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Oldtimers honor Papirio and Spadaro

Rich Papirio and Dave Spadaro, with Papirio’s family and friends in baseball.

The Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association last week presented the Bill “Pickles” Kennedy Award to Rich Papirio and Dave Spadaro at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar, 1619 Grant Ave. in Grant Plaza II in Bustleton.

Kennedy was a star athlete at Abraham Lincoln who went on to become an All-American baseball and basketball player at Temple.

Papirio played baseball at Bishop Egan (class of 1969), beating Southern for the city championship his junior year, and captained the team at La Salle. He was an assistant coach under Larry Conti on the 1977 North Catholic team that won the Catholic League championship. He coached Archbishop Ryan to championships in 1980 and ‘84. He also coached Egan and Conwell-Egan, winning the 2006 title at CEC.

The top player he coached was Joe McEwing, who played nine years in Major League Baseball and now works for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Papirio is a retired teacher who spent 42 years at North Catholic, Bishop Conwell and Conwell-Egan.

Spadaro has been the Eagles Insider since 1997. He’d wanted to work in the media since 1983, when Bob “Buck the Bartender” Vetrone, of the Philadelphia Bulletin and Daily News, was the guest speaker at his soccer banquet.

Spadaro said his career highlights are topped by getting to kiss the Lombardi Trophy after the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 and later emceeing the parade.

Among those attending the luncheon was 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.

The Oldtimers group consists of former athletes and officials who meet three or four times a year for lunch at Randi’s.

For more in­form­a­tion on the group, call Jack Purdy at 215-968-0404 or Jack Newns at 215-677-5983. ••

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