The gays and the guys square off. 31 August 1973
The gays and the guys square off NEW YORK (UPI) - It was Woodstock in the bleachers as a police softball team battled their gay activist opponents on a Greenwich Village playground Monday night—all in the cause of understanding. The team from the 6th Precinct won, 15-0, over the homosexual Mattachine Society but about 20 police complained about gay brutality at the end of the game. The police gripe was that their opponents had garbage cans filled with beer on their bench. The police had to make do with soda. That's brutality. The game was organized to foster better relations between police in the village and the gay community. Whatever the purpose, about 500 fans loved it even though they were decidedly proMattachine. The cops to a man wore blue dungarees, blue shirts and red caps. The Mattachine team, made up of both men and women, wore lots of things. The best part for the Mattachines was when the cops came to bat in the top of the first inning. The muscular leadoff patrolman tapped the plate with authority and leaned into the first pitch. Hips and shoulders swiveled, then his arms swept forward and the wrists lashed the bat through the strike zone. The ball dribbled back to the pitcher. The bleachers went wild. The pitcher threw to first baseperson Cheri, who tried to step on the base and missed. She then pushed her blonde hair out of her eyes and made the putout. The fans cheered. But after that, it was all downhill for the Mattachines. At the end, Officer John Romani, pitcher and coach of the 6th Precinct team, could afford to be magnanimous. "Win or lose, it was bound to make for better feelings in the community." A player for the Mattachines took the defeat less philosophically. "Ah shaddup," he said.