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50 Hours of Baseball: East v. West

by David Krival

(This article appeared in the Winter 1993/1994 issue of HardBall Magazine)

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From 6 p.m. Friday, July 23rd through 8 p.m. Sunday, July 25th, MSBL affiliates in Sacramento, California and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania staged simultaneous non-stop baseball marathons at opposite ends of the continent.

Ed Bartholomew of the Lehigh Valley MSBL chaired the Pennsylvania event, held at Bucky Boyle Park in Allentown. "Everybody got into the act this year. The softball game between the wives of the thirty-and-over players and the wives of the forty-and-over players was about the fiercest of the weekend!”

Giving Something Back

All 400 Lehigh Valley MSBL members participated. The goal: to raise $10,000 for Dreams Come True, a foundation which grants the wishes of terminally ill children, and Camelot House, a home for dying or seriously ill children and their parents.

Besides pledging sponsors, the organizers raffled donated merchandise and sold tee shirts. Buffalo Bills star Andre Reed donated signed tee shirts, jerseys and a football to the raffle. "As ballplayers, we’ve always been on the receiving end,” said Nick Capora. "It’s time to give something back.” Lehigh Valley gave over $15,000 to the two charities.

The Committee: Ed and Donna Bartholomew, Nick Capora, Gordon Santee, Tim and Joy Boyland, Turk Starniri and Doreen Templeton, John Pena, Tom Gotschall, Rich and Jane Racosky, Santos Martinez, Marty Velasquez, Greg Marzano and Bruce Henry.

Tenth Anniversary for Sacramento

The marathon game at Renfree field was both a 10-year anniversary celebration for the Sacramento MSBL and a fundraiser for the Sacramento Children’s Home. "Fifty Hours” is a Sacramento innovation. This was the fourth year they have staged the event.

A Visit from the President

MSBL National President Steve Sigler joined the California celebration, participating in the Home Run Derby and the Celebrity Game. John Rice served as event chairman. Ex-pros Jim Barr, Ron Brand, Don Carrithers, Leon Lee, Leron Lee, Butch Metzger, Bob Oliver and Lowell Palmer played in the Celebrity Game alongside local radio and TV personalities.

Clay Sigg produced the fascinating 32-page ($1) program, which chronicled the history of the Sacramento league, its MSBL World Series triumphs, and the careers of its former Big Timers. MSBL members and supporters purchased advertising the in the program.

The 50 Hour Committee: Steve Gannon, Greg Elmasian, Steve Gonsiorowski, Jim Barr, Jerry Karnow, Val Lewis, Bill Boehm and Paul Blankenship (Director of Development at the Sacramento Children’s Home).

Stubs from the $2 admission tickets were good for discounts at local Round Table Pizza parlors. Sacramento also commissioned a 10thAnniversary uniform patch in honor of the event. As of this writing, tabulation of fundraising was not final.

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