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Ever Wonder How Whiffle Ball Started? Here’s Your Answer!



Last weekend, I visited my daughter and grand-kids. During my visit, My grandson, Jack, found an old plastic baseball which he, in the Dorsey tradition, threw at me. It got me to thinking about how a plastic ball could be so popular when I was his age. Who came up with this invention?

The year was 1953 in Fairfield, Connecticut, when a guy by the name of David Mullany Sr. developed a plastic baseball with holes in it which made the ball curve when it was thrown. He invented it on August 14, 1953 for his 13-year-old son and it became known as the “Whiffle Ball.” Its name came from the common phrase of striking out being known as a “whiff.”

The whiffle ball became extremely popular in the 50’s and 60’s, and has seen a resurgence of interest lately with whiffle ball leagues popping up around the country. I grew up in the whiffle ball era, and even cut my family’s backyard grass to form a baseball field for my brother and I, along with our friends, to play whiffle ball during the summer.

I trust there isn’t a kid out there that hasn’t played with a whiffle ball at least one time in his or her lifetime. One thing for sure, it doesn’t break windows like a real ball does.

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