The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association met last week for the first time in more than two years, idle due to the coronavirus.
The group held the meeting on March 9 at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar, 1619 Grant Ave. in Grant Plaza II in Bustleton. The Marine Corps League presented the colors for the national anthem.
Receiving the Bill “Pickles” Kennedy Award was Joe McDermott, an All-Catholic pitcher at Roman Catholic and first baseman/outfielder at St. Joe’s. McDermott was a player and manager in the Pen-Del League and spent 36 years with the Father Judge baseball program [31 as head coach], winning five Catholic League championships and a city title in 1976. He retired after teaching 46 years at Judge.
Receiving Appreciation Awards were Maryanne Faulkner, a former Randi’s bartender, and Jack Bodner, a 100-year-old Navy veteran of World War II and a former bat boy for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Marine Corps League presented Bodner with a challenge coin, and Sag Carpets, located next to Randi’s, gave him a decorative throw rug.
The Oldtimers also recognized Jim Ounsworth, a former Abraham Lincoln football star who went on to play at Navy. He played in the Jan. 1, 1964 Cotton Bowl against No. 1 Texas, with Navy entering the game ranked second.
Others attending the luncheon included 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; Bobby Shantz, a former American League Most Valuable Player; and former Phillies outfielder Doug Clemens. Interestingly, Clemens won a Phillies cap in a raffle.
The Oldtimers group consists of former athletes and officials. Members meet three times a year at Randi’s. Lunch costs $12.
The next meetings are July 13 and Nov. 9.
For information on the group, call Jack Purdy (215-968-0404), Ron March (609-209-0849) or Lee Cobleigh (215-840-4773), or visit www.batsandballs.org. ••