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Rotblatt 2010: 144 Years of Carleton

May 19, 2010 at 10:28 am
By Margaret Taylor '10

This year’s Rotblatt couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather.  The sky was sunny and perfect last Sunday as Carleton students took to the field behind the Rec Center to play some pretty unusual softball.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Rotblatt is Carleton’s longstanding tradition of playing softball with beverages.  It was founded by students from the class of 1967, who played a 100-inning game to celebrate Carleton’s 100-year anniversary.  Since then, players have added an inning to Rotblatt each year to keep up with the college’s age.  We were up to 144 innings this year.

Buildup to the Rotblatt game started weeks ago as students submitted entries to the t-shirt design contest.  The design must be a famous work of art with a keg incorporated into it somehow and include the words “Rotblatt 144.”  The results were eagerly awaited in the seventh-week CLAP, and did not disappoint.  They included several variations on God bringing Adam to life via beer, the Mona Lisa with a beer helmet, and Guernica transformed into a wild party.  The winner of the design contest was kept a secret until the morning of the game.  It was revealed at dawn Sunday to be a Japanese woodcut of a beer keg pouring a tsunami.

There are few rules to Rotblatt, but one of them is that players must have a cup with a beverage in their hands at all times.  The actual softball game was peripheral to the phenomenon that was Rotblatt.  From the tents set up by the people who’d camped out there the night before to the people milling about in maize and blue t-shirts, Rotblatt was really an excuse to have a day-long party.  What better way to spend a Saturday than to enjoy grass, sunshine, and softball?