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All Bettes Are Off

I enjoyed Erik Piepenburg’s NY Times story today about the Broadway show softball league in Central Park. As a former first baseman for the Bad News Bunnies of Playboy, I always felt one of the great things about summer in Manhattan was Central Park softball–there’s ESPN playing the NBA, there’s the Onion against Vanity Fair, there are the surprisingly solid High Times guys driving Business Week nuts with line drive after line drive. 

Piepenburg mentions how top Broadway stars have played in the past, but how it’s become rarer, "as producers worry that an injury to a marquee name could derail a costly show."

Upon reading that line, did anyone who’s consumed pop culture for the past decade not think of Bette Midler on Seinfeld? It was "The Understudy" in season six, and George rammed into Bette Midler–playing with the cast and crew of "Rochelle Rochelle"–on a play at the plate. Midler was down for the count, and her teary understudy had to fill in that night. 

How Piepenburg–and his editor–failed to toss that in, I’ll never know.