Now in its fourth year, the Bacardi Classics Softball Tournament has become a much anticipated fixture of the Summer event season.
Taking place on Finsbury Park Softball Pitches, home to the London Mets (whatever the hell that is), bartenders from all over the capital converged to do slow and out-of-breath battle for a prize truly worth winning – a trip to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail.
This is the first time a trip to Tales has been awarded to the winning team, and it was obvious that some players were taking things more seriously this year – a development regarded by many spectators to be a bit embarrassing.
In another first, BarLifeUK were invited to field a media team. Given the fit and athletic makeup of the bar industry’s media, player selection was easy, and in no way a case of picking anyone who could be arsed to show up on a Sunday.
While everything else about the day was awesome, inclusion of a media team proved catastrophic for the bartender teams, who were swept aside in a series of humiliating defeats. Particular sympathy must be extended to the West London team, captained by Jake Burger and cheer-led by Paul McFadyen, who were beaten so heavily they offered lifetime free drinks in The Portobello Star and Trailer Happiness to any drinks journalist, by way of atonement.
Asked how the media team won their matches so easily, captain Simon Webster remarked:
“It was easy really. Our fielders used the Australian technique of closing their eyes when attempting to catch the ball, which never fails. Our hitters looked to New Zealand for inspiration, by letting one person score all the runs while everyone else got out first ball.”
He went on to say: “Of course, that gag wont make any sense to people who don’t follow cricket, but that’s never stopped us before.”
When the time came to present the prize, the media team, in a heartwarming display of philanthropy (dictionary definition of big word for Stuart Hudson), the media team donated their prize to the Central London team.
One spectator was heard to say: “Journalists get a bad rap these days. Just look at this lot, they are so rich and good looking they don’t need that prize, and they’ve given it away to the less fortunate. I hope my kids grow up to be booze writers.”
When asked to comment on this kind gesture, Bacardi ambassador Shervene Shahbazkhani remarked: “On reflection, inviting a media team to compete in the tournament, and then write it up, may have been a mistake.”
We wish Olly Brading and the rest of the Cenral London team a great trip to New Orleans, and look forward to witnessing next year’s Bacardi Classics Softball Tournament from the sidelines, where we probably belong.