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Oldtimers honor three former athletes

Aaron McKie, Bill “Dapper” Walsh and Mike Polin were recognized for their passion for sports.

Ballplayers: Bill “Dapper” Walsh (from left), Mike Polin and Aaron McKie were honored with the William “Pickles” Kennedy Award by the Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

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

The honorees were Aaron McKie, Bill “Dapper” Walsh and Mike Polin.

McKie led Simon Gratz High School to the Public League basketball championship as a senior in 1990. His coach, Bill Ellerbee, was in attendance. He had an outstanding career at Temple and was drafted 17th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. He played in the NBA from 1994 to 2007 for the Blazers, Detroit Pistons, 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. He was an assistant coach for the Sixers from 2007–13 and is now an assistant at Temple.

Walsh was an All-Catholic League football player and two-year captain at Roman Catholic, class of 1951. He was also captain of the basketball team. He later was a referee in the ABA and the Catholic League.

Polin played on the Loudenslager American Legion baseball team that won the 1957 state championship. He later played for Sal’s Lunch, a fast-pitch softball team that won the 1969 world championship. He’s also been a high school and college softball official and a clock operator in college football.

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

Among those attending the 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; and Dick Richards, a star football and baseball player at West Chester who is best known as the ori­gin­al drum­mer for Bill Haley & His Comets, whose smash hit was Rock Around the Clock.

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, Aug. 9, at noon. Lunch costs $11.

For in­form­a­tion on the group, call Jack Purdy (215–968–0404) or Ron March (609–209–0849), or vis­it www.bat­sand­balls.org ••

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