Sure we all don't want an article like this to go to his head, but there is no denying that Spencer Bogad had one of the best years of anyone in the wiffle world in 2016.
Here is a look back at all of his accomplishments this past year:
-Selected to the SWBL Front Office.
-One of Five Trusted Statisticians during Season 14.
-2016 National League All-Star
-2016 SWBL MVP
-2016 Gold Hands winner for the Pitching Position
-2016 CY Wiffle Runner Up.
-Faced the most hitters and threw the most pitches in Season 14.
-Led the league in HR and RBI in 2016.
-Broke the SWBL single season RBI Record.
-Tied the SWBL single season HR Record.
-2016 SWBL Champion with the Phillies, his second Championship of his career.
And that was just during the SWBL Season...
For the NWLA Tournament Season, he went with the SWBL Cardinals to Regionals and Nationals. He refined his craft and proved he is one of the best pitchers in the country, along with being one of the top hitters as well. In 5 regional games, Spencer batted .333 with 3 HR and 14 RBI, while only giving up 1 hit in three games pitched. At Nationals he was part of the two headed pitching monster with Jackson Crosley that led the SWBL Cardinals to their highest finish to date, second place. On the 8-3, 2nd place squad, Spencer finished with a 3-1 pitching record, leading the tournament in pitching strikeouts, with a 1.28 ERA, only giving up 5 hits in 76 batters faced.
From there, most people would be done after a stellar year like that, but Spencer kept getting better...
He played two wiffleball league sessions at the new STL Sandbar down the road from "The Blur" on Dougherty Ferry. The first session with Sam Skibbe, Scott Pohle, Blake Spencer, Brett Spencer, and Peter Leicht. This band of MVPs easily won the Championship so for the second session, Spencer, Sam, and Scott had their fathers play with them, and still riding the pitching arm of Spencer Bogad, easily won the league. So far, the SWBL is 2-2 in Sandbar Championships, and doesn't look to be stopped any time soon.
Yet another tournament Spencer participated in was the TaTa Brotherhood Wiffleball Tournament held to raise money for breast cancer that includes well over 50 teams. Last year, Spencer, Sam Skibbe, and Chris Meador won the Championship and never lost a game the entire tournament. This year, Chris couldn't make it so Gus Skibbe was the replacement. With a huge target and even a bounty on beating our team, Spencer yet again led the team with his arm and they never lost a game, winning the Championship for the second year in a row. The trophy still sits at the bar at Corner Pub and Grill.
The final stop on Spencer's wiffle tour was Hallo-Wiffle. He played on a team with Sam Skibbe and Alex Heck. While the second seeded team didn't win, the stats will show that Spencer, while not named MVP, continued his dominance at the plate in the medium pitch style. He amassed more Home Runs per at bat than any format we have played so far in 15 years.
Finally, Spencer was recognized at the National Level more than any other wiffler in the SWBL. His team finished 3rd in the NWLA Team Rankings, higher than any other team in SWBL history. He was selected to the First Team Hitters and Third Team Pitchers National Teams List. He was also chosen as the West Region Player of the Year and was just a couple votes shy of being named National Player of the Year. He also won the award for West Hitter of the Year and was then voted National Hitter of the Year.
To say Spencer Bogad had a great year on the wiffleball field is an understatement. But not only on the field, Spencer is helping grow the sport of wiffleball. When another league from New York was in trouble, he wrote a letter to a local government official in the league's honor to display his outrage at the situation the city was doing to the league. He has made more connections around the country via the National Tournament and Social media than many in the league ever will have. Tomorrow, January 4th, Spencer was also selected to be the guest caller on the National Wiffleball podcast, "Two Wiffle Dudes" hosted by Carl Coffee and Josh Smith. He is just the second player from the SWBL to be interviewed. His passion for the sport knows no bounds and this truly was, the "Year of Bogad".
Will his successes continue in 2017? Only time will tell as we inch closer to Spring Training! Congrats on a fantastic year Spencer.