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). ••