The Stats for which the 86'-88' season are based, though not kept track of by using "modern" means, come from a reliable source:
An HRL 'Digest' dated 1988, had the HR totals for the original 9 players int he league. The
league was nothing more at first than recreational Wiffle Ball between a couple families and some friends. It grew, in later
years, to a highly talented competitive league. Since it was not quite so serious at first, we only kept track of who hit
the homers. Thus, the name Home Run League, or HRL, for short. We did play full six and nine inning games, but never remembered
the scores, who pitched, etc. It was in these games, though, that the legend of Pops was born.
In the olden days of the HRL, Pops singlehandedly would take on prepubescent neighborhood children by the truckload, as well
as his own sons, eventually molding many of them into world-class Wiffle talents. Truck (age 11),
Cary (age 10), Randy (age 14), and Trinkey (age
9) got their Wiffleball trials by fire back in the mid 80's, when Wiffleball leagues were virtually unheard of. So
to say these boys grew up playing the sport would be an understatement indeed... The Foley family sported an athletic-minded
father in Mike, and two baseball-loving kids in Dave (age 11) and Chris (age
6), who were very close to the Moriartys and also played much Wiffleball. The Foleys were a strong influence on how
the HRL later shaped into what it is today.
first years, there weren't a whole lot of set rules, especially ones regarding equipment. While the official WIFFLE brand
ball was the ball of choice, we didn't always have one handy. So it was not uncommon for us to wind up using plastic balls
that came in bat-n-ball play sets. Often times these balls had no holes in them whatsoever, limiting the curving ability,
while maximizing homer potential. They left awful fucking welts, too. When left with no choice on what balls to use, it was
also common for us to wind up using softball sized balls, which was an ongoing debate for seasons to come, because WIFFLE
brand balls also came in that size. The issue of bats was settled within the first couple of seasons. Huge diameter bats were
outlawed. It was far too easy to hit homers.
The original Moriarty Stadium (which moved after '88) was in the front yard of the Moriarty house, and partially into the dirt road
in front of the house. Homers came easily, even for the weak and small. A pine tree, which served as the left field "wall"
was a mere 40 feet from the plate. A line drive that clipped the tree and hit the ground was a homer. The fun aspect of the
tree, however, was the fly ball that dropped from branch to branch. If the fielder could catch it, the batter was out. The
reason you see a few of today's "lightweight" hitters (and even retired players) high up on the
all-time homer list is because of the over-inflated numbers the original, hitter-friendly Moriarty Stadium provided.
Though night games weren't entirely possible, often times,
a game would stretch into the night hours via the streetlight that also served as the right field foul pole, a gaudy 50 feet
from the plate. We couldn't see shit but it was a great time...