The First Tournament (2000)

Thanks to everyone’s help this year’s tournament was as successful as last years.  In addition to the 64 teams and over 200 players on 16 fields we managed to raise $8000 dollars for the scholarship in a day that was truly worthy of it’s title as The BK Wiffleball Tournament.

Destiny Unbound and J.J. Wild had faced each other several times in tournaments across New England and each time Destiny Unbound had come out on top. These two teams managed to pummel their opponents all day long in route to a renewing a rivalry equaled only by Sox-Yanks. Destiny Unbound opened up an early lead with home runs in the first two innings and it looked like history was about to repeat itself. However in the third inning J.J. Wild dug themselves out of the 4-2 deficit and tied the game at four a piece. It looked like this might turn into an extra inning epic but Destiny Unbound ended it with the speed and assurance of a 19th century guillotine. With two more runs in the next inning Destiny Unbound took the lead, the game, and the trophy, 6-4. Bumbaclots, Destiny Unbound, …

In the homerun derby a local kid took home the trophy and the invaluable Red Sox tickets.  With a new system of ten outs instead of ten swings, Dave Wurm put a mammoth 11 on the board early in the day.  Although Dave was at Kate’s scorer table all day long checking scores, no one was able to come close to his astronomical number. 11 stood and he went home with the trophy.

We would like to thank everyone for playing and all those that helped make this tournament a success. We hope to see all of you again next year.

2001 Tournament Summary

2001 Tournament Summary

2002 Tournament Summary

2003 Tournament Summary

The first annual Brian Kane Memorial Wiffleball Tournament was a huge success. Unfortunately last year's victor was the hated Bumbaclots who beat the crowd favorite, Canadian Bacon, 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. If you missed last year's tournament or haven't met the Bumbaclots captain, Paul Palmer, then you probably don't know about his obnoxious mouth. (He is the guy heckling the opposing pitcher and can be heard from anywhere in our humble town.) Last year's game did prove to be a thrilling one as it came down to the last innings to win the game.

 After pitching 37 innings in a seven-hour-day of wiffleball in ninety- degree weather Joe O'Brien, Canadian Bacon's pitcher and the day's MVP, just lost his control. With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth and Joe's arm about to fall off, he gave up a series of hits (none to Palmer) and the Bumbaclots claimed victory 2-1. The Bumbaclots are the team to beat this year and hopefully someone reading this can bring a team good enough to take them down.

 In addition to the tournament itself, we held a homerun derby won by Billy Glennie after hitting five homeruns in just 10 swings to force a playoff with Mike Kane (that's me). Glennie came up with a Maguire-esque performance by repeating the five dingers and taking home the trophy. During the day we also had a raffle culminating with a Nomar Garciaparra autographed helmet, which was won by third grader Oliver Simmons of Hanover, MA. There was food, drinks, and music, which we plan on doing again this year.

 Last year was a great time and we hope to see you make it out to Groton on June 16.

The First Tournament (2000)

2002 Tournament Summary

An aberrant June   Nor’easter arrived in Groton on the occasion of the 3rd  annual Brian C. Kane WIFFLE® ball tournament.  With whippy winds, bone chilling cold  and  non stop  moisture an incredibly hearty group of players and volunteers left  their toasty  beds and made an otherwise bleak day an unforgettable event. 

Sixty eight teams, with  275 players had committed to come to Groton seeking  the trophy held by last years winners, Destiny Unbound from Milton Ma.  In spite of   the dreadful November-like weather only 7  teams  wimped  out.  The   21 diamonds were covered with teams from nearby as well as Rhode Island , CT, Western Ma, and NY .

WIFFLE Ball is a popular backyard family game that is increasingly becoming   a competitive team game as tournaments are held nationally.  Typically, the game is played in shorts, T-shirts and   calm summer conditions which lead to a preponderance of Home Runs.  Not so on Saturday as the inclement   wind blew in on the batters  pushing the ball high into the air for routine fly balls; games were frequently settled in extra inning on close fielding plays.  Home Run Derby was won by Paul Gazso, Bronxville, NY with a meager 2 dingers  while last years record of 11 was never challenged. He earned the bragging rights but forever must explain the dismal count.

The  day was one of pride for the  local folks as one of the Groton Teams, Smokey Bones comprised of  Casey & Chris O’Brien, Robbie & Richie  Nolette and Adam  Genetti  returned the Trophy to Groton  in a nail biting finish against the two-man team, Highlanders of Cambridge  Our young team who feel very personally connected to Brian because of their GDRHS Varsity Hockey experience showed that they are tournament level players at a very early age. Their poise and competitiveness in an uncustomary situation was remarkable.

Many of the   players took the time to thank and comment to the volunteers how  welcomed and appreciated they feel at this Tournament. The breakfast burgers and dogs helped keep the chill off and the warm smiles  and family  atmosphere reminded everyone that this is a scholarship fundraiser in Brian’s memory .  Throughout the day enthusiastic and friendly volunteers greeted  the players  with affection.

