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New York Times reports passing of Marv Rotblatt, namesake of Carleton's annual marathon game

July 23, 2013

The New York Times reports the passing of Marv Rotblatt, 85, who died July 16 in Evanston, Ill. The New York Times notes that, in addition to being known as one of major league baseball's shortest pitchers (Rotblatt measured in at 5 feet 6 inches tall), he was also the inspiration for Carleton College's annual "Rotblatt" softball game, cited by Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the “longest intramural event” in the nation. According to the New York Times, "Carleton students played a 100-inning, one-day, nine-hour softball game they christened Rotblatt in the spring of 1967, to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival on campus of the college’s first class. The game was an outgrowth of the intramural Marvin J. Rotblatt Memorial Softball League — named, according to college lore, by a student who had a vintage Rotblatt bubble gum trading card."

Reporter Richard Goldstein explains that Rotblatt, by now retired from baseball and working as an insurance agency, "had never heard of Carleton when he became a campus celebrity and was invited to Rotblatt games."

"As he told The Chicago Sun-Times in 2005 in recounting one appearance, 'I swung three bats over my head going up to hit, threw them all aside, walked back to get one, thumped my chest, pointed to the outfield like Babe Ruth and hit the first pitch into the lake.'”

The obituary can be read in its entirety here.