The Hill-IJ Game is the most anticipated and seminal event each year at Camp Saginaw. It began in the early 1950’s as a fast pitch rivalry softball game between the counselors of the Senior Hill and the counselors of the Inter and Junior Divisions. The pageantry of the buildup before the game is legendary and it is watched by the entire boys and girls camps-the partisan support of the Hill by the Acropolis women is something to behold.
As a result of the 1958 contest the game took a quantum leap in importance. The Hillmen were six runs down with two outs in the 7th inning, seemingly dead and gone. The last man up for the Hill was Herbie Cohen who cagily worked the count to 3 & 0 and stepped out of the batters box. When implored by Ducky Kauffman to get on with it and get it over Herbie’s wry reply was “Ducky we’re not dead yet, we’re just in a state of suspended animation”. What followed was ball four and a walk that started the first Hill Rally in history. The Hill batted around the order and went on to win the game 11 to 10 and the lore of this comeback became a rallying cry for generations of Hillmen that followed.
In 1968 the second Hill Rally in a Hill-IJ Game occurred when the Hill came from behind in the bottom of the 7th again this time on the shoulders and the bat of Herbie Cohen whose home run was the deciding blow in the game. This fostered the saying “Twice there was a ballgame, things looked mighty low, then came Herbie Cohen and……”. A plaque hangs in the Hill Pagoda commemorating this second iteration of a Hill Rally.