How the MLW started and it’s increasing popularity

Upon watching MLW Wiffle ball, my curiosity for the sport grew and led me to asking various questions. This sport has definitely helped fill the void without Major League Baseball and deserves more recognition.

I was fortunate enough to interview Kyle Schultz, the founder of MLW Wiffle ball, and asked him a few things about the sport in general and the future of the league. The league started from humble beginnings as I asked him what gave him the idea for this league to which he answered “Just playing pickup Wiffle ball with my brothers and neighborhood friends just like any other kid when I was 10 years old. Then began to find other leagues on YouTube and stuff the fall of 2009 which really inspired me.” When I was watching this game being played, it brought a familiar sight of baseball, which is one of the reasons why I gravitated towards it with the current absence of Major League Baseball. I asked him about the differences between Wiffle ball and baseball and he stated “Very similar and different at the same time. A lot of our players feel it’s harder to hit a Wiffle ball due to the violent movement and closer distance.”

One of the things that captivated me towards this sport is the combination of simplicity mixed with professionalism based on their teams, field, and production quality. Kyle seemed to share the same thoughts as I told him what pulled me into watching it and his response was “Exactly that, taking a backyard game and putting a professional spin on it. Also love how it’s just a group of friends hanging out and playing Wiffle ball which is what we’re built off of.” From when they first started, the league itself has become more professional with a lot more added talent and competitiveness over the years while still maintaining the core of the sport itself which is having fun. For anyone that is missing baseball and needs some type of content other than the KBO in Korea, this is the sport. While a audience member may see the competitive side of the sport, they shouldn’t help but notice the fun and simplicity of it all which can make it enjoyable to get into. When asked about their league being one of the few still active because of COVID-19, Kyle stated “Feel like it’s huge for us. Have already seen a lot of regular baseball fans carry over and watch our stuff. Knew this would be huge way back in March when we heard MLB would be delayed and people would be craving sports of any kind.”

Kyle feels like the league can hopefully expand and continue to grow, which is certainly possible with other sports still being shutdown and Major League Baseball in a state of limbo with the owners and players association. He shared what he envisions for the future of the league as he states “A countrywide tournament circuit and 1 main national championship event to conclude it. The goal is to one day have a real MLW stadium.” These are certainly huge goals to accomplish, but the way the league handles itself in terms of the professional quality along with the talent, can definitely make Kyle’s dreams for the league a reality. Fans of the sport can definitely look forward to more in the future as Kyle reassures his plans for the future in his final statement “From tournaments to production to sponsors and more, I can’t wait for what’s to come.” Fans of baseball definitely need to try and watch this league as it is the best alternative for baseball fans and with the hopes of expanding the league, now would be a perfect time to join in.

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