Photo Coverage: The Broadway Softball League's 55th Season Opening Ceremony
Broadway's brightest gathered this morning, Thursday, May 28th, 2009 to officially open the 55th Season of the Broadway Softball League with the singing of the National Anthem and the ceremonial first pitches of the season.
Tony Award Nominee Constantine Maroulis sang the National Anthem and was joined for the opening celebration by Hunter Foster, Haydn Gwynne, Andy Karl, Greg Jbara, and Jeff Daniels among other theatre favorites.
In the early 1950's the casts and crews of Broadway shows got into the habit of walking up to Central Park on Wednesdays for informal picnics and softball games before they returned to the Theatre for the evening performance.
In early 1955, John Effrat, an employee of the Actors Fund, established a more formal league with several associates that would play on Thursday afternoons and called it the Broadway Show League.
Since then the League has continued to play on Thursday afternoons on the Hecksher Fields in Central Park. which lie just inside the park at Central Park West and 63rd Street. Many of the best known stars from the stage, films and television have played in the league at one time, as well as thousands of folks from behind the stage and in the "back of the house."
The League is comprised of people who work on Broadway and Off-Broadway shows: celebrities currently "on the boards," and members of the casts, crews, and orchestras, as well as union teams and theatrical organizations. Having established itself as co-ed, the League requires two women to bat and play the field at all times for every team. The regular season schedule usually consists of nine or ten games, followed by playoffs to determine the champions in various categories, plus special games for charity, All Stars, and Old-Timers.
For more information please visit www.broadwayshowleague.com
Photos by RD / Dziekan / Retna Digital
Constantine Maroulis gets ready for the Opening of the 55th Season of The Broadway Softball League
Presentation of the check to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids