For about seven years now, I’ve been participating in the Artists & Writers Celebrity Softball game that takes place in East Hampton every August. It is a fun affair, but it is also kind of sad, because the Artists &. Writers softball game two weeks before Labor Day, signals the coming end of the summer.
My dad has been umpiring this game for as long as I can remember, every year I get to shake hands with Alec Baldwin and re-introduce myself as Dan Rattiner’s son, and every year I get to ride the bench nearly the entire time while talking with the other writers who kind of suck at playing softball but like being there. You have to pay your dues to play in the game, so I guess someday I will be there more than I am now which is once at bat every few years.
This year, the game takes place on August 18. The location of the game is where it has always been, which is the Herrick Park softball field in East Hampton. For this one day, the softball field that for the most part nobody uses except grade school kids, becomes one of the most popular places to be in the Hamptons.
Snapple is a huge sponsor of the event as well as HBO and Dan’s Papers. People from all over show up, and there are places to buy hot dogs, people bring their families and their dogs and sit down on lawn chairs to enjoy the game.
What’s crazy about this game is that it gets competitive, and this is not make believe theatrics. It’s also impressive how well a lot of these guys play softball. This year the Artists have announced that Mark Feuerstein of the hit television show “Royal Pains” will be playing for the Artists. The Artists’ captain, Leif Hope, made the announcement on the game’s Facebook page.
The roster for the game is very impressive this year, and includes old-timers and newcomers that include, Ken Auletta, Mike Lupica, Eric Ernst, Rod Gilbert, Walter Isaacson, Janet Dell’Aquila, Greg Bello, Jim Leyritz, Steve Roth, Ed Hollander, Richard Plepler, Scott Hamilton Kennedy, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Ed Hollander, Wendy Powers, Walter Bernard, Carl Bernstein, Bill Collage, David and Chris Brandman, Kayce Free, David Geiser, Mercedes Ruehl, Leif Hope, Dave Johnson, Jeffery Meizlik, Jack Dowd, David Bernstein, Chris London, Harry Javer and Liz Wolf, Deb and Kevin McEnearney, Juliet Papa, Richard Reeves, Kendall Veenema, Ronnette Riley, Brenda Siemer Scheider, Breet and Kate Shevack, Lori Singer, Stu and Susan Sleppin, B. Smith, Dan Gasby, Melissa Toma, Jennifer Palmer, Maureen Wilkane and Mort Zuckerman.
Oh and of course, there is right fielder Alec Baldwin.
The Artists & Writers Celebrity Softball Game benefits four worthy charities: East End Hospice, East Hampton Day Care Learning Center, Phoenix House of Long Island and the Retreat. The game began as a summer picnic in 1948 and has since grown into one of the most popular things to do in the Hamptons.
It’s just so much freaking fun to be down there and watching some softball under the summer sun. Not only is it a thing in the Hamptons that anybody can do, (you don’t have to buy a $500 a plate ticket in order to see the game) but you really get a timeless sense of what the Hamptons is all about. I’ve been going to this game since I can remember, and it really hasn’t changed much. The arguments still take place, the competition is still impressively fierce and my dad always ends up making at least one controversial call as umpire.
We’ll see you all there. We can’t wait and