Artists beat writers in Hamptons softball game

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — The artists have drawn a victory over the writers in this year’s star-studded softball faceoff, a creative take on competition that’s become a fixture of the Hamptons summer fundraising scene.

“Today” show host Matt Lauer was an umpire and former President Bill Clinton was in the crowd Saturday as the artists’ team beat the writers, 8-6. Newsday (http://bit.ly/15VRwsO) reported.

Journalist Carl Bernstein was among the writers, as he has been for years. He told the newspaper he keeps participating “because it’s fun.”

“And I want to see if I still can do it,” the “All the President’s Men” co-author added.

On the artists’ side, “Footloose” actress Lori Singer called the game “a wonderful tradition.”

It started around 1948, when artists including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning organized pickup games, organizers say.

Now, celebrities clamor to play in the friendly-competitive event, which raised more than $100,000 this year for various eastern Long Island charities. Among the notables over the years: Christie Brinkley; Alec, Billy and Stephen Baldwin; Yogi Berra; Bob Woodward; Tom Wolfe; Martha Stewart, and Chevy Chase.

Lauer — whose fellow umpires included New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly — described refereeing for art and literary A-listers as “a lot of pressure, but fun.”

Often, the actual score can be debatable. At times, local newspapers have reported different outcomes from the same game.

In an essay for this year’s game program, author Richard Reeves estimated that in “modern times,” the writers had won 28 games, the artists had taken 16, and there had been one tie.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

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