Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin once played 3 a.m. softball at the NJ shore
Were you at the famous softball game in the middle of the night in Absecon in the 1980s?
A Facebook post on the page of the Absecon Police Department's page reminisces about that magical middle-of-the-night event.
According to the post,
In the 1980's the casinos in Atlantic City teamed up with Tommy Lasorda and Frank Sinatra to have a baseball game in Absecon....at 2am.#HeDidItHisWay.
Apparently, once word got out that Ol' Blue Eyes and one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' greatest managers were in town playing stickball, many residents of Absecon flocked to the old ball fields on Michigan Avenue to watch...in their pajamas. #TeachMeHowToSnuggie
As the crowd cheered on Frank, Tommy and their entourage, they had no idea that they would be witnessing an iconic moment in the history of Absecon.
While I was not at the event, I did a little research and cannot find mention of Tommy Lasorda in several news accounts.
A UPI wire story indicated the game pitted a Frank Sinatra-led team (the Blue Eyes) against a team coached by Dean Martin (the Red Eyes).
Several recounts of the game say it ended in an 18-18 tie.
Since originally posting this story in 2016, we have found additional information in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
There were no cell phones back then, and no TV coverage of the event that we know of. A post early this year on Facebook has some actual photos from the event, and some eyewitness accounts of who was there, etc. That post can be found here.
Then there's this quote from AbseconHistory.com:
"1980: August 26th, Absecon’s own Ben Grazino invited two famous celebrities to visit Absecon, (his personal friends) Frank Sinatra (Old Blue Eyes) and Dean Martin (Old Red Eyes). They choose teams and played baseball at Memorial Field. The start time was 3 am still thousands of people showed-up to watch the game end in an 18 – 18 tie. The event raised money for the Lions Rehabilitation and Recreation Center for the Blind."