Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game Postponed

Justin Meinken

The East Hampton Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game has been postponed due to COVID-19. The game was scheduled for August 15 in Herrick Park.

“We held on to the hope of our having a game for as long was we could,” said board president Benito Vila. “We’re postponing until next year. Maybe then, we’ll play two. Our not being able to assure the health and safety of fans and players made the decision an obvious one for us. The board had been planning on having the 2020 game take on the socially distanced, picnic-like feel of the original 1948 game, but recent events locally and nationally caused everyone involved to reconsider that approach.”

This summer, the non-profit has started an Artists v. Writers 2020 Charity Challenge on GoFundMe. The goal is to raise $30,000 for four local charities, with 100 percent of net proceeds benefiting The Retreat, The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, East End Hospice and The Phoenix House.

You can click to donate to either the artists or the writers, adding to the tradition of friendly competition between the two. Place your bet, and your donation, on the team you want to win.

“We can’t play but we can still help our neighbors,” said board treasurer and game videographer David Brandman. “The need for the charities we support has never been greater. We’ve set up this donation link so our players and fans, so our whole community, can help us help them, while cheering on their team. The side bringing in the most money will be the home team at next year’s game.”

This year’s game would have marked the 72nd anniversary. That legendary first game was played in Springs, featured artists Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Philip Pavia, and Joan Mitchell. Writers began to join the lineup in the 1950s.

In recent years, players have included the likes of Alec Baldwin and President Bill Clinton.

Mike Lupica at bat. Independent/Courtesy Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game

“No one will miss the 2020 Artists Vs. Writers Game more than Ken Auletta and I will. Each of us has been a part of it for 40 years,” said sportswriter and novelist Mike Lupica, who is the Writer’s second baseman and lead-off hitter. “We love the whole day, from the time we show up for batting practice until the first postgame beer at Dopo, and even our annual Sunday morning phone call replaying the game over the phone.”

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