The 8th Annual Festival of Softball: After 800 Innings the “Tribute to Noah” nears $100,000

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It is not uncommon to see softball played at Cobb’s Hill late into the night. But at this time of the year, one game goes past midnight. This year 12:29 a.m. to be exact.

This year marks the 8th Annual Festival of Softball.  Every year hundreds of volunteer softball players (and umpires) have gathered at Cobb’s Hill, divided into Red and White teams, to battle it out for all of 100 innings (10 ten games in all).  The game is a “Tribute to Noah Passero,” an 8 year old youngster from Webster, who passes away in April 2008 while waiting for a heart transplant at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, after a long battle with heart disease.

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Inside the equipment shed at Cobb’s Hill

Funded by the players and individual and corporate sponsor, all proceed benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiology Fund of the University of Rochester Medical Center at Strong Memorial Hospital. As of now, the 8 year total is $97,500. As donations come in, the Tribute expects to hit the goal of $100,000.

I arrived a bit late–in the 94th inning–as Team White led 143 – 128.

 Official Scorekeeper Becky Martin and Announcer Terri Bradshaw

Official Scorekeeper Becky Martin and Announcer Terri Bradshaw

There I met the true Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken of the event, Announcer Terri Bradshaw and Official Scorer Becky Martin.  I discovered that Terri and Becky had been at their post from 8:30 in the morning until what was then nearing midnight. Terri, who also has announced high school wrestling tournaments, did leave briefly to play 8 innings in one game.  Meals were eaten while on duty and all bathroom breaks took place between games.  Talk about Iron Women!

In announcing, for the most part, Terri played it straight, simply giving name and position. Occasionally an embarrassing  gaffe or unlikely sprint by a less than chiseled athlete would draw timeless wry commentary: “Don’t give up your day job, “Get that man some oxygen.”

The highlight of the day came when White Team coach Dave Divose allowed me to pinch hit in the 98th inning. Dave, who has played the game for now 7 years, even two years ago in sleet,  said he was saving his best for last.

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Sports history captured by Dave Divose

The situation was taut. The crowd thrilled as Teri announced my name. I lacked a uniform, proper shoes, and had not swung a bat since before Labor Day. No matter. I scorched a one hopper down the third base line. The fielder’s lunge, the sprint, the throw, the call.  Bang-bang.  OUT!

I also am an umpire so I knew the call was correct. Back at the bench, my teammates were convinced I had been robbed.  Quietly I told the umpire he got it right. But next year at the 9th Annual Festival of Softball, he better call me safe.

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 THE COBB’S HILL SERIES

<h3><strong>The Cobb’s Hill Series</strong></h3>

Adding a wooded haven to the Cobb’s Hill series with a stroll through Washington Grove

Adding a March blizzard to the Cobb’s Hill series

172 years ago when the Millerites trudged down Cobb’s Hill

42 years and counting for the Kick Ass Kro-Kay Club of Cobb’s Hill

Once more into the breech on the banks of Lake Riley

Flowering Upper Monroe

Ultimate spring fever at Cobb’s Hill

On a mound at Cobb’s Hill! And how the City of Rochester handles its loose leaves.

Cobb’s Hill welcomes the Ninth Cobb’s Hill Cyclocross

Diehards and the Cobb’s Hill Tennis Courts

Back to normalcy at Cobb’s Hill basketball

Rochester’s own street ball Rucker League

 

That Championship Season thirty five years later

The Cobb’s Hill tragedy of an “invisible man” ten years later

On the 22nd of October, 1844 on top of Cobb’s Hill