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Top SWBL Pitching Performances

By, Spencer Bogad


It is widely known that the Skibbe Wiffle Ball League (SWBL) is known as a hitter’s league. The league’s hitters sport high batting averages, countless home runs and high contact rates. With that said, pitching has always been one of the determining factors for a team’s success. To put it simply: everyone can hit, but only a few can pitch with excellence.


I decided to take a look back into our league’s history to see: Who has put together the best all around pitching season in the league’s “Franchise Era”? The Franchise Era began in Season 10, but this ranking will start with Season 11. Season 11 was the first season where a 30 IP maximum inning limit was implemented. Additionally, it should be known that the “Pitcher’s Poison” rule was implemented in Season 12 (2014) and the “1st Pitch Strike” rule was implemented in Season 15 (2017). These two rules would lower pitching earned run averages and raise strikeout totals.


A few rules that I went by while determining which players’ seasons could qualify for the list.

  1. Minimum of 20 innings pitched

  2. Needed to finish in the top 5 in earned run average (ERA)

Also, it should be known that the following were heavily weighted when ranking:

  1. Innings pitched

  2. Total strikeouts

  3. Strikeout per 5

  4. Other accolades (No Hitter, Perfect Game, Complete Games)

There were plenty of “good seasons” that did not make the list because they did not meet the requirements listed above.



Here are the top 19 pitching seasons in the Franchise Era:


19.) Jimmy Nelson (Season 17): W/L: 1-7 , 30 IP, 28 K, 4.66 K Per 5, 7.33 ERA, 5 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


18.) Gus Skibbe (Season 12): W/L: 6-0 , 26 IP, 13 K, 2.5 K Per 5, 7.31 ERA 5 CG, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison)


17.) Cam Smith (Season 18): W/L: 3-2 , 23 IP, 18 K, 3.91 K Per 5, 5.22 ERA (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


16.) Brett Spencer (Season 11): W/L: 3-1 , 21 IP, 15 K, 3.57 K Per 5, 12.38 ERA, CY Wiffle (Original Rules)


15.) Spencer Bogad (Season 14): W/L: 5-2 , 30 IP, 16 K, 2.66 K Per 5, 7.17 ERA, 4 CG (Pitcher Poison)


14.) Will Rath (Season 17): W/L: 5-0 , 25 IP, 13 K, 2.6 K Per 5, 4.80 ERA, 5 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


13.) Jackson Crosley (Season 17): W/L: 5-1 , 28 IP, 15 K, 2.67 K Per 5, 4.29 ERA, 6 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


12.) Brett Spencer (Season 12): W/L: 2-4 , 23.5 IP, 10 K, 2.12 K Per 5, 7.02 ERA, 1 Save (Pitcher Poison)


11.) Gus Skibbe (Season 18): W/L: 2-2 , 26.5 IP, 15 K, 2.83 K per 5, 4.15 ERA (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


10.) Scott Pohle (Season 15): W/L: 4-0 , 21 IP , 14 K, 3.33 K Per 5, 3.57 ERA, 4 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


9.) Jackson Crosley (Season 14): W/L: 4-2 , 27.5 IP, 16 K, 2.9 K Per 5, 6.73 ERA, 6 CG (Pitcher Poison)


8.) Sam Skibbe (Season 16): W/L: 5-0 , 25 IP, 16 K, 3.2 K Per 5, 4.20 ERA, 5 CG, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


7.) Brett Spencer (Season 17): W/L: 5-0, 25.5 IP, 17 K, 3.33 K Per 5, 4.12 ERA, 5 CG, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


6.) Jimmy Nelson (Season 16): W/L: 3-3 , 28 IP, 19 K, 3.39 K Per 5, 4.11 ERA, 5 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


5.) Will Rath (Season 15): W/L: 5-0 , 25 IP, 15 K, 3 K Per 5, 2.20 ERA, 5 CG (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


4.) Jimmy Nelson (Season 18): W/L: 3-2 , 30 IP, 25 K, 4.16 K Per 5, 4.33 ERA, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


3.) Gus Skibbe (Season 13): W/L: 5-1 , 25 IP, 10 K, 2 K Per 5, 5.40 ERA, 5 CG, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison)


2.) Jackson Crosley (Season 15): W/L: 3-1 , 28 IP, 22 K, 3.92 K Per 5, 3.21 ERA, 6 CG, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison + 1st Pitch Strike)


1.) Sam Skibbe (Season 14): W/L: 5-0 , 23.5 IP, 20K, 4.25 K Per 5, 4.89 ERA, 5 CG, Perfect Game, CY Wiffle (Pitcher Poison)



Why Sam - Season 14?

Sam Skibbe’s Season 14 campaign was the best pitching performance that we have seen in the Franchise Era for many reasons. What stood out to me, is that Sam put up a sub 5.00 ERA in a season where the 1st pitch strike rule was not in place (Min. Of 20 IP). For reference, the next closest Era’s in season 14 were 6.73 and 7.17. Additionally, he had the 2nd highest K per 5 in the Franchise Era (behind Jimmy Nelson season 17), again, no 1st pitch strike rule. Sam dominated in Season 14.


Other Tidbits:

  • Brett Spencer’s Season 11 performance was the only “original rules” season to make the list. Yes, a 12.83 Era does not sound impressive, but it most certainly was.

  • Gus Season 13 barely beat out Jimmy Nelson Season 18. It came down to: How dominant were they compared to other pitchers in the same season. Gus was the only pitcher from season 13 to make this list, while a total of 3 pitchers from season 18 made the list.

  • 4 pitchers appeared on the list 3 times: Jimmy Nelson, Jackson Crosley, Gus Skibbe, Brett Spencer

  • There were plenty of “good pitching season” that has 17, 18 or 19 IP that could have easily made the list, but total IP was a significant determinant, so they were not listed.

  • Will Rath (Season 15) was the highest ranked performance (5th Best in Franchise Era) that did not win a Cy Wiffle.

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