Charlie Buttrey

Unless you read the news very carefully, you probably missed the obituary.  Marv Rotblatt, who pitched a total 35 games in the major leagues over three years in the in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, died earlier this month at the age of 85.  And if you missed the obituary, you missed what Paul Harvey would have called “The Rest of the Story.”

My daughter is a rising senior at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and it is through her that I have learned of “Rotblatt.”  Each year since 1967, Carleton students have engaged in an annual softball marathon dubbed “Rotblatt” (in Marv Rotblatt’s honor).  The number of innings played equals the number of years since Carleton was founded (the most recent game went 147 innings).   Students swing the bat with one hand; the other hand is clamped tightly around a plastic cup (you can guess what the cup holds).  Lest you think this sort of thing embarrasses the administration, think again: the President of the college throws out the first pitch.

When Marv Rotblatt made it to the Show, there were not a whole lot of Jewish ballplayers of note (I can think of Hank Greenberg; Sandy Koufax, Ken Holtzman and Kevin Youkalis would come later).  He may have passed on to the Big Ballfield in the Sky, but his memory is secure on the campus of Carleton College.

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