INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When Brendan Dudas first decided to start the Circle City Wiffle Ball league, it was just a way to stay connected with some of his childhood friends.
While in middle school, he would invite friends to his parents’ backyard to come out and play.
Now, several years later, his league has eight teams, sponsors and the same field where he grew up is now called “The Dirtyard,” which has become known as one of the best in the country for the sport. During the season, they compete until they crown a league champion, but what Dudas may look forward to most is what happens shortly after.
Since 2014, they’ve watched the league’s all-star night grow along with the cause behind it: “Wifflin’ For Whitley.”
The fundraiser is named after Dudas’ niece who died in 2015 fighting a rare form of brain cancer called DIPG. All of the money they raise from the event goes toward research and projects attached to the Whitley’s Wishes fund. Dudas says it’s a way to make people aware of the cancer while keeping her memory alive.
He says at their first all-star night in 2014, they had 18 people attend, but in seven years, he’s seen the support for the event and the cause grow in a major way.
“Now people line the fence with fireworks,” Dudas said. “It’s amazing. I can’t put it into words what it means and it’s on the backs of everybody in the community and all the players that come out here and really care about what we’re doing.”
Watch the videos to hear more from Dudas and the league’s deputy commissioner, Rudy Lyon, who also got to test some of his best pitching on News 8’s Randall Newsome.
Click here to get tickets to Circle City Wiffle All-Star Night.