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Humanity wins marathon softball game, 729-568

By Loretta Fulton / Abilene Reporter-News Staff Writer

Humanity topped Insanity Sunday, although "insanity" ruled the day.

Make that 2 1/2 days. For 60 hours, from 10 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Sunday, 36 members of an Abilene Christian University men's social club played nonstop softball with a goal of setting a Guinness World Record and raising money for Habitat for Humanity.

Billed as "Insanity for Humanity," the game lived up to its name. When the clock struck 10 a.m. Sunday, the final score, after 321 innings of softball, was team Humanity 729 and team Insanity, 568.

With the help of some homemade goodies dropped off by loving moms, the guys managed to pull off the grueling feat with zero casualties.

"Other than tons and tons of sunburned skin, everyone stayed pretty healthy," said Luke Reeves, a junior communications major from Abilene.

The men of Gamma Sigma Phi know for sure they raised money for Habitat, but they will have to await word from Guinness before officially claiming the world record.

The fund-raiser brought in about $22,000, which was short of the $68,000 goal to benefit Habitat. But club members feel certain their attempt at a record won't come up short.

The folks at Guinness were contacted about six months ago with the club's plan, said David Sessions, a senior Christian ministry major from Seattle.

Guinness opted not to send an observer to the game, Sessions said. Instead, Guinness officials told team members how to record the event and prove there was no cheating.

One person was designated to keep track of the hours played and to verify that no one left the playing site, which was an intramural field on campus. The log book, signed by the official log keeper and two witnesses, must be sent to Guinness, along with newspaper clippings and television video, Sessions said.

The previous record of 55 hours, 11 minutes was set about a year ago. The ACU team members aren't expecting any glitches on their way to claiming the new record. As soon as the record is verified, the team will be notified, Sessions said.

By the time the game ended Sunday morning, 36 social club buddies were elated, but exhausted. The game, with bits of sleep snatched here and there, took its toll, but had a happy ending.

"Everyone walked out under his own power," Sessions said.

During the game, parents, faculty, and friends brought food and drinks to keep the guys going. State Rep. Bob Hunter and ACU President Royce Money dropped by to lend support.

Tough as the quest for a record turned out to be, the guys of Gamma Sigma Phi aren't ruling out taking a stab at another record, said Reeves, president of the club.

"But let's wait until at least next weekend," he said. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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