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Marv Rotblatt, pitcher celebrated through softball marathon, dies at 85

Marv Rotblatt appeared in 35 games for the White Sox.
Marv Rotblatt appeared in 35 games for the White Sox.Associated Press/file 1951

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NEW YORK — At 5 feet 6 inches, Marv Rotblatt was one of Major League Baseball’s shortest pitchers, and his career was short as well. A left-hander used mostly in relief, he pitched in 35 games for the Chicago White Sox over three seasons in the late 1940s and early ’50s.

But his name lives on in an all-day spring party at a small liberal arts college in Minnesota.

Rotblatt, who died Tuesday at age 85 in Evanston, Ill., was celebrated at the annual softball game at Carleton College that was cited by Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the “longest intramural event” in the nation.

Carleton students played a 100-inning, one-day, nine-hour softball game they christened Rotblatt in spring 1967, to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival on campus of the college’s first class.

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