The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association earlier this month honored former Major League Baseball player Jeff Manto with the William “Pickles” Kennedy Award.
Manto played baseball at Temple and in the major leagues for the Cleveland Indians (three stints), Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies.
In 1995, he hit four home runs in four consecutive at-bats while playing for the Orioles.
Manto later was hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.
After receiving his award, Manto headed to St. Joseph’s Prep, where his son, Jeff, was signing to play baseball at Villanova.
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 also posthumously honored former Chestnut Hill Academy baseball coach and teacher Stanley Parker, who died in June. Parker regularly won 20 games a season and was an organizer for the Carpenter Cup. Accepting on his behalf was Bob Undercuffler, an assistant coach for Parker.
Also recognized were Gorman Keehn (Charles “Chuck” Newns Recognition Award); Phillies manager of Phanatic events Andrea Guess (Appreciation Award); and Ray and Marilyn Leber (Frank F. Russo Humanitarian Award).
Addressing the crowd was Ken Dunek, who played basketball and football at Memphis State and was a tight end for the Eagles and the Philadelphia and Baltimore Stars of the USFL. Dunek wore his 1980 NFC championship ring. His daughter, Ashley, was a star basketball player at Holy Family.
Among those attending the Nov. 9 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; Sean Landeta, who punted for the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Stars; Matt Mehler, one of the best friends of the Phillie Phanatic; and Ron Cohen, legendary longtime football coach at George Washington High School, whose program has fallen on hard times since he retired.
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 group is supporting the entertainment fund at the Delaware Valley Veterans Home. Checks can be sent and made payable to the Delaware Valley Veterans Home, in care of activities director Bill McGoldrick, 2701 Southampton Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154.
The Oldtimers will meet again on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at noon. Lunch costs $11.
For information on the group, call Jack Purdy (215–968–0404) or Ron March (609–209–0849), or vis-it bat-sand-balls.org ••