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JEREMY RAY

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YEARS ACTIVE: 2014-2018

BIRTH PLACE: HUNTINGTON, WV

BIRTH YEAR: 1985

PRIMARY POSITION: PITCHER

BAT/THROW: RIGHT/RIGHT

CONTRIBUTIONS: 

TEAM CAPTAIN, LEAGUE COMMITTEE MEMBER, NWLA TEAM CAPTAIN, PODCAST CO-HOST, STATISTICIAN AND WRITER/COMUMNIST

TEAMS PLAYED FOR:

SIT ON MY BASE (2014)

SIT ON MY BASE (2015)

SIT ON MY BASE (2016)

WIFFLE HIT WONDERS (2017)

SIT ON MY BASE (2018)

ACHIEVEMENTS: 

CY WIFFLE (2015 & 2018), SEASON MVP (2015 & 2016), GOLDEN SLUGGER (2015 & 2016), and SILVER SLUGGER (2014) 

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2014 was a year that put the league on the map and in the national spotlight. It was a year that featured the league adding expansion teams and changing formats, equipment and lineups. That year would be known for many many things but it will also be known as Jeremy Ray's rookie season. He was first seen at the 2014 Pre-season Winter Meeting and when Kevin Chattin announced the name of the team (Sit On My Base) it was Ray's voice that could be heard laughing the loudest. It would be a familiar sound he'd make throughout his career and it could be heard at the field's just as much as any songbirds in the area.

Joined by teammates Andrew Westcott, Scott Westcott, Kevin Chattin and Brad Washburn - Ray would lead the team to a divisional title and a spot in the 2014 championship game that went into extra innings (10 in total) where he pitched the complete game. Then in the top of the 10th, Jacob Fischer hit a 2-run home run that would end up being the clencher for the Honey Badgers to secure the title. Although he lost that game, he had solidified his position as a dominant pitcher that didn't just have speed but a lot of movement and tact with his pitch selection making him an elite pitcher in the league.

 

It was easy for some to forget what a good pitcher he was in the league in 2014 season but it would be at that year's NWLA Tournament that he would see his name move into the lime light. Ray had earned a spot on a roster filled with pitching talent and he was selected more for his batting and a potential relief pitcher. But when some of the pitchers struggled with accuracy, Jeremy found himself on the mound (and on the national stage) more and more as the tournament progressed and by the time the team had left Columbus - it was Jeremy Ray that everyone was talking about. And not too much has changed since then, he became the face of the league overnight and graciously spoke with whomever requested an ear. 

In 2015, he returned with a renewed sense of confidence and found himself with a target on his back by other teams' big hitters. This was something he anticipated going into the year and rather than resting on his achievements, he continued to practice after the 2014 season ended and had gotten even better. 2015 was the year that pitching rotation rules came into play and pitchers that regularly pitched complete games each time they took the mound had dominated the game and the rule change was to discourage dangerous overuse that would doubtlessly lead to injury. Fewer pitchers threw more than Ray did in 2014 (88 IP, 1.42 ERA, 76 Ks and a 11-4 record) and it was expected that his numbers would level out in 2015. This would prove not to be the case. Despite pitching 40 fewer innings than the previous year he still managed 62 Ks with a 2.29 ERA and a 12-0 record. He won 2015 Cy Wiffle despite again losing in the championship (this time against Drew McClanahan and Breaking Balls).

2016 saw the league entering an exciting era filled with change with Patrick Rayl now commanding the league and changing the season into a series of monthly slow-pitch tournaments. Ray was no 'defanged' of his pitching abilities in favor of a more offensive-driven style of play. Still with Sit On My Base, Ray began to focus more on something he was already good at, but admittedly less known for, hitting. As he was no longer burdened by exhausting pitching duels he had more energy at the plate and was considered by many to be the best hitter in the league in 2016. He won Golden Slugger with an astounding .743 batting avg, 33 HRs (2nd in league), 52 RBIs (2nd in league), 158 total bases (1st in league), .747 OBP% (1st in league), and 2.135 SLG% (2nd in league). Regardless of the fact that this was a slow-pitch season permitting such video game stats, these are still monumentally impressive numbers and well above the league average that year. The rest of the roster also played at a high level and Sit On My Base finished the 2016 season as champions.

The league would go through another sea change with regard to format in 2017 with the draft era. The league committee and team captains gathered on April 18, 2017 at Jeremy's house for the draft and live-streamed the event. To no one's surprise, Ray was the first pick in the draft as he was drafted by the Anthony Stidham and his Wiffle Hit Wonders. The team would draft other well-known star Ryan Pritt (who would not play that season), Paul Castle, Derek Darlak, and Patrick Horton. On paper, this team had all the ingredients to make a run at the championship. But player attendance would become the Achilles heel of the team and would prove to be their undoing and their season would become so dire that they would struggle to field a team in the waning months of the season. The season was a hybrid slow/fast pitch style that alternated month to month and Ray's stats were not typical of what many had come to expect. He also did not have the much needed run support needed to walk away with any wins, in fact - he 0-1 record with only 9 innings pitched but still managed to strike out 16 batters (2nd in league).* 

The draft would be scrapped in the offseason and in 2018 the league went back to a bi-weekly regular season format with medium-speed selected as the pitching style. While Ray was did boast a tough-to-hit fastball, he had become best known for his variety of junk pitches (particularly his screwball). So when the format changed took velocity out of the pitchers' toolkits, Ray still had plenty to work with striking out 30 batters in only 24 innings pitched and finishing the year with a 7-0 record. To no one's surprise he found himself with yet another Cy Wiffle Award (the only pitcher to win the award twice). His ERA was a shocking 3.75 despite having a speed limit enforced which was 1/3 of the next best ERA. He won his third Golden Slugger with an impressive .716 AVG. Sit On My Base didn't win the championship but Ray finished the year (and his career) arguably being the best player of the season which is why he also won the 2018 Season MVP. 

During his 5-year career he navigated the league's various format changes and found his performance consistently putting him in the upper echelon of the league. He played for every team that the HWL sent to regionals and/or nationals. He was the number one pick in the year's only player draft in 2017. He has won 10 awards in the league (more than any other player in league history) which includes 2 Cy Wiffle Awards and is a 3x winner of Season MVP Award as well as Strikeout King in 2015 (tied w/ Paul Hesson) and 4 batting awards (Silver Slugger in 2014 & Golden Slugger in 2015/2016/2018). While Jeremy's career normally involved his team finishing just short of the top prize but in terms of his playing achievements, it could be easily argued that he finished second-to-none.

* = slow pitch games do not keep pitching statistics

COLUMNIST

COLUMNIST

COMPETITOR

COMPETITOR

CHAMPION

CHAMPION

AWARD WINNER

AWARD WINNER

CONTRIBUTOR

CONTRIBUTOR

FRIEND

FRIEND

CAREER STATISTICS

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