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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Rain can’t stop Rotblatt 145

<ugh the final scoreboard read Green Team 206, Pink Team 205, there were no losers at Rotblatt 145, as Carleton students carried on the time-honored tradition of daylong softball and merriment on Saturday.

Unseasonably cold and wet weather could hardly dampen the spirits of attendees. With a presidential first pitch and fireworks at dawn, live music and impromptu dance parties throughout the day, and of course, plenty of sloppy softball in between, few can debate the event’s success.

“It was a fantastic success,” said Ted Longabaugh ’11, one of the event’s referees and lead organizers. “Everything came together well.”

The game’s early-morning start has been a favorite spring term moment for generations of Carls, but this year’s beginning was particularly memorable. As usual, students at varying levels of wakefulness queued for hours on the Rec Center fields in order to gain one of the event’s precious t-shirts. Once the famed garments were distributed, however, the game began to unique fanfare with fireworks soaring into the chilly air, guitarist Will Tynan ’11 playing the National Anthem, and President Steven G. Poskanzer throwing out the first pitch.

“The fireworks were pretty cool and Will Tynan playing the Star-Spangled Banner was awesome,” said Longabaugh.

It was Poskanzer’s presence, however, that gave the moment a particularly festive feel. Wearing a Carleton jacket and pinstriped baseball pants, the president tossed a left-handed pitch into the eager hands of Longabaugh. The student masses cheered, the sky turned a lighter shade of gray, and 145 innings of softball commenced.

“Everyone really liked that [President Poskanzer] was there,” said Longabaugh. “It was great to have his support.”

Once the action shifted from ceremony to softball, however, all feelings of unity dissolved, replaced by the cutthroat competition of Green versus Pink. The score seesawed throughout the lengthy contest, with many a deep drive, one-handed catch, or unanticipated muddy slide drawing roars of approval from onlookers.

“One of the biggest highlights was the first base dance party,” said organizer Erin Heydinger ’11. “I had a great time, especially when Johnny Cash came on.”

While the less intrepid may have been deterred by the weather, Mother Nature treated those who braved the rain and cold to many an amusing spectacle.

“Just seeing funny things happen in the mud was really great,” said Heydinger.

Meanwhile, those choosing to take a break from the field of play were treated to a wide array of sensory delights. For the hungry, the sumptuous handiwork of grill-master Alexander Heid ’11 awaited; for the thirsty, the smooth, rich taste of Northern Lager, present in ample abundance thanks to the generous donations of Rotblatt’s many sponsors.

Meanwhile, those in need of auditory nourishment also received their fill. A pair of student bands as well as DJs Adonius Lewis ’11 and Victor Ramirez ’11 highlighted the middle portion of the day.

“The bands were great,” said Longabaugh. “Everyone was having a fantastic time.”

The Rotblatt stage’s first occupants, Throwin’ Bones, were already a hot campus commodity, one that will serenade Carleton’s ears again to begin Spring Concert at 2 p.m. tomorrow. After the ferocious foursome dazzled a throng of spectators, however, newcomer quintet Vision Quest took the stage and warmed the hearts and eardrums of audience members with 90s favorites that sounded just as raw as they did in the pre-Y2K days.

With confidence buoyed by his on-stage success, Vision Quest member Seth Jonker ’11 took to the playing field and posted an MVP-caliber performance for the Pink Team. The hard-nosed senior went 3-for-5 with three home runs, leaving fans wondering how Carleton’s baseball team would have fared had Jonker diversified his portfolio of talents from strictly basketball.

Despite posting one of Rotblatt’s most impressive slugging percentages in recent memory, however, Jonker remained humble in the face of the occasion’s overall greatness.

“Danced, played some music, slept,” read the senior’s Facebook status, before mentioning his on-field success and summing up the experience with a simple “what a day.”

While Jonker and his fellow competitors wiled away the hours with singles, doubles, and many a first base dance party, the event’s organizers remembered to keep track of Rotblatt’s integrity in lieu of the recently enacted Rice County social host ordinance. Numerous referees underwent strenuous hours of online bartender training in order for the event’s noble provision of beverages to continue despite the recent crackdown. And when a surprise visit from a Northfield Police Officer arrived, the team handled the affair with legendary ease, manning the kegs with trained hands while Longabaugh chatted up the law.

“I talked to him, explained to him the event and the procedures we had in place,” explained Longabaugh. “He actually joked with me and asked what inning it was.”

With highlights a-plenty happening on the field and the organizers’ loving care keeping it that way, it was only fitting that Rotblatt come to a dramatic conclusion. With the clock having already chimed 7 p.m. and the game more than 14 hours young, Team Green scratched one more run across the scoreboard than its Pink counterparts, proving once and for all that Carleton is indeed a Green Campus.

“It was a lot different organizing, but it made me appreciate it that much more,” reflected Heydinger. “Despite the weather, the day went off without a hitch.”

And with such a winning Saturday still fresh in the student body’s memory, the forecast can only call for more end-of-the-year magic behind the Rec Center at Spring Concert tomorrow.

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