The Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game traces its origins to a pick-up softball game, organized in 1948 by a group of artists that included Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Philip Pavia, and Jackson Pollock.

For the last 39 years, artist Leif Hope has championed the game and organized celebrities and figureheads such as Alec Baldwin, Bill Clinton, Yogi Berra, Christie Brinkley, Joe Torre, for a round of play to benefit various charities on the East End including The Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Phoenix House Academy, The Retreat, East End Hospice, and Guild Hall.

This year brought in some new blood including guitarist and musical legend GE Smith; his wife, producer Taylor Barton; NYC Ballet executive director Jon Stafford and multi-media artist Clifford Ross; model, photographer and skincare entrepreneur Rebecca Underdown; musician and photographer Chloe Gifkins; model and influencer Sean O’Donnell; and photographer Delfina Blacquier, the release said.

The Writers also had some new members on their team welcoming broadcaster and hockey legend Ron Duguay; ABC weatherman and new WLNG owner Bill Evans; CBS correspondent and Inside Edition weekend anchor Diane McInerney; screenwriter Daniel Pulick; Emmy award-winning filmmaker Rob Levi; stand-up comedian, actor and podcaster Remy Kassimir; parenting expert Erika Katz and financial writer Stone Abramson.

The Writers were led by The New Yorker writer Ken Auletta and sportswriter/novelist Mike Lupica, with screenwriters Bill Collage and Alec Sokolow; copywriter Brett Shevak; Fox News correspondent Rick Leventhal; strength and conditioning expert Jay Cardiello; rap artist Lance Romance; surf reporter Tom LaGrassa; sports news reporter/producer Ann Liguori; explorer Richard Weise; biographer and media legend Walter Issacson and last year’s Most Valuable Player essayist, musician and illustrator Andy Friedman, the release said.

The Artists lineup was managed by Leif Hope and architect Ronnette Riley and included street artist Zak Meers, landscape architect Ed Hollander, CharityBuzz founder Peter Borish, urban planner/designer Joe Sopiak, CBS News anchor Chris Wragge, film and video producer Stu Sleppin, graphic designer Walter Bernard, agent and entrepreneur Robert Tuchman as well as musicians Brian Pfund, Eddie McCarthy and Ron Noy.

The biggest surprise or the day came when former President, Bill Clinton stopped for an hour to play. Anything can happen in East Hampton.

Photo credits: Dell Cullum

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