The 71st Annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game is coming up on Aug. 17, and the Writers, hoping to keep their three-year winning streak intact, are importing former NY Ranger star Ron Duguay to bolster the lineup at the event — held at historic Herrick Park in East Hampton.
“He’s written his autobiography,” said Writers co-captain Ken Auletta from The New Yorker, batting away charges that he’s importing a ringer. Auletta is once again sharing managerial chores with starting second-baseman and author Mike Lupica. Duguay’s playing days ended two decades ago, but he’s a hockey analyst for MSG Network.
Best-selling author Walter Isaacson is expected to fill in for veteran journalist Carl Bernstein — who’s overseas — and expects to catch starter Benito Vila.
The legendary magazine designer Walter Bernard, who created the logos for the hats and shirts, returns to spearhead the Artists. He just finished writing the book “Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines” with longtime design collaborator and boss Milton Glaser. Bernard had started out as a student of Glaser’s and joined him at New York Magazine shortly after Glaser and Clay Felker launched the weekly in 1968.
He tells Media Ink that, among his favorite covers from the New York years are the infamous nose of Richard Nixon as an eggplant, the “Radical Chic” cover for a Tom Wolfe article and “The Mafia at War.”
“Mag Men,” from Columbia University Press, hits in December. “I’ll probably only play an inning or two,” said Bernard. The Artists are in the midst of a youth movement with up-and-coming stars like model and organic skin-care entrepreneur Rebecca Underdown and 23-year-old social media influencer Sean O’Donnell rounding out their roster.
The stalwart Leif Hope once again will single-handedly manage the Artists. “Only the Writers need two managers,” sniped Hope.
Also making the scene: Dan Rattiner, longtime editor-in-chief of Dan’s Papers who just celebrated his 80th birthday and the 60th birthday of the founding of the Montauk Pioneer, which evolved into the modern Dan’s Papers. The party at Gurney’s Star Island (aka the Montauk Yacht Club) had current Dan’s owner Richard Burns commissioning a larger-than-life statue with a plaster of Dan’s head imposed on a Lady Liberty figure with a replica of the Montauk Point Lighthouse held aloft instead of the traditional torch. “Two East End icons,” said Burns of the Statue of Liberty Dan with the lighthouse.
Rattiner won’t be playing, but will be calling balls and strikes as an umpire. Game time is 3 p.m. and admission is $10 with proceeds going to several East End charitable organizations.