Trophy shop teams up with Hall of Fame

Pure gold: Spike’s, a trophy com­pany loc­ated at 2701 Grant Av­en­ue, has teamed with the Phil­adelphia Sports Hall of Fame. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHO­TOS

Spike’s, a com­pany that provides trophies, awards and much more, cel­eb­rated the one-year an­niversary of its cur­rent loc­a­tion last week by host­ing a vendor show and wel­com­ing a new ten­ant — the Phil­adelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Spike’s was foun­ded in 1929 at 1033 Race St. in Cen­ter City. It moved to 13th and Race streets in 1981 and stayed for a dec­ade un­til be­ing forced to re­lo­cate to 514 N. 2nd St. as con­struc­tion began on the Pennsylvania Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

A year ago, Spike’s opened in a 24,000-square-foot build­ing at 2701 Grant Ave. in North­east Philly.

“We doubled our space,” said Keith Bald­win, CEO/man­aging dir­ect­or.

The com­pany spent close to three years find­ing the right loc­a­tion.

“We wanted to stay in Phil­adelphia be­cause of our em­ploy­ees,” Bald­win said.

Spike’s has a show­room, a ware­house and of­fice space, but had some room to spare. So, the com­pany de­cided to make room for one of its many cus­tom­ers, the loc­al sports Hall of Fame, which does not yet have a per­man­ent home.

The Hall has in­duc­ted more than 160 le­gends in the last nine years. Its 10th-an­niversary class will be an­nounced on June 6 and in­duc­ted dur­ing a Nov. 7 ce­re­mony at the Sheraton So­ci­ety Hill. The event will also serve as a re­union for mem­bers of the first nine classes.

Un­til re­cently, the Hall had its 2,500-plus in­di­vidu­al items stored in a leased prop­erty at 919 N. 5th St. in North­ern Liber­ties. The build­ing wasn’t open to the pub­lic, and vis­it­ors could come only by in­vit­a­tion or ap­point­ment. But the site is be­ing sold to make room for town­homes, and Hall of­fi­cials were glad Spike’s could ac­com­mod­ate them.

The Hall has dis­plays along the walls and in a room at Spike’s, and hopes to open to the pub­lic on Sat­urdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Hope­fully, this will be the nuc­le­us to get the word out so we can get grass­roots mo­mentum for a real fa­cil­ity,” said Hall vice pres­id­ent Steve Tall­ant.

Ideally, Hall of­fi­cials would like that fa­cil­ity to be loc­ated either in Cen­ter City or at the sports com­plex in South Phil­adelphia.

For now, the Hall pre­view gal­lery is high­lighted by two items on loan — Chuck Bed­narik’s Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame bust and a 1948 Olympic swim­ming gold medal be­long­ing to the late Joe Ver­deur, a North Cath­ol­ic High School gradu­ate who is con­sidered the greatest swim­mer of the first half of the 20th cen­tury.

The gal­lery is also the new home of the Phil­adelphia Ath­let­ics His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety.

“They are the win­ningest fran­chise in Phil­adelphia his­tory, and they left in 1954,” said Tall­ant, point­ing to the five World Series titles won by the A’s.

Two loc­al Hall of Famers are fea­tured.

There’s a pic­ture of the late Cres­centville nat­ive Del En­nis, a former Phil­lies slug­ger who was named Rook­ie of the Year and se­lec­ted to play in three All-Star games.

Pine Val­ley’s Tom Gola and the rest of the 1954 La Salle NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball cham­pi­on­ship team were shown in an auto­graphed pic­ture. The box score of their 92-76 vic­tory over Brad­ley in the title game showed Gola scor­ing 19 points. Gola also ap­peared on the cov­er of Dell Bas­ket­ball magazine in 1955.

Oth­er high­lights in­clude a trib­ute to the Palestra. There’s a turn­stile, train­er’s table, glass back­board, rim and net, along with a pic­ture of a Penn vs. Vil­lan­ova game back when fans threw stream­ers on the court after the first bas­ket for each team.

The area also has items re­lated to Wilt Cham­ber­lain, Vet­er­ans Sta­di­um and the his­tory of game tick­ets.

Spike’s, mean­while, is do­ing good busi­ness selling trophies, awards, pro­mo­tion­al products, ap­par­el and sig­nage. Its cus­tom­ers in­clude in­di­vidu­als, teams, com­pan­ies and event or­gan­izers.

The Phil­lie Phanat­ic joined in the April 23 fest­iv­it­ies, as did Spike, the trophy shop mas­cot. Academy In­jury & Health Cen­ter provided free mas­sages, and guests re­ceived a wooden piece of the ori­gin­al Palestra floor that was re­placed in 2008.

Bald­win, the com­pany head, said its hall­marks are at­ten­tion to de­tail and fast and de­pend­able man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

Spike’s is plan­ning an ex­ter­i­or wall mur­al that will com­mem­or­ate the city’s sports cham­pi­on­ships. ••

For more in­form­a­tion, vis­it phil­ly­ and gos­

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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