By Jeff Brown, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – A staple of backyard entertainment has a real shot to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in upstate New York.

The Wiffle Ball, Inc., a family run business in Shelton, Connecticut has been manufacturing Wiffle balls and bats for more than 60 years. And it’s now a finalist for entrance to the Toy Hall of Fame.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

For CEO Dave Mullany, this invite must be steeped in ceremony:

“I truly don’t know how we were nominated for the National Toy Hall of Fame,” he says.


“I got an email from a friend who’s seen it mentioned in the newspaper and that’s how I came to know about it,” he says.

The story of the Wiffle Ball is really astonishing in its simplicity and really, it started out much the way the game is played today.

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Mullany says his dad and his buddies were playing a game in his backyard using a broom stick and a golf ball.

“Everybody seemed to have a sore arm from trying to throw curveballs,” he says.

Therein lies the problem. Mullany’s grandfather, who was out of work in 1953 got to work in the kitchen.

“He sat down with my dad at the kitchen table over the course of a few nights, with some balls that didn’t have any holes in them and started cutting different shapes and designs and patterns,” he says.

It was history in the making. Now anyone can throw that elusive curveball and hit a home run–and do your own bat flip.

“It’s such a just a good fun game to play. You can get out there with your buddies and just have ultra-competitive Wiffle ball games. Or you can go out with a brother or sister and go whack it around in the backyard for a while.”

And getting to the hall is not going to be an easy stroll. The Wiffle Ball is up against such other icons such as Twister, the Super Soaker and Jenga.

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But if it gets in, it’ll be right there with Mr. Potato Head and the Etch A Sketch.