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'The Backyard Baseball League' - Common Application Personal Essay- Wiffleball


cchstroy 2 / 3  
Oct 5, 2009   #1
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Here is my essay:

Wiffleball is generally recognized as a children's recreational activity. Even I viewed it as a children's game until a few years ago when my friends and I formed a neighborhood wiffleball league. The "Backyard Baseball League", as we dubbed it, functioned not only as an athletic competition, but also as a litmus test for my own self-discovery.

My friends and I founded the "Backyard Baseball League", or BBL, during the summer after my eighth grade year, a time when identifying my likes and dislikes would be especially important due to the oncoming of high school. In the 2006 opening season, the BBL included a meager eight players, a number that would increase to over forty in the later seasons. Of those eight members, myself and two others emerged as leaders of the tiny organization.

As leaders, we desired for the league to become more official. We fashioned our own rulebook, invented our own slogan ("Just Swing"), and recorded our own stats. The ease with which these ideas were made concrete astonished me. I had never worked with such efficiency before. I attributed my success to the pleasure I received from constructing new ideas. Doing anything is much easier when it's possible to enjoy it simultaneously. I soon realized I had a passion for creating and implementing novel ideas. For example, the issue of recording statistics proved difficult. It would not be possible to use an actual baseball scorecard to record stats due to our league's unusual rules. I seized this opportunity to create my own scorecard, specially designed to accommodate the BBL. I created that scorecard four years ago; the BBL still uses it today. I never would have made this self-discovery, if the BBL never existed.

Statistics played a major role in the development of the Backyard Baseball League, at least, in my eyes it did. Following an evening a wiffleball, my friend and I would sit down and input the stats from the scorecard into a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel, which I had programmed to automatically calculate batting averages and other stats. I enjoyed programming the spreadsheets more than the average person should. Of the forty-plus players in the BBL, very few of them cared for their stats. Nevertheless, I spent hours working on new, more automated spreadsheets. After one particularly long night on the computer, I realized what motivated me to continue working with the statistics even though no one cared; I had a strong passion for math, and programming. This self-discovery is one I truly value, because it helped me to realize that I would like to major in mathematics and computer science in college. Finally discovering what truly gives me happiness, I can say, is the result of a few neighborhood friends and their desire to play wiffleball.

bam1992 2 / 4  
Oct 5, 2009   #2
You might want to be more descriptive/creative in your writing. You could write an introduction with lots of imagery about playing wiffleball.

Grammar and spelling seemed pretty good overall, just a couple things:

"Following an evening a wiffleball,"

You say "stats" fairly often. You shouldn't use informal abbreviations like this...maybe you could replace some of them with "data" or "information."

"made this self-discovery, if the BBL never existed." Don't need the comma there.

"myself and two others" should be "two others and I" or "two friends and I."
OP cchstroy 2 / 3  
Oct 6, 2009   #3
Thanks for the grammar corrections. I'll be sure to fix them

As for using more imagery in the introduction, I'm not sure if I should because the essay's focus isn't really on "playing" wiffleball, its focus is more on the discoveries I made while creating and developing the league.

But I probably should use more imagery elsewhere in the essay...

Thanks for the reply!


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