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

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


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.


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.


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.




<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


About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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