Honoring greatness

The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association honored Ken Dunek, pictured with Sean Landeta, during a Feb. 8 luncheon. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association earlier this month honored three people with the William “Pickles” Kennedy Award.

The honorees were Ken Dunek, Tom Filer and Bill Gillespie.

Dunek played basketball and football at Memphis State and was a tight end for the Eagles and the Philadelphia and Baltimore Stars of the USFL.

Filer is a graduate of Maternity BVM, Archbishop Ryan and La Salle University. He pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. He is the assistant pitching coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was recently inducted into the Maternity BVM Hall of Honor.

Gillespie is a former basketball player at the youth and adult levels. He played at Thomas Edison High School. He lives in Grays Ferry.

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.

Receiving Appreciation Awards were William Kelly, a supporter of the U.S. Marine Corps; Shannon Furfari, whose South Jersey gym offers cheerleading for girls with special needs; and Times editor Tom Waring.

The Phillie Phanatic entertained the crowd. He was joined by Matt Mehler, one of his best friends.

Also, Phillies manager of Phanatic events Andrea Guess raffled off team gear and a book of funny baseball quotes.

Among those attending the Feb. 8 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; and Jeff Manto, who played baseball at Temple and in the major leagues for the Phillies and seven other teams and was the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.

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 Oldtimers will meet again on Wednesday, May 10, at noon. Lunch costs $11. For in-form-a-tion on the group, call Jack Purdy (215–968–0404) or Ron March (609–209–0849), or vis-it bat-sand-balls.org ••

The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association honored Bill Gillespie (pictured) during a Feb. 8 luncheon. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

The local elite: The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association held a luncheon on Feb. 8. The Phillie Phanatic entertained the crowd. Receiving Appreciation Awards were William Kelly, a supporter of the U.S. Marine Corps; Shannon Furfari, whose South Jersey gym offers cheerleading for girls with special needs; and Times editor Tom Waring. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO