It’s time to play ball! The 69th Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game, one of the East End’s longest running traditions—first played in Wilfrid Zogbaum’s front yard in 1948 and now played annually at Herrick Park behind the Stop & Shop in East Hampton—takes place on Saturday, August 19. The annual game is always held on the third Saturday in August and features famous journalists, authors, painters, designers and others. Notable alumni from over the years include Willem De Kooning, Pelé, Dick Cavett, Jackson Pollock, Paul Simon, Alec Baldwin, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Mike Lupica, Carl Bernstein and countless others.. Dan’s Papers founder Dan Rattiner will again serve as umpire.
This year’s game boasts two new additions. Leading off, the Future Artists & Writers Kids Clinic will be led by Eddie McCarthy of Hamptons Baseball Camp at 10:30 a.m. Aspiring stars between ages 5 and 11 can take the field to throw, bat and run. Players will be given instruction focused on defensive reads, base running, batting practice and more.
Following the Kids Clinic, adult sluggers will step up to the plate at the Hamptons Home Run Challenge, where two-person teams of a pitcher and batter will swing for the title of Hamptons Home Run Champs. In this fierce and friendly home-run-derby-style competition, teams will have 60 seconds to see how many balls they can send over the outfield wall. The winning team will receive Hamptons Home Run Challenge Trophies, a $500 gift certificate to Pierre’s in Bridgehampton and four tickets to the 2018 Dan’s GrillHampton. The entry fee to this inaugural event is a $500 charitable donation per team. Each team member gets an official Hamptons Home Run Derby shirt, commemorative photo and coverage in Dan’s Papers.
Come check out the celebrities in action and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream. The National Anthem will be presented by singers from houses of worship on the East End. Bring a chair and plan to get a shirt, hat and some raffle tickets—all for the benefit of agencies on the East End that provide vital human services. There’s a suggested $10 donation for admission—so worth it for a fun afternoon and to help make a difference in the lives of many in need. All money raised from the game will go to four worthy East End charities: East End Hospice, Eleanor Whitmore Childhood Center, The Retreat and Phoenix House Academy of Long Island.
East End Hospice provides care and comfort for terminally ill patients, their families and loved ones. Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center is the only nonprofit educational organization providing full-day, year-round childcare in East Hampton. It offers programs for pre-school children ages 18 months to five years to learn, explore and create. The Retreat in East Hampton provides safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and works to break the cycle of family violence. The Phoenix House Academy of Long Island is a substance abuse treatment center where young men make strides toward recovery while continuing their education.
For the full experience, head to the Pre-Game Party on Friday night before the game at Schenck Fuel Yard, 62 Newtown Lane, East Hampton. A suggested $25 donation per person will get you a fun evening of drinks and food from Swedish chefs, as well as access to a live auction.
All of these events lead up to the big game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Batting practice for both teams begins at 12:30. Don’t miss out!
The 69th annual Artists and Writers Game will be played at Herrick Park in East Hampton on Saturday, August 19. The rain date is Saturday, August 26. To purchase tickets for the Pre-Game Party or to sign up for the Kids Clinic and/or the Home Run Challenge, visit awgame.org/events.