By: Jon Anderson
In the late 90’s to early 2000’s I remember receiving the Fast Plastic News Letter in the mail, and I don’t mean email. For a Wiffle obsessed teenager like myself there was NO better toilet reading to be had than that 2–page Microsoft Word document. That newsletter was what sparked my initial fire for fast pitch Wiffleball, so to actually win the fast Plastic National Championship approximately 10-years later was quite the honor. Little did I know that 2009 would be the last year of existence for the trail blazing organization?
Last year, after awarding the trophies and watching as Josh Pagano, Evan Lazur, Steve Urqhart and myself reveled in our champagne bath, Fast Plastic Co-Founder Billy Owens announced his retirement from all facets of the game of Wiffleball. He said that his playing days were over and more importantly that he would no longer be spearheading the organization which had produced the best competition that the game had to offer. Billy offered to hand the reigns over to a willing and enterprising volunteer, but nobody stepped to the plate. Over the years I have realized that running an organization like FP can be a seriously thankless job. It is completely impossible to make everyone happy and exhausting to try to do so. I think that Billy had realized this and that every worthy candidate to take over realized it as well.
So, in the wake of the demise of FP something had to give. There had to be someone or something that would satisfy the enormous demand for competitive Wiffleball that FP was leaving behind. Enter Lou Levesque. Those of us who live on the east coast and know Lou well from playing in GSWL knew that he would swoop in and be the man to satisfy that demand and even create more of it. After all, he took a group of extended friends who loved to play the game and in 7 years has turned it into a national phenomenon. It was only natural that he would be the man for the job.
Lou seized the opportunity and beginning with this year he has sprouted a branch off of the GSWL tree creating the GSTC (aka Goldenstick Tournament Circuit). The GSTC is essentially Fast Plastic taken to the next level. He has come up with a multitude of different ideas to satisfy every player from the novices to the bona-fide Pros. The GSTC will culminate in a final championship tournament in Phoenix, AZ known as “The Open” This tournament boasts a prize pool of $10,000 + with the bulk of it going to the National Champs.
Lou has certainly done a great job keeping the torch he received from Billy Owens lit and has managed to make it burn brighter than ever. We are all very excited for this year and know that in the coming years, even with half the growth that the Goldenstick tree has attained this during the 2009-2010 offseason that the main goal is starting to take its shape. But, ask Lou if he could have GSWL and the GSTC in the position that they currently sit without the pioneering efforts of FP’s Billy Owens and Bruce Chrystie you will get an absolutely definitive “NO” as your answer. He knows the level of respect that is due to them and that owes it to them and to the obsessed players they have created to take great care of the torch. He’s off to a great start.