Artists and Writers Game Scores $70k for Charities

The 63rd annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game added new members to its roster.

After losing to the Artists last year, the Writers exacted their revenge by trouncing the artists 17-12 at the in in East Hampton on Saturday.

According to Leif Hope, the game's lead organizer, the game helped raise over $73,000 dollars for three local charities; East Hampton Day Care Learning Center, East End Hospice and Phoenix Houses of Long Island. The August tradition drew a crowd of over 1,000 onlookers, he said.

Softball fans, celebrity gawkers and people who just wanted to come to support the charities got their money's worth. The Artists team included 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin, Real Housewives of New York City's Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, actor Greg Bello and artist Eric Ernst. On the Writers side were David Baer (named MVP), Roger Rosenblatt, and Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica.

The Writers played a strong game thanks, in part, to the help of , former New York Yankee and author of Catching Heat.

In between innings, Leyritz addressed the crowd, saying, that he was happy to be part of the event which was raising a lot of money for charity. He added, "and I'll tell you what; there's some great competition out here."

Asked how the Artists and Writers game compared to the 1996 World Series, in which his heroics helped lead the Yankees to the championship, Leyritz said, "I just got a base hit out here and it's almost the same."

Singer David O'Leary stirred the crowd with a rendition of "Stand Up and Fight" from Carmen Jones.

Dave Johnson, the development associate at Phoenix House, said, "The exposure that we get from the game is tremendous."

He added, "We're able to tell people what we do. We rely on an event like this to raise money."

Juliet Papa, an award winning reporter for 1010 WINS who has been announcing the games for 20 years, said, "I like to serve the community that's been so good to me."

"These charities have been in the community for a really long time," she said. "They do great work."

The players also seemed honored to be a part of the tradition itself which dates back to 1948, here in East Hampton. Leyritz said after the game, "It"s great now to be a part of this group, this great fraternity"

The former Yankee said that it was fun to him to play with a lot of the celebrities and mentioned Josh Charles, an actor who plays on the CBS drama, "The Good Wife," which he watches.

Lupica, who has a house in Bridgehampton, said that he has been playing in the game for 30 years. "This isn't a tradition that started 15 minutes ago. It connects us to our past and it's very important."

But, Lupica at times was very animated and even agitated. Papa even described him as "limping and cranky," although it all seemed in the spirit of good competition. "The charities are awesome and the fellowship is meaningful," he said.

Jack Perna August 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM
I watched game from behind the outfield...Josh Charles has some arm...spot-on every throw.
Louis Myrick August 23, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Correction: Dave Johnson is the development associate for East End Hospice, not Phoenix House as originally reported.


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