Dunphy, Beck, Phanatic honored by Oldtimers

Oldtime winners: Ernie Beck, Matt Mehler, Tom Burgoyne and Fran Dunphy (pictured above) were honored by the Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association on May 11. SOURCE: TOM WARING

The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association recently honored two basketball legends and a famed mascot with the William “Pickles” Kennedy Award.

The honorees were Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy, former Penn men’s basketball star Ernie Beck and the Phillie Phanatic.

Dunphy played basketball at La Salle under coach Tom Gola. He was head coach at his alma mater, Malvern Prep. He won 10 Ivy League championships coaching Penn from 1989 to 2006. He has coached Temple since ’06. He has a career record of 514–281 at Penn and Temple.

Beck starred at West Catholic and was an All-American at Penn. He played in the NBA for the Philadelphia Warriors from 1953–60, and was a member of the 1956 championship team. He also played for the St. Louis Hawks and Syracuse Nationals in 1961.

The Phanatic was joined by two of his best friends, Tom Burgoyne and Matt Mehler.

Among those attending the May 11 luncheon were Bobby Shantz, a former American League Most Valuable Player; Joe Scarpati, a former pro football player best known as the holder for Tom Dempsey’s then-NFL-record 63-yard field goal in 1970; Doug Clemens, a former Phillies outfielder; Dick Richards, a star football and baseball player at West Chester who is best known as the ori-gin-al drum-mer for Bill Haley & His Comets, whose smash hit was Rock Around the Clock; Sean Landeta, who punted for the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Stars; Joe Kerrigan, who played baseball for Father Judge (class of 1971), Temple, the Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles, was pitching coach for the Phillies and three other teams and was manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2001; and 76ers executive adviser Sonny Hill. A clown also provided entertainment.

Hill told the crowd that the 76ers, under new general manager Bryan Colangelo, are on the rise.

“We’re turning it around,” he said.

The Oldtimers group consists of former athletes and officials. Members meet four times a year at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar, 1619 Grant Ave. in Grant Plaza II in Bustleton.

The Pickles Kennedy Award is named in memory of a former star basketball player at Abraham Lincoln High School and Temple University. Kennedy spent a year with the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors, then played minor league baseball for several years in the Pirates organization.

The Oldtimers will meet again on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at noon. Lunch costs $11.

For in-form-a-tion on the group, call Ron Fritz (215–491–9380), Jack Purdy (215–968–0404) or Ron March (609–209–0849), or vis-it www.bat-sand-balls.org ••

Oldtime winners: Ernie Beck (pictured above), Matt Mehler, Tom Burgoyne and Fran Dunphy were honored by the Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association on May 11. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

Oldtime winners: Ernie Beck, Matt Mehler (left), Tom Burgoyne (right) and Fran Dunphy were honored by the Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association on May 11. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO