Herrick Park in East Hampton was once again the site of the Artists and Writers Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, August 21, the 73rd edition of the charity event.
Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, paid a visit to the game, and just as he did in 2019, stuck around to call balls and strikes from just beyond the pitcher’s circle for the first three innings.
Actor and director Jerry O’Connell was the opening emcee for the event, then handed it over to both President Clinton and East Hampton Village Mayor Jerry Larsen, who made some opening remarks before first pitch was thrown.
Regulars Mike Lupica, Karl Bernstein, Ken Auletta, Ed Hollander, Joe Sopiak, among others, continued to participate, and international singer/songwriter Katini Yamaoka sang “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” at the start of the seventh inning.
The Artists, as they did in 2019, topped the Writers, 11-9, using a four-run bottom of the seventh inning to increase what was only a one-run lead to start the frame. Peter Cestaro led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, Eddie McCarthy added another later in the same inning, and East Hampton’s own Brian Pfund also homered for the Artists. Andy Friedman had given the Writers an early 3-0 lead with a mammoth home run that landed on the tennis courts beyond left field.
The game raises funds for local entities including the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Phoenix House Academy, The Retreat and East End Hospice.