Photo Credit: Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League, thectwl.com - Ben Fiore
The 2021 Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League Pro League Season had a conclusion that no living organism could have imagined. In a year that seemed so - for lack of a better word, predictable - the Shoreline Breakers won their second CTWL Pro League championship against all odds. Much like their 2020 counterparts, this squad was viewed with all of the pieces to win a championship: a solid ace in Liam Wallace, good hitting and defensive effort from Club Manager Conor DeCosta, and contributions from the rest of the cast. Yet despite everything they had, all of their strengths never seem to come to fruition. And the struggles of this team do go back further than you may initially think.
Following their upset of the Augerville Defenders in the 2020 CTWL Pro League World Series, the shortened inaugural season left the Breakers with serious questions regarding their roster composition. In the months that followed their win in August 2020, all three of their rostered players at the time - Conor, Liam, and Patrick Grudberg - held reasonable doubts to their return to action. For Liam, the possibility of pitching through a full 20-game slate on top of his heavy load pitching in college looked to be a deal-breaker. For Patrick, the necessities to stay busy throughout the summer, excluding Wiffle®Ball, were of paramount importance. Not only that, but rumors had loomed that Patrick was looking to join up with the expansion team Ridge Hill Retrievers. And for Conor, a struggle in his own personal life loomed over his ability to focus on the game he loved so dearly. For much of the 2020-21 offseason, I worried that the defending champions would not be seen, and put the league's order in jeopardy.
But as the months rolled on, and eventually to May, everything seemed to work itself out. It did yield the banning of the previously-rumored Retrievers, and the twelfth-hour maneuvering of teams to even HAVE a season to begin with. But in the end, Conor was able to confirm himself, and his teammates, that they would play in 2021. For once since their championship victory, all was well as a Shoreline fan.