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When Whiffling is Good Business

Can a boyhood dream become a successful sports league?

By
This story appears in the March 2011 issue of Start Up.

America's mighty appetite for leisure has elevated the back-room game of poker to a booming global industry, the college party pastime of beer pong to a thriving commercial enterprise and the schoolyard kickball contest into a national phenomenon. Two boyhood friends believe that appetite can do the same for their longtime passion: Wiffle ball.

Nick Benas and Jared Verrillo grew up in Guilford, Conn., not far from the factory where Wiffle balls and bats are made. As kids on a makeshift field, they hatched what would become Big League Wiffle Ball. School and a stint in the Marines put that idea on hold until January 2007.

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