Move over baseball. We just discovered a new American pastime and its being played in the Bluff Park neighborhood of Hoover.
The sport? Women’s Whiffle Ball.
Last Sunday, Bham Now, ventured out to a makeshift “sandlot” at Children’s Fresh Air Farm on Park Avenue in the heart of Bluff Park to watch our first ever Whiffle Ball game.
First Game Ever
Personally, I didn’t quite know what to expect. The last time I played Whiffle Ball was when my daughter was about 5 years old, and back then, I was just lofting the ball to her so she could take a swing at the whiffle ball and run around Highland Avenue’s Caldwell Park.
At Bluff Park, they have a league, freshly painted baselines, bases, teams in uniforms, enthusiastic fans and food trucks.
According to Sherrie Roberts, a Bluff Park resident and the new league’s unofficial commissioner of the Bluff Park Whiffle Ball League, she had first heard about a whiffle ball league in Ross Bridge. She first reached out to the Children’s Fresh Air Farm director Catherine Goudreau about the idea of playing on Sunday’s at the park’s “sandlot-like” patch of grass after learning about the park’s availability.
“Most everybody who lives in Bluff Park drives down Park Avenue every single day, and this little sandlot was sitting here waiting to be loved,” said Roberts, while watching the game between the Salty Pitches and Dunder Wifflin.
She added, “We didn’t see much activity here, so when the new director of Fresh Air Farm posted on Bluff Park United that she was the new director and wanted people to know everyone was welcomed, I sent her a message asking would it be possible for this field to be used. She said sure!”
The interest in forming a women’s whiffle ball league was overwhelming.. The first social media post to gauge interest was on May 6th. Within a month and half, about 90 players had formed a six team league. The only participation rule is that players have to live in the Simmons Middle School district, which is essentially Bluff Park. Opening day was June 23. The inaugural teams are:
The Wendy Peffercorns, Pitch Please, Dunder Wifflin, Diamond Divas, Wiffling Dixies and Salty Pitches.
Support Children’s Fresh Air Farm
Each team is required to make a donation to the Children’s Fresh Air Farm. The league also sells t-shirts and fans are asked to make a donation toward the farm. According to Roberts, the league has raised about $1000, which will be donated to the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, a Independent Presbyterian Church ministry that has been supporting underserved children since 1923.
Will additional neighborhoods in Birmingham follow Bluff Park’s lead and form women’s whiffle ball leagues? Let’s hope so. Only time will tell – but we can say this – it is a great way to spend an afternoon with your neighbors and families.
Move over baseball.