Brian loved WIFFLE ball and in his name the Scholarship awards $2,000 to a graduating senior of GDRHS attending a 4 year College or University;$1,000 at Graduation and $1,000 in the Junior year.

We all hope that next year in mid-June  our local team, Smokey  Bones  can defend their  championship on a day more attuned to the normal WIFFLE ball experience.

2003 Tournament Summary

The fourth annual Brian Kane Scholarship tournament was graced with much improved weather from last year and the day was an enormous success! A total of 64 teams, many from other northeastern states got up early and trekked to the fields in back of Groton Dunstable High School.

Play began shortly after 9:00AM following a stirring acappella performance of the National Anthem by Matt Bisceglia. Many lumpy throats rose among the 300 attendees. Throughout the morning teams competed within their respective fields for the opportunity to reach the afternoon playoffs. A minimum of 3 games were played.

Of the 64 teams, approximately 28 were local Groton-Dunstable teams and they, once again, showed a competitive level well beyond similarly sized towns. Last year’s tournament champion, Smokey Bones was eliminated very late in the playoff. These Grotonians; the Nolette and O’Brien  brothers with Adam Genetti will be back next year to attempt a recapture.

Billy Glennie a Central Connecticut real-deal slugger, who also won this event two years ago, dominated Home Run Derby with 11.  Additionally, he hit 14 homers during his 5 tournament games.  Recruit anyone…?

Goodfellas, an unranked team from UMass Med. School featured two new Docs and  a simply unbelievable pitcher.  They blanked the highly respected and former tournament champion, Doom, 1-0, in OT.  Many of the teams remained to watch this exceptionally wellplayed game.

The tournament raises the funds to support the $2,000 scholarship issued in Brian’s name each year to a graduating senior from Groton Dunstable HS. Mike Vega was the fifth winner named on class day and we are delighted he was chosen. Mike will attend Assumption College in Worcester.

Nestled in a quiet little part of Massachusetts is a town called Groton. Groton is a place Norman Rockwell would have loved…and maybe he did. When you think of New England this is the place. Beautiful white churches, a town square and even the banks have that quaint feel that is historic New England. Each June however, the quiet, quaint village of Groton is turned into a home for wifflers from all over the area. Each June is the Brian Kane Memorial Wiffleball Tournament.

The tournament is in honor of Brian Kane, a Groton senior who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1998 returning from hockey practice. The money raised from the tournament goes to a scholarship fund in Brian's name. Each year it is awarded to a graduating senior from Groton that is planning to attend a four-year college.

Eighty teams in all, mostly local, supporting a great cause, played in idyllic conditions. A slight breeze from the northwest cooled down the 78 degree sun. This is a tournament where the old played the young and the guys played the girls. Yes, there were even a few girl teams in attendance.

The finals pitted wiffleball veteran team Doom against the local MARGOV (team name consists of their initials) made up of friends from the area including Brian Kane’s brother Michael.
In the top of the first Doom’s Adam Trotta took to the hill and quickly dispensed of the hometown favorites only surrendering a one out walk to Rob Van Schalkwyk.

MARGOV’s ace Mike Kane was not as fortunate in the bottom half. Mark “Morey” Morreale grounded to Anthony O’Connor at third for the first out. A walk to Trotta was followed by Kevin “Tog” Ostertog. A two out walk to Morey set the stage for Kane’s counterpart. Trotta helped his own cause by homering in his second at bat giving Doom a 3-0 lead after one.

In the top of the second, Trotta after giving up a lead off single to Mick Galvin again helped himself as he doubled up Van Schalkwyk unassisted. O’Connor flied to center to end MARGOV’s half of inning number 2.

The bottom of the second was much like the first for Doom as they scored another 3 runs off Kane. This time it was Tog and Morey going back-to-back - Tog with a 2 runner blast and Morey following it up with a solo shot. At the end of 2 it was 6-0 Doom.

The top of the 3rd would be MARGOV’s best chance to slice into Dooms lead. Back-to-back singles by Kane and Galvin to start the inning had men on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Van Schalkwyk was absolutely robbed by a spectacular play by Tog in left taking away a would be double for the first out. Instead it marked the beginning of the end. O’Connor and Kane went down in order ending any threat the crowd favorites could muster.

2004 Tournament Summary

2004 Tournament Summary

(Reprinted courtesy of Fast Plastic Magazine):

2005 Tournament Summary

2006 Tournament Summary

2007 Tournament Summary

2008 Tournament Summary

2009 Tournament Summary

2010 Tournament Summary

2011 Tournament Summary

The 2013 Brian Kane Memorial Scholarship Tournament will be held on June 8, 2013  beginning at 9AM at the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School.  Sign-up now!