Honoring some of baseball’s finest


The Old­timers Bats and Balls As­so­ci­ation last week presen­ted the Wil­li­am “Pickles” Kennedy Me­mori­al Award to Ed Wade, Don Flynn and Joseph “Goople” Mc­Clo­s­key.

Wade and Flynn re­ceived plaques. Charlie Mc­Clo­s­key ac­cep­ted a plaque on be­half of his fath­er, who died in 1990.

The Old­timers also signed a “Wel­come Back Ed Wade!” poster.

Wade served as gen­er­al man­ager of the Phil­lies from 1998 to 2005. In that peri­od, the Phil­lies hired man­ager Charlie Manuel and draf­ted play­ers such as Pat Bur­rell, Brett My­ers, Chase Ut­ley, Ry­an Howard and Cole Hamels, all of whom helped them win the World Series in 2008.

Wade was gen­er­al man­ager of the Hou­s­ton As­tros from 2007 to ’11. He left when the team was bought, and has since been re­hired by the Phil­lies as a scout.

A crowd of more than 150 packed Randi’s Res­taur­ant & Bar, at 1619 Grant Ave. in Bustleton, for the Feb. 8 lunch­eon.

“The people in this room are why Phil­adelphia base­ball is so strong,” Wade said.

Wade played base­ball at Temple Uni­versity. He thanked re­tired long­time coach James “Skip” Wilson and Flynn, his as­sist­ant, for teach­ing him to play base­ball the right way. New Temple coach Ry­an Wheel­er was also in at­tend­ance.

Flynn is a Frank­ford nat­ive and North Cath­ol­ic High School gradu­ate. He was a pitch­er at Temple and played six years in the minor league or­gan­iz­a­tions of the New York Yan­kees, San Fran­cisco Gi­ants, Cin­cin­nati Reds and the old Kan­sas City A’s.

Later, he coached base­ball at Chel­ten­ham and John F. Kennedy high schools, and was coach of Phil­adelphia Tex­tile/Phil­adelphia Uni­versity from 1991 to 2005.

Mc­Clo­s­key was a St. Leo Gram­mar School and North Cath­ol­ic High School gradu­ate who was be­loved for his years dir­ect­ing a Ta­cony-based Po­lice Ath­let­ic League pro­gram. He served in the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment from 1946-84. Be­fore that, he was a box­er and fought on the un­der­card of the Max Baer/Pat Com­is­key main event in Jer­sey City in 1940.

Many of the youths whom Mc­Clo­s­key worked with in his PAL years have formed the Joseph C. Mc­Clo­s­key Char­it­able Fund. They hope to build a sculp­ture at the new fire­house com­ing to Ta­cony and to provide as­sist­ance to Ta­cony youths in re­cog­ni­tion of their ath­let­ic, edu­ca­tion­al and good cit­izen­ship ac­com­plish­ments.

There will be a beef-and-beer be­ne­fit for the Mc­Clo­s­key fund this Sat­urday, Feb. 18, from 7 to 11 p.m., at An­cient Or­der of Hi­ber­ni­ans Di­vi­sion 39, at 7229 Tulip St. Tick­ets cost $25. Call Den­nis Mc­Claf­ferty at 267-671-7597 or John L. Sul­li­van 215-332-4873, or go to www.goople27th­pal.com

The Old­timers meet for lunch at Randi’s four times a year, at noon on the second Wed­nes­day of the month. Former pro­fes­sion­al ath­letes in at­tend­ance last week in­cluded Bobby Shantz, Ernie Beck, Joe Scarp­ati and Doug Clem­ens.

The Wil­li­am “Pickles” Kennedy Me­mori­al Award is named in memory of the former Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School and Temple Uni­versity bas­ket­ball star who died in a car ac­ci­dent in Flor­ida in 2006.

The oth­er 2012 meet­ings will be held on 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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