The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association last week honored the state-champion Father Judge baseball team and former baseball coach Mike Lake with the Bill “Pickles” Kennedy Award.
The Nov. 8 meeting took place at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar, 1619 Grant Ave. in Grant Plaza II in Bustleton.
Judge won the PIAA Class 6A title in June. The Crusaders were represented by coach Mike Metzger, who retired after the championship game, and athletic director Jake Serfass.
“To win the state championship is something very special,” Metzger said.
Lake played baseball at Archbishop Ryan (class of 1977) and La Salle University and coached both programs, including two stints at Ryan. He led the Raiders to the 1998 Catholic League title and is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Lake congratulated Father Judge and thanked his wife, Arleen; Rich Papirio, former baseball coach at Ryan and Bishop Egan/Conwell-Egan; Ron Gerhart and Mike Lavin, his former assistants at Ryan; Gene McDonnell, his coach at La Salle; Toby Fisher and Ed Hughes, former teammates who coached with him at La Salle; and Steve Kolinsky, a Northeast High and Temple star baseball player who was an outfielder in the Phillies and Red Sox organizations until injuries ended his career and managed in the Cubs organization and at Cheltenham.
Among those attending the luncheon were Bobby Shantz, 98, who won 24 games and the American League Most Valuable Player award for the Philadelphia A’s in 1952; 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; and former Cardinals, Cubs and Phillies outfielder Doug Clemens.
The Oldtimers group consists of former athletes and officials. Members meet three times a year at Randi’s. Lunch costs $12.
The next meeting will be at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 14, which is Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. Wives are invited and will be given roses.
For more information on the group, call Jack Purdy at 215-968-0404 or Jack Newns at 215-677-5983 or visit www.batsandballs.org. ••