From 2002 through about 2006, GSWL was comprised of mostly Massachusetts players and although soaring locally, the league had not yet begun to sew its national cloth.
2004 saw the influx of tourney teams from around the circuit. Top teams from the acclaimed NEWA (New England Wiffle® Association) began to sniff GSWL's $5,000 purse and began to migrate over the golden border. Starting with the Griffin brothers Marc & Matty, the chase was on. Doom soon followed, then Hurricanes, then others, and there was no looking back.
Nearly doubling in size in 2005 & 2006 again, Golden Stick was cranking.
While still only in MA, the 2006 Fast Plastic season marked the beginning of change for GSWL. Three sponsored Golden Stick Factory teams "Blue, Red, & Gold" entered the 2006 Fast Plastic season and made noise, GSWL Blue nearly taking down Texas!
To balance a league becoming too “top heavy”, in 2007 Golden Stick Wiffle® League introduced "The Draft” for its fast pitch Pro League. Owners and players filled the mansion seeking a league built on parity. They got it! A Highly successful 2007 yielded a Josh Pagano led C-Notes team to the first ever GSWL title in the roster restricted era.
In 2008, the 2nd year of the draft commenced. A Doug Winship owned Risers roster of Gary Lavoie, Russ Heim, Jon Anderson, Brian Adam, and rookie Joe “Slappy” Maher took the title in a close 3 game series at the Mansion.
Now complete with players like “Wiffman” coming from as far away as New York, Golden Stick’s “Pro” league was second to none.
In 2009 GSWL landed on Long Island. To adhere to player sentiment, a point based salary system replaced the draft, offering more roster control to it’s growing body of owners afraid to separate from current teammates. These salary systems prevailed through the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
However, a couple years after its 2010 adoption of Fast Plastic’s platform under the umbrella of GSTC, Golden Stick was soon drawn back to the days free of roster restrictions in 2012. Similar to New York in ’09, the national Fast Plastic player body was even more reluctant to break up perennial power houses. In what could be called one of the “biggest mistakes” in Golden Stick history, the 2012 merger of GSTC and Fast Pitch League play saw a free form roster process. Fast Pitch has never rebounded. While the OPEN’s of ‘12 (Doom), ‘13 (Blue Razrs), & ’14 (Blue Razrs) were amazing, each of them followed seasons of decline in league play.
The time for change has come. Here today in 2015, we are years evolved from these days of old. And…as history often calls for, we’re repeating ourselves. We're even repeating the prize money players flocked to in the old days! The draft is back!
The below presentation is an overview of how teams will form for this year’s Fast Pitch Nationals. In the weeks ahead, we’ll polish this proposal while we approach the OPEN, twisting through what could be the most exciting two months in league history.
PLAYERS LOOKING TO ENTER THE DRAFT -OR- SUBMIT FOR OWNERSHIP WITH A 2 MAN CORE, CLICK HERE.