournaments you’ll ever see and the money goes to a great cause and gives people of all ages the chance to compete on a beautiful backyard stage.
It’s the brainchild of then-12-year-old Ethan Parker, who told his parents that he wanted to start a Wiffle Ball game to raise money for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Four years later the family is hosting 44 teams, who funnel into their tricked-out backyard in concert-style neon orange fencing and donate $20 for parking. Last year the tournament raised $15,000 and this year’s total is expected to be even higher.
I’ll let you guys watch the videos and soak it all in. Your time is limited here. Don’t be afraid to hold a backyard Wiffle ball tournament or something else that’s going to tear up that beautiful grass. It’ll grow back.
“Is this heaven?”
“No, it’s Decatur.”
A wiffle ball field complete with concrete-based brick backstop, netting, signage and a hot tub in left field. Easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. 217 Backyard Wiffle Ball Classic! pic.twitter.com/ZEOyt8bdmb
— Gordon Voit (@GordonVoit) August 10, 2019
This tournament has gotten so big that it started last Thursday at 6 and went all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’re still waiting to find out who won last night. Not that it matters. I hate to get all sentimental, but at the end of the day here everyone involved is a winner because of this horrible period in the history of civilization where people sit on a phone and bitch at one another and don’t compete in events where participants look back and think of how much fun they had.
Kudos to Ethan’s parents for rolling with this idea and letting something like this flourish. It gives the kids something to help run, look forward to, take ownership in and use their brains to make it better each year.