Bragging rights are on the line at this event that brings the Divine Nine together.
By Blake Carter
The Divine Nine organizations have been competing in just about everything for over 100 years now. At Darby Park in Inglewood, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. have been going at it on the softball field, and now they are heading into the playoffs.
This Sunday, August 21, the Omegas (3-3) will battle the Sigmas (3-3) at 2:30 p.m. and the Alphas (5-1) take on the Kappas (1-5) in the opening round of the playoffs.
Throw the records out the window during the playoffs, as it is win or go home with bragging rights on the line.
"With your backs against the wall, that's the test of a man," said Eric Johnson of Alpha Phi Alpha. "It's good to beat your rivals. It's like Lakers vs. Celtics. It's a rewarding feeling to see them walk off with their heads down."
As much as it is about bragging rights, these games are bigger than that, as it provides a family environment for the black Greek community.
"It's always good to come together as black men, doing something positive, and everybody having a good time," Johnson said. “It’s a good, fun-filled Sunday. It’s good entertainment through games. Both the good parts and the bad parts of the game. The blunders, the trips and falls. Some guys in their prime, some past their prime, as they try to win for their organization.”
Like any black Greek event, the fraternities and sororities turn this into a party, with a DJ playing music in-between innings or anytime a big play happens on the field, which gives the spectators a reason to stroll. Everybody wears their letters and it is a great opportunity to see old faces from college days. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc., will also be on hand to enjoy in the festivities. This is a family event, with kids running around as they are in the presences of hundreds of college educated black people.
“You have people that haven’t seen each other in several months, or sometimes years,” Johnson said. “You’ll get line brothers and sisters who are reunited, and different people from different eras of different chapters, who might be 20 or 30 years apart, that can all hang out at the park.”
This event supports the Sportsman Little League Baseball program, which is based at Darby Park. The proceed from the food sales goes to the program.
“Each year the Frat Games make a material or financial contribution to Sportsman Little League which for the past 11 years has called Darby Park home,” said Daniel Tabor, former Mayor of Inglewood. “The league serves 300 plus children ages 5 to 15 each year with baseball and softball play and instruction. The all volunteer organization has in the past hosted the snack bar during the Frat Games.”
People are welcome to bring their own food. There will be a snack shack, with the funds going to the Sportsmen Little League.
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