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Isabella Grace Makes Her Debut, Clay In A Big Poker Game & A Race Horse Loose On The Highway

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Why is it great to be back to work? Because weekends like that one will end up breaking me

I left tiny Wren, OH Friday night fully convinced that I need to have a chat with Clay and OutKick execs about buying the streaming content rights to the Wren Wiffleball tournament. When I say that this Wiffleball tournament in the middle of nowhere Ohio is special, it’s not hyperbole. I’ve heard from Screencaps readers over the last 4-5 months via email and one of the things that is mentioned over and over is this desire to hear about the good in this country.

Readers tell me they’re seeking that pure slice of Americana that takes them back to simpler times. Well, folks, you can’t get much simpler than Wren where there’s one blinking light, one corner bar and an empty lot just 40 yards or so from the bar where 16 teams gather to put on the greatest Wiffleball action in the United States.

If there’s a better tournament out there, step up, show me you’re better because so far I have yet to see anything like Wren in my life.

One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering Wrenway Park is the lack of cell phones. Nobody on phones. Nobody taking TikToks. No Instagram photoshoots. Cellphones don’t work here. You’re lucky if 3G and one bar shows up. Even if you can make a phone call, there’s a good chance it’s going to drop.

The next thing you notice is that this tournament isn’t for a bunch of beer league softball guys. This was my dad’s first trip to Wren and the first thing that blew him away was the speed in which the game is played. Bodies flying around. Left fielders covering gaps and covering second base. The same with the right fielder. You have third basemen who have to play an odd gully down the line that causes all sorts of havoc. The catchers have to be athletes. Pop-ups behind home plate create at least 1-2 out opportunities each game.

As for hitting, this isn’t about home runs — we saw one to right field over three games while we were there Friday night. It’s about stringing together liners in gaps, which isn’t as easy as it sounds when outfielders are covering 122 feet down the lines and I believe 125 to dead center.

By Saturday night, the Ball Busters raised the trophy. Confetti cannons went off and then someone shot off fireworks. I’ll be back next year. Now I just need to figure out how to bring a video operation and enough broadband to get a broadcast out to OutKick readers around the world.

• Patrick C. in Perrysburg, OH sent this Friday after I posted on sending my kids off to school:

Loved your article this morning as it brought back many memories of sending our kids off to school. This year marks the first year since 2004 we don’t have a kid in Perrysburg school system. It feels a little strange, but as you send your kids off to pre-school and third grade, we’re taking our youngest off to Bowling Green this morning. As my Grandma used to say, “…when they’re young they step on your toes. When they grow older they step on your heart”

Thank goodness for dark Ray-Ban sunglasses. They’ll be called upon today to hide that pesky salty discharge that often comes from the eyes at moments like this.

• I saw some blue checkmarks acting all outraged over the fan fights taking place during the NFL preseason and had to laugh. Guys, I’ve been doing this for going on 14 years. You’ve now seen two fan fights this preseason. That’s nothing. I’ve seen Wednesday night Toronto Blue Jays games feature more violence than we’re witnessing from NFL stadiums. This is just a case of the blue checkmarks being the sky is falling nerds that they are.

• Anyone have a Gauntlet draft to report on? I’d love to hear how it went: joekinsey@gmail.com

• And just so we’re all on the same page, it’s officially college football game week. Nebraska-Illinois is this Saturday. Hawaii is at UCLA and then it’s UTEP-New Mexico State late Saturday night.

It feels damn good to get back at it.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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