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Wally Parker greeted by teammates after knocking in the winning runs

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Charity Softball Game raises $8,000

July 8, 1999
A game winning rally in the bottom of the seventh lifted the KeySpan Employee Softball Team to an 8-7 victory over WFAN in this year's contest. In addition to providing a good time for players and spectators, the event raised close to $8,000 to help fight a crippling disease.

About the Event

The game was organized by Ed Brodsky of KeySpan Energy as a benefit to Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. SMA is a crippling and sometimes fatal disease that destroys the nerves controlling voluntary movement. It is the number one killer of children under the age of two and one in 40 people carry the SMA gene. Ed has become an active member of the Families of SMA organization because his four year old son Michael suffers from the disease.

This year's KeySpan/WFAN game was the third time these contestants have played in support of this charity. Money was raised through raffles and contributions from KeySpan, IEBW Local 1049, LIPA, Truly Nolan, Stiches 'n Things, and Car Tunes & Minuteman Press.

An additional benefit event is scheduled for July 30, when LI News 12 plays Farmingdale's Fire Department at the Bethpage Community Park. Ed feels the two events will raise more than last year's $10,000 total. All funds are used in support of SMA research and assistance programs.

Highlights of the Game

Bob Catell (CEO of KeySpan Energy) threw out the first ball. Ed described Catell as the only man to throw out the first ball at Shea and at the SMA softball event. However, as soon as the WFAN team came to bat in the top of the first, the play got serious. By the time KeySpan got up to bat they were down by three runs.

But this was a tough fought game. Each side made a number of quality plays and the lead swung back and forth. WFAN took the lead by 1 in the top of the seventh (and last inning). It was at this point when Bob Catell guaranteed the KeySpan cheering section a win. His prediction came to pass when Wally Parker batted in two runs in the bottom of the 7th to produce a victory. Parker, probably the oldest player on the field (sorry Wally) had played a superb game, reaching base on all 4 of his previous times at bat.

For his clutch hits, speedy base running and great playing (especially for an old guy), we are awarding Wally Parker as Streetplay's MVP of the Week.

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