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Posted on: 06/24/2009


By Ricardo J. Komotar, M.D.
Neurosurgeons from 20 of the nation’s top medical institutions battled it out June 6th in Central Park at the 6th Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament ( The event was hosted by ColumbiaUniversity and benefited pediatric brain tumor research. This year’s competing teams included the Departments of Neurosurgery from Columbia, Barrow Neurological Institute, Emory, Harvard, Duke, Yale, Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, NYU, Dartmouth, Thomas Jefferson, University of Pennsylvania, Albert Einstein, and Mt. Sinai. Columbia claimed their third overall championship by defeating Emory in the Finals. Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania put on strong showings to tie for third place.
The Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament has rapidly evolved into a national competition. The first two championships were claimed by Columbia University in 2004 and 2005, while The University of Pennsylvania repeated their title runs in 2006 and 2007. Harvard followed by winning in convincing fashion during the 2008 tournament.  The championship trophy, named "The J. Lawrence Pool Memorial Trophy" in honor of the former Columbia chairman, will be housed at The Neurologic Institute of New York for the upcoming year.
For the sixth consecutive year, George M. Steinbrenner, III and the New York Yankees have sponsored the tournament. This year featured a celebrity team led by captains Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live, Actors Jason Schwartzman and Danny Masterson, as well as rock star Julian Casablancas. Jeremy Schaap of ESPN threw out the honorary first pitch. Supported by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, this date has been declared “Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament Day” in the City of New YorkThe planning has already begun for the games to continue next year in June 2010 at the 7th Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament, with the potential for an expanded field to include 24 teams from across the country
Photo legend: Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament – 2009 Champions, Columbia University

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