Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association honors elite

Hank Kro­p­in­ski (right) and Matt Fan­ning were honored last week by the Old­timers Bats and Balls As­so­ci­ation dur­ing a lunch­eon at Randi’s.

The Old­timers Bats and Balls As­so­ci­ation honored a box­ing-ring an­noun­cer and a former bas­ket­ball play­er dur­ing a re­cent lunch­eon at Randi’s Res­taur­ant & Bar at 1619 Grant Ave. in Bustleton.

Earn­ing the Wil­li­am “Pickles” Kennedy Me­mori­al Award were Hank Kro­p­in­ski and Matt Fan­ning.

Kennedy was a former star bas­ket­ball play­er at Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School and Temple Uni­versity, where he helped the Owls reach the Fi­nal Four. He went on to play one sea­son for the NBA’s Phil­adelphia War­ri­ors, then spent sev­er­al years play­ing minor league base­ball in the Pitt­s­burgh Pir­ates or­gan­iz­a­tion.

Kro­p­in­ski, a South­w­est Phil­adelphia nat­ive, is a mem­ber of the Pennsylvania Box­ing Hall of Fame. He was in the Guin­ness Book of World Re­cords for an­noun­cing 125 bouts in one day.

Fan­ning played bas­ket­ball at St. Joseph’s Prep and was a two-time All-Cath­ol­ic se­lec­tion. He led the league in scor­ing in 1945. He played at La Salle Col­lege and helped the Ex­plorers reach the Na­tion­al In­vit­a­tion­al Tour­na­ment three times. He played one year for Read­ing in the East­ern Bas­ket­ball League.

A May­fair res­id­ent and 59-year mem­ber of St. Mat­thew Par­ish, he coached the school’s bas­ket­ball team to the 1969 CYO cham­pi­on­ship.

The Old­timers also re­cog­nized former NFL play­er Joe Scarp­ati. Nov. 8 was the 41st an­niversary of Tom De­mp­sey’s NFL-re­cord 63-yard field goal. Scarp­ati, then play­ing for the New Or­leans Saints, was the hold­er.

Also, Scarp­ati’s 45-year-old Eagles re­cord of three in­ter­cep­tions in a game was tied earli­er this sea­son by Kurt Cole­man. Scarp­ati had three picks in a 1966 game against the New York Gi­ants, while Cole­man equaled the feat against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins.

Sean Landeta also ad­dressed the crowd. He punted for five NFL fran­chises, in­clud­ing the Eagles and Gi­ants, and for the Phil­adelphia Stars of the old United States Foot­ball League.

Landeta be­lieves the Eagles still have a chance to win the NFC East, based on the first-place Gi­ants’ tough re­main­ing sched­ule. The Gi­ants have to play the New Or­leans Saints, Green Bay Pack­ers, New York Jets and Dal­las Cow­boys twice.

The Eagles must beat the Gi­ants on Sunday night, Landeta said.

ldquo;If they can win that game, that gives them a chance to still com­pete for the di­vi­sion,” he said. “Even though things don’t look good now, there’s still plenty of time left.”

Of course, Landeta was speak­ing be­fore last Sunday’s em­bar­rass­ing loss to the Ari­zona Car­din­als.

Former Phil­adelphia Ath­let­ics and Phil­lies pitch­ing great Bobby Shantz signed auto­graphs.

The Old­timers meet for lunch at Randi’s four times a year, at noon on the second Wed­nes­day of the month.

The 2012 meet­ings will be held on Feb. 8, May 9, Aug. 8 and Nov. 14.

For more in­form­a­tion, call Chuck Newns (215-612-0476), Ron Fritz (215-491-9380), Jack Purdy (215-968-0404) or Ron March (856-589-5223). ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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