The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association last week honored four people, three with the Bill “Pickles” Kennedy Award and one with the Chuck Newns Recognition Award.
In addition, the crowd celebrated the upcoming 90th birthday of Oldtimers organizer Ron March.
The July 13 meeting took place at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar, 1619 Grant Ave. in Grant Plaza II in Bustleton.
Receiving the Recognition Award was Kyle Lindsay, who just completed his first season as baseball coach at Delaware Valley University. The Aggies won 15 games after winning just three the year before. Lindsay is a Washington Township, New Jersey native who starred at St. Augustine Prep and Misericordia University, where he was a d3baseball.com All-American.
Receiving the Pickles Kennedy Award were Wilmer Reid, a Phillies scout and former Negro league player; longtime local television sports personality Michael Barkann; and Ronnie (Smyth) Snyder, a former basketball star at St. Hubert and Rutgers who helped the Bambies crush Archbishop Carroll in the 1981 Catholic League championship game.
Former Phillies relief pitcher Ricky Botallico was also scheduled to receive the Pickles Kennedy Award, but Barkann announced that he had been hired that day for a radio show on 97.5 FM.
Others attending the luncheon included the Phillie Phanatic; 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; Sean Landeta, who punted for the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Stars; and former Phillies outfielder Doug Clemens.
As for Ron March’s birthday, the crowd enjoyed cake while a Marilyn Monroe impersonator (Adrijana Diamond) handed him balloons and sang I Wanna Be Loved By You, Take Me Out to the Ball Game and Happy Birthday (changing the words to include “President March,” like the actress called John F. Kennedy “Mr. President” in her famous rendition).
Roland Scarinci, a 99-year-old World War II veteran, performed God Bless America and Piano Man on his harmonica.
The Oldtimers group consists of former athletes and officials. Members meet three times a year at Randi’s. Lunch costs $12.
The next meeting is Nov. 9, which will also serve as a celebration of Veterans Day. Anyone who served honorably in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force is asked to send their name, branch, rank and dates of service to Jack Newns at 13041 Stevens Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more 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. ••