The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association last week presented its William “Pickles” Kennedy Memorial Award to a longtime volleyball official and a successful fast-pitch softball team.
Kennedy was a former star basketball player at Abraham Lincoln High School and Temple University, where he helped the team reach the Final Four. He went on to play one season with the Philadelphia Warriors in the NBA and several years of minor league baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Somerton’s Jack Newns won the award for his many years as a professional volleyball referee, commissioner, certified national scorekeeper and administrator.
Flatiron Athletic Club also won the award for its more than 25 years as a softball powerhouse. The team, initially made up of teenagers, started playing in 1953 in a Department of Recreation League at a field at Fifth Street and Allegheny Avenue.
As the players became young men, the team moved its home base to Max Myers Playground, playing there from 1959–79. In the early 1970s, the team name was changed to Third Base Bar. Oakland Cemetery was the sponsor for the final four years.
A dozen former players, including Ed Hengy, an original team member, attended the May 11 ceremony. Hengy was the catcher for the late legendary pitcher George Ulmer.
Flatiron won seven Central Atlantic Regional championships — in 1960–63, ’66, ’68 and ’70. The team’s highest finish in a world championship tournament was fourth.
Other highlights included playing games at Connie Mack Stadium.
The Oldtimers meet four times a year, on the second Wednesday of the month, for lunch at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar at 1619 Grant Ave. in Bustleton.
The next meetings are scheduled for Aug. 10, Nov. 9 and Feb. 8 at noon.
For more information, call Chuck Newns (215–612–0476), Ron Fritz (215–491–9380), Jack Purdy (215–968–0404) or Ron March (856–589–5223).