NEW CARLISLE - After years of trying to establish the New Carlisle Wiffleball Hall of Fame, the ORWBL has finally elected its inaugural class to be inducted in 2015. It comes as no surprise that Newts legends Matt Flagg and Marc Lindsey are among the first group honored.
Both Flagg and Lindsey were unanimous selections, receiving all eight possible votes. The eight-person voting panel consisted of some of the league's longest tenured players and managers.
For Flagg, he spent his entire six-year ORWBL career with the Newts. He first came on to the wiffleball scene in 2005, leading the Late Arrivers to the inaugural City Championship. In 2006, he appeared in multiple pick-up games at Migley Field, making the short walk through the woods to the new ballpark. His stellar play that summer led the Newts to make him a key piece of their roster when the league formed in 2007.
Dubbed the "X-Factor" by teammate Garrett Curless, Flagg shaped his hits based on the opponent's defensive alignment. His name was a constant feature at the top of the Newts lineup.
As the ace of the Newts staff, Flagg was named the first NL Cy Young in 2007. He was on the mound for the preliminary rounds of both of the Newts two City Championships in 2007 and 2008. Flagg was named an All-Star for three consecutive years, from 2007-2009.
Flagg's availability sharply declined in 2010, only appearing in nine games before he eventually retired after the 2012 season. He remains a team ambassador for the club, and his retired "number" flies on the right field foul pole at Migley Field.
Another icon of the game, Marc Lindsey was a founding member of the league in 2007. As the original manager of the Banana Slugs, he was one of the most influential figures in developing ORWBL. Lindsey was the creator of the catcher rule, which was originally used only in the American League. It was later adopted league-wide for the second season.
In 2007, Lindsey claimed the t-ball field, longtime home of wiffleball in New Carlisle, as his home field Naming it The Palace of Bourissa Hills, Lindsey took immaculate care of the grand ballpark. Despite changing hands to the Pterodactyls, The Palace name continues to grace the park to this day.
Despite his position at the helm of one of the most powerful lineups in the league, Lindsey decided to leave the Banana Slugs prior to the 2008 season and join the New Carlisle Newts. His impact was immediate, being labeled "scary good" in media reports after his Opening Day debut. He went on to win the 2008 NL MVP award and his absence at the World Series that season may have been the difference.
Lindsey went on to win the ORWBL Cy Young in 2009 and would later have an impressive 2010 campaign. By 2011, his umpiring career had overtaken most of his wiffleball availability. He retired after the 2012 season, with his only appearance coming in the Newts surprise Elite Eight run in the City Championship.
Lindsey's number was retired on Opening Day 2013, capping a career that saw four All-Star selections (2007-2010).