Celebrities braved the dog days of summer and came out to Herrick Park in East Hampton to hit a home run for local charities Saturday, August 15 at the 67th annual Artists & Writers Softball Game. The artists topped the writers, 7-4, but the big winners were the four East End charities, The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center in East Hampton, Phoenix House Academy in Wainscott, The Retreat and East End Hospice, which will receive proceeds from the game.
The star-studded rosters included Lori Singer, last year’s MVP Richard Sullivan, Ken Auletta, Mike Lupica and Jim Leyritz. Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was the third-base umpire, and WEHM radio host Anthony, Inside the Actors Studio’s James Lipton and Josh Brandman provided play-by-play and color commentary for the fierce but friendly competition. Players got in some swings and signed autographs during batting practice. Thirty-plus members of the Choral Society of the Hamptons performed the national anthem under the direction of Christine Cadarette before the game began at 2pm. Fans and celebrities, including former New York Rangers player and author Rod Gilbert, watched the summertime classic and enjoyed ballpark fare like hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream.
The weekend began with a pre-game party Friday night at LTV Studio in Wainscott. Players mingled and people were able to enjoy local food, wine and beer and bid in live and silent auctions. Fans can continue to bid on auction items online until Aug. 22.
The Artists & Writers Softball Game, the Hamptons’ longest running charity game, began as more of a lighthearted, modest picnic for artists in 1948. Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Philip Pavia, Jackson Pollock and Joan Mitchell were among the first players. It has grown to one of the most prominent events on the Hamptons summer social calendar over the years, as Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin and former president Bill Clinton have made their ways to Long Island’s East End to watch or play in the ultimate summer softball game. Last year, the Artists & Writers Softball Game raised more than $200,000 for local charities.