The guest this week is another rookie, Jake Tomko. In just three weeks, Tomko has two POTW nominations under his belt. If only his teammates had voted for him, he might even have hardware. He’s part of the league’s shiny new object, the Blandsford Barnburners. Where is Blandsford? Why are they burning down barns? You won’t find answers to these questions here, but if you offer to buy them beer, or introduce them to a girl, they might tell you. Tomko’s streak of 20 perfect innings, the only 20 he’s thrown, is the longest in league history. Is he the best pitcher in the PWL, and if so, do we really care? The streak may end soon, but the first guy who has a real shot at the Pitching Triple Crown will hopefully be around for a while.
Nickname: Uncle Jake
Hometown: Manasty, VA
Currently Resides: Manasty, VA
TWIF: What is your favorite baseball team and who is your favorite baseball player of all time?
JT: Apart from the Barnburners and the Montgomery Biscuits, the New York Yankees rule my life. My first Yankees game was the 1996 World Series Game 2, the same year as Derek Jeter’s rookie season. I’ve followed him ever since. He exudes what a baseball player should be – hardworking, talented, and has no college degree.
TWIF: Have you ever used a Wiffleball bat for anything other than its intended purpose?
JT: Well if Deadliest Warrior would ever feature myself, my short range weapon of choice would definitely be an Official Wiffle Bat. Many backyard games have featured arguments over fair and foul turn into vicious combats where he who holds the bat is king.
TWIF: What is your favorite thing about Wiffleball?
JT: When going 5 for 8 with 2 homers is an average day for one of the twins.
TWIF: Pitcher’s Hand or Pegging?
JT: Pitchers Hand makes the game flow faster, but few things are more empowering than pegging a guy from 30 ft away – like Kris Garcia did in week 2.
TWIF: If you could lock up one player from the league in the Fort for the rest of the season, who would it be?
JT: I don’t know about any players, but maybe Clapp’s Terminator shades. But maybe I’m just bitter because he struck me out.
TWIF: It’s your rookie season, you’ve played five games over three days, for a total of 20 innings. Some of the girls in the league have had periods longer than that. You know that you’re eventually going to give up a hit, and also a run. The math is just against you. What the streak has meant to you; how it’s going to affect you and your teammates when it ends; and how does it compare to possibly winning a world series?
JT: The streak has been a lot fun. Now that I’ve gotten a legitimate perfect game, I’m okay with the streak ending. I just hope the streak ends on a solid hit, no little Mookie Wilson dribbler that allows a runner on. I’ve been lit up before against my teammates in some backyard games, so I know how it feels to really suck. It feels good to be on a roll like this. The streak ending will not affect the team as a whole. I’m excited to play some of the proven talent in this league to show that the Barnburners aren’t a case of beginners luck and are here to stay. But as for the streak ending, well, we’ll see when we get there.