The History of the National Wiffle Ball League
The Early Days: 2002-2003
The National Wiffleball League began as a four team league in 2002. In it inaugural season, the Rox, Ivynators, Mustangs, and BlackCats all took the field. The Ivynators won the league's regular season with an impressive 9-2 record. The Mustangs, who finished in second in the standings, met the Ivynators in the league championship. The Wallace Mustangs won the championship 3 games to 1.
The following season picked up right where league left off. The defending champions won the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, the only team to do so. The Ivynators, finished second with a 4-6 record and made it to the championship. The 2003 championship was a rematch, Mustangs vs. Ivynators. The Ivynators, just like the Mustangs the previous season, were the underdogs. The Mustangs were defeated 3 games to 1.
The New League: 2004-2008
From 2004-2007 the National Wiffleball League molded into a stable, working league. In 2004, the league's true first season, the Rapids and Cannons began their rivalry and faced off in the championship, with the Rapids ultimately winning. In a very success 2005, the Rapids and Cannons cruised through the regular season while the Mustangs struggled to win games and the YellowJackets held their own ground. The Rapids won their second title in as many years, but the league was about to change.
In 2006, the Filippone Heat joined the NWBL and had a successful first season, finishing second in the regular season and reaching the championship. The Cannons were able to win their franchise's first championship. In 2007, the Dowling BlackSox shocked the league as their upset the Lackawanna Rapids in the championship. Down two games to none, the Sox ended up winning the final three games of the best-of-five series. In 2008, the Heat continued to win throughout the regular season before a late season crumble, giving the Rapids the division title. The Cannons were able to capture their second NWBL Championship.
The League Expands: 2009-2012
The NWBL was ready to expand. The Browertown Boulders were formed following the 2008 season, but before the season began, they rebranded the team as the Wallace Warriors. During the 2009 season, a sixth team joined, the Vetrone Cutters. Despite a 12-18 record, the Cutters were able to upset many teams and win their first NWBL Championship in their inaugural season.
All six teams returned to the NWBL in 2010. The Rapids, ranked the best team in the country twice during the regular season, finished 31-7 but were defeated in the first round of the playoffs to the Filippone Heat, who eventually beat the Dowling Bobcats in the NWBL Championship. During the 2010-2011 offseason, the Cannons became the Garrett Mountain Rebels and the Capalbo Captains entered the NWBL, and began playing in the West Division. The Captains began the season slow, but ultimately finished strong and beat the Rapids in the NWBL Championship, winning in their first season. The Rebels finished 1-37 and were named the worst team in the country.
Entering 2012, the NWBL saw two significant changes. The Rebels, who announced they would not return, came back rebranded as the Garret Mountain Lumberjacks. The NWBL saw an eighth team enter the league. The Paterson Bombers joined the East Division to give each division four teams.