Buy-a-Run day returns, continues to challenge ethics of sport

Buy-a-Run day returns, continues to challenge ethics of sport
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Kickball’s controversial fundraiser is back for a second helping.

On the last day of the regular season on Aug. 28, teams will be able to purchase runs at $10 a piece, a benefit for the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s food bank.

League Commissioner Kevin “Commish” Dailey is encouraging teams to “corrupt the system” by buying runs, and even wins, against rival teams to help the church buy food supplies for its pantry and soup kitchen.

“Some teams can buy themselves a playoff seed; others will be boxed out,” said Dailey. “All I can say is put up or shut up. If your team is good enough, you can kick your way out of being out-bought.”

Still, the fundraiser allows talent-challenged teams such as Salute Your Jorts, ironically named Natural Born Winners, or the beyond-stale Taco Taco Taco to finally beat the league-leading John Cougar Mellencamps.

As such, not everyone is a fan.

“Whoever gives the most money wins? It’s not really about playing a good game of kickball,” said New Frontiersman pitcher Jessica “Sporting All-American Style” Siebert.

Last year, the league raised $2,665 for the church, as one of the season’s lowest-ranked teams, Hot Mess, bought victories over second-ranked Never Scared and third-ranked New Frontiersmen for $300.

“It was the only day Hot Mess mercied anyone last year, so it was a good day,” said Hot Mess infielder Ashley “The Megaphone” Terrill. “Though I don’t think the ‘ranked’ teams like it so much.”

So far Dailey has already raised $4,000 and hopes to generate more through sponsorships with restaurants and bars near McCarren Park.

Several veteran kickball players have volunteered at the church’s soup kitchen on Wednesday nights, and Dailey says that now the players can put their money where others mouths are.

“What people need to understand is unemployment is high, and services are being cut,” said Daley. “Starving people need more money and there are more needy people.”

Game notes

A record rainfall on Sunday washed out much kickball action, as only 10 teams showed up to play.

Brooklyn United reaffirmed its reputation as the league’s best sloppy weather team, butchering the Bacon Bits, 10-2, and dismissing People’s Court.

“It was disgusting!” said Brooklyn United’s “Hey” Kate Brown. “There was a huge puddle just past home plate, so to slide into home meant you were getting soaked. Everybody went for it.”

In other games, of which there were few, Baywatch solved the slumping Mathletes, 5-4, Bacon Bits stomped on Natural Born Winners, and a rag-tag team of five kickball players, including Dailey, mercy-ruled Salute Your Jorts.

Dailey was proud of the teams that came out.

“It was warm enough so it was like a water park — everyone got wet and extremely sore,” said Dailey. “If you take a bad hop to the face, it’s not going to hurt very much.”

Brooklyn Kickball at Gilroy Field in McCarren Park (Bedford Avenue at N. 13th Street in Greenpoint), Sundays, 5–11 pm.

Sarah “Imaginary Number” Koniarski, Mathletes
Photo by Elizabeth Graham