On December 17th, 2014 I received an email from an unknown man named Derek Dust. “I am always up for any kind of wiffle”, he wrote. This was the first time a complete stranger expressed interest in playing at Shed Field. I was very excited as a 16 year old wiffleball commissioner, but my stranger danger instincts were also on alert.
I decided take a chance on this enthusiastic wiffler and sign him to my team.
He strolled into my backyard on opening day 2015 with his son Cam and a corked bat. He made an immediate impact on the league with his infectious energy and chatter. He also won rookie of the year.
The most memorable moment of his career came in a hotly contested game versus the Red Sox in 2015. Exact details are shady, but let’s just say in a tied ballgame Sam Essen hit a home run off the shed roof. He called it fair and Derek promptly responded “fair my ass”. This single line has become legendary among the Shed Field faithful.
Derek was also a pilot member of the Shed Field Loons, back-to-back NWLA National Tournament qualifiers! Without him, we surely would not have made such a splash on the national scene. I will never forget the iconic photo of him “fighting the power” at the 2016 tournament (see below).
Derek has taught me one important lesson about the game of wiffleball: it’s not worth playing if you’re not having fun. Derek always took the field with child-like wonder and awe. Play hard, have fun hard.
In honor of Derek, Shed Field will be retiring his initials “DD” in a special ceremony in 2020. No other player with those initials will be allowed to hit a home run at Shed Field ever again. All future DD home runs will count as negative points.
Signing off for probably another 2 years,
PS. No, Derek isn’t dead. He’s just moving to Florida.