Guest Post By Peter Mocabee:
You’ve all seen the movie… and if you’re like me, then you’ve probably cried like me. Every time the players lay their jerseys down for Rudy on the coach’s desk, “for Rudy coach” I frickin’ shed a tear. What’s inside me that drives me to feel for Rudy? How does that connect to my love for wiffle ball?
I starting playing wiffle in college with my roommates at Azusa Pacific University in CA. I was always considered the best pitcher among my roommates, and then our senior year, after being the two-time defending champs, the intramural wiffle tournament brought 3 freshman to the amphitheater that taught me a lesson that I would never forget… I’m not that good! They creamed us! They were actually a traveling fast pitch team. This was back in the late nineties and it stuck with me as the years passed by. I don’t remember their names, and if you’re reading this “guys from Bowles”, those were good times! After college I would only play a couple times a year against my older brother during Christmas and Easter when we gathered at my parents house. In the Spring of 2009, my passion for wiffle increased to the size of Rudy’s desire to play for Notre Dame. I was now a tournament wiffle ball player. That summer, I played in two Fast Plastic Qualifying tournaments and I once again realized, I’m not that good… YET! I was addicted.
I’ve always considered myself a pretty athletic person. I naturally can compete at any sport I’ve tried. Its just apart of who I am. So when I walked away that summer striking out and giving up bombs with my best pitch, I didn’t get bummed out, I got dedicated. I knew I wasn’t finished. I knew until I can compete with the best in the game, I wasn’t going to be satisfied. I filled myself with the spirit of Rudy. Always show up and never give up.
When it comes to playing wiffleball, I’m not blessed with the raw talent of Ryan Wood and I lack the years of experience playing at a high level. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is no lobbin’ over the plate wiffle pitcher, but the level I saw 3 summers ago, addicting!
Since the summer of 2009, I have improved my game to a level that I had to experience the best. The GSTC OPEN National Championships in Boston. That’s a 5 hour flight and a weekend away from my wife and 11 month old. Am I crazy? My wife thought so, and her parents… but I didn’t care. I had to see if I could compete with the best. I only mustered 4 hits during the two days of the best wiffle I’ve ever seen. One of them was a game-winner. But still not good enough, and still not satisfied. The spirit of Rudy to keep pushing forward for what I want is still haunting me. I have to compete. I have to stand in that batters box against the best in the game, and I want that pitcher to think… that’s Moc, he will not stop f’n playing. He gets better every year.
Someday, I hope young wifflers will see my movie in 2026 called “Moc” and be moved by my dedication to the game and no matter how old you are, you can always get better. Even if it is just a game with a plastic ball…