In 1953, a father created a baseball substitute for his son to play with. A semipro pitcher, David Mullany was concerned about the effect pitching a baseball would have on his 12-year-old son's arm, so he set out to find him something easier to throw instead. Soon Mullany created a ball with eight oblong perforations: the world's first Wiffle ball, so named because the boys in Mullany's Fairfield, Conn., neighborhood referred to strikes as "whiffs." Mullany's ball proved easier to throw but harder to hit, and once the balls went into mass production later that year, Mullany had a home run on his hands.
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