(’93) doesn’t have to worry about finding something to talk
about at parties. He is the pitcher for Pity ’da Fool, a team
in the World Adult Kickball Association that went undefeated in 2001
and won the inaugural WAKA World Championship. In August 2002, the team
won its second division title, but lost the championship in a heartbreaker,
Yes, believe it or not, it’s the same kind of kickball you played
in elementary school, but just a tad more competitive.
great. The pitches are a lot faster. The ball goes a lot farther, and
referees are a lot stricter,” says McQuillan, one of nine JMU
graduates on the 2002 coed Northern Virginia team. “It’s
a pretty good conversation piece. Everyone wants to find out how they
can get on a team.”
are just flabbergasted that there are adults who play the kickball game,”
says outfielder Charley Miller (’99), a political science major.
McQuillan got a call two years ago from Herndon native Tim Hardy (’99),
who heard about a kickball league for adults after listening to a popular
Washington, D.C., morning radio show.
“I was pretty excited. It just sounded so fun,” says McQuillan,
who works for American Management Systems in Fairfax. “It has
turned out to be just what I thought it would be. Everyone loves kickball.”
Hardy is now the
player/coach of Pity ’da Fool, which competes during the summer
in Fairfax. The team had 16 players for the 2002 season.
Hardy noted that
Chris Murphy (’96) was one of the league founders, though he was
not involved with Hardy’s team and is no longer part of the league.
just looking for something to do once a week to get people together,”
Hardy says of forming his team.
kind of a joke at first. I thought it would be more of a beer-drinking
softball league,” adds Miller, who works as a production coordinator
for National Geographic Television.
But Miller learned
that is not the case.
Last year, Pity
’da Fool won its division and the world championship game on The
Mall in Washington.
The team beat
The Grass Kickers, 7-6, as Bryan Frazitta (’98) scored the tying
run to force extra innings and Ken Dyer (’99) scored the winning
run in the extra eighth inning as Pity ’da Fool became the first
unbeaten team to win a title in the WAKA.
the teams are out there to have a good time and half are out there to
win,” says Hardy, who has known Frazitta since they were 7. “We
really didn’t have any expectations. We kept pushing ourselves.”
Patrick Cropper (’99), Frazitta’s roommate at JMU, says
the team did not set out to be champs. “We thought we would go
out there and have a good time,” he explains. “We never
even thought about winning. But by chance we put together a really good
wife, Christy DeFusco Cropper (’99), also plays on the team.
The WAKA, which
began in 1998, is trying to start leagues in other parts of the country,
according to Miller. The WAKA Web site states the league is hoping to
expand to Richmond, Baltimore, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, San
Francisco and Cary, N.C., and other locations.
During the 2002
season Pity ’da Fool, which has a photo of one-time television
star Mr. T on its Web site, won seven of its first eight games, and
outscored opponents, 81-18. They beat one team 19-0 and won six straight
games after losing for the first time early in the season.
Miller, who played
intramural sports while in Harrisonburg, is one of several Herndon High/JMU
graduates on the team. Patrick Cropper and Ken Dyer, like Miller, also
graduated from Herndon in 1995. Cropper played soccer in high school
while Dyer played baseball. Hardy and Frazitta both played soccer for
Oakton High in Northern Virginia.
that in kickball, the ball cannot bounce more than one foot above the
ground on pitches, and that his tosses must be within a foot of either
side of the plate.
Teams consist of
11 players, and the pitcher and other fielders must stay behind the
pitcher’s mound until the ball is kicked. “Bunts”
are allowed and bases are located 60 feet apart. Games last a minimum
of five innings, and there are normally two referees. At least four
females must be in the field for defense.
the girls on our team have played soccer in the past and are athletic.
That obviously gives us an advantage,” DeFusco says.
“I think our success exceeded my expectations,” Miller says.
“We have a lot of young, athletic people who are good at team
sports and mesh well together.”
The winning combination
of Dukes who complete the Pity ’da Fool roster include, Christy
DeFusco Cropper, Patrick Cropper, Ken Dyer, Bryan Frazitta, Tim Hardy,
Patrick McQuillan, Charley Miller, Lindsay Tyrrell and Christy Yacono.
kicking with these alums at the Pity ’da Fool Web site at www.pitythefool.org.
Story by David
Photos by Tyler Mallory