Sometimes science shows us the secrets of the universe, sometimes it takes us to space…and occasionally it just gives our kids something cool to play with. The Wiffle Ball was invented today in 1953 by David Mullaney as a game for his 12-year-old son. The holes in the ball gives it a curving and often unpredictable flight path, so kids of any age have a fair shot at winning. Mullaney’s new ball-and-bat game has become tremendously popular through the decades, and there are even Wiffle Ball leagues for players with a lightweight plastic passion.
In the long run, Mullaney gave his kid much more than a way to pass the time on summer afternoons; he gave him—and his grandson—a business to run after those childhood afternoons were gone.