Church balls ring as kickball league raises big bucks while destroying own integrity

Church balls ring as kickball league raises big bucks while destroying own integrity
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Several kickball teams lost on Sunday — but the one big winner was the Greenpoint Reformed Soup Kitchen.

The Brooklyn Kickball League raised $2,655 this weekend during its controversial buy-a-run charity event, where teams could purchase runs to defeat foes with the profits going to the emergency food preparation program.

League Commissioner Kevin “Commish” Dailey’s decision to toss away the league’s legendary integrity to help the neighborhood’s neediest residents with donations of $10 per run, was nevertheless lauded by Greenpoint Reformed pastor Ann Kansfield.

“Because we’re able to purchase food from the Food Bank of New York City at $0.10 to $0.18 per pound, the money raised will provide five weeks of food for 350 people,” said Kansfield, who does not play the sport of Kings professionally. “That’s a lot of food!”

The Labor Day charity led to some jarring box scores and non-competitive games that made a mockery of the standings.

For example, perennial bottom-dweller Hot Mess paid for two mercy-rule victories over second-ranked Never Scared and third-ranked New Frontiersmen.

“Hot Mess came packing with a fat lot and bought them out,” said Dailey. “They bought the Lobos, too, and threw $400 at the game. They must have raised $700.”

In other games, the People’s Court tamed the John Cougar Mellencamps with an assist from its wallet and blanketed a combination of the Bacon Bits and the Mathletes.

The buy-a-run fundraiser will likely become an annual Labor Day tradition and Dailey promised to raise even more money next year — despite the potentially deleterious effects on the league’s much-cherished probity.

But Dailey dismissed questions about whether charity could corrupt the league, noting that all kickball teams will make the playoffs and that it had little impact on playoff seeding.

“The only thing that it could have done is upset the top eight teams, which it didn’t,” said Dailey. “The Mathletes went down a peg, the Lobos lost all three games and [held onto eighth place]. Nobody got bumped off.”

The playoffs begin on Sept. 12 at McCarren Park ball fields (Bedford Street at N. 14th Street), 5 pm.