Litwin’s Hall of Fame Speech

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

I was inducted into the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame on Nov. 26, 2011. A number of readers have asked that I post my acceptance speech. While there were “on the fly” changes, here is the essence of my comments:

Congratulations to all of the inductees, the All-South Jersey team, scholarship recipients and others who have received recognition here today and will shortly.

A special expression of gratitude to my colleague and friend – and a true professional in every way, Dan Baker – for taking time away from his family on this holiday weekend to introduce today’s inductees.

PAUSE…

A few weeks ago, Hall of Famer and former Cherry Hill East coach Dave Martin pulled me aside and said, “Larry, getting into the Hall is special. It probably won’t hit you until you start to speak.”

Well Dave, it did hit me as I started to prepare these remarks, and thought about my high school coach Bob Minnick and the influence he had on my life.

Then I reminisced about one game in particular. It was on a Sunday afternoon…July 8, 1962. That day is indelible in my mind. It was played at Medford’s Bunting Field. In those days, there was NO fence.

That’s the day I got a pretty lucky hit – a first inning, two out, bases loaded triple – off of Moorestown’s Ron Goodwin in the Del Val All-Star game. I didn’t take many pitches and jumped on a first pitch, fast ball, low and away…and swung late…hitting it just inside the right field line into a backyard.

For me to get a triple, the ball had to go a long way. Saying I was slow is an understatement.

My dad worked 16 hours a day…seven days a week and rarely made it to my games. And even though this was a Sunday, he was working. On this day, however, he left his store early and as I got up from my slide into third, there he was getting out of his truck…and I could hear him and my grandmother both yelling…Larry boy.

– O –

When our daughter Julie – who flew in from Atlanta last night for today – told our 8-year-old granddaughter Alana about my going into this Hall of Fame, Alana said, “Mommy, Pops has the best life. If ever I have to interview someone, I want it to be him.”

It has been the best life, because I have been pretty lucky. And that is the theme of my remarks today.

While my parents are no longer with us, my sisters and I were lucky enough to have them into their mid to late 80s – and they were rather healthy until the end.

Like others in this room, my parents taught me a number of traits that have led to this recognition by the Hot Stovers.

 

Certainly…both taught my sisters and me that hard work pays off. And while my father was working those 16 hour days, Mom taught us the meaning…of the word…luck and being lucky. We call them Momisms. Among them, “if you dream it, you can achieve it.” And, many times, achieving one’s dream takes luck.

As I share with my students, luck is “preparation meeting opportunity.”

So, I share this – especially with the younger players in this room. How lucky was I??? – remembering – luck is PREPARATION meeting OPPORTUNITY.

I was born to great parents who supported my every move and decision…even when we didn’t agree  – such as when I decided to take up an offer to play baseball at a small college baseball powerhouse in…of all places…Iowa. I had never been away from South Jersey.

Parsons College played a 100 game schedule. Fortunately for me, I got hurt. And on May 23, 1966, when the local radio station that carried our games needed a color announcer on short notice, I was ready…and said yes when asked if had ever announced before. That was a stretch, though. The announcing I did was the football and basketball PA at Pennsauken High School, but I always wanted to be in radio…that is…if I couldn’t play professional baseball.

That tiny fib about announcing, transitioned me from my baseball to radio career. I was lucky – I was prepared when opportunity came calling.

The luck didn’t stop there. It carried over to a Drama Appreciation class at Parsons, where a blonde freshman said yes …when I invited her out for coffee after that first class of the semester. Remember Ballard Hall?

So, to that blonde – my wife Nancy (there she is) – thank you for putting up with my baseball, my radio reporting, my umpiring and my working with literally several thousand Rowan University students over the years.

So, why am I here? Why am I being recognized by this outstanding organization?  They tell me it’s for my contributions as a sports announcer and writer…covering many high school and college games…my career as an umpire and…as a player – a little bit.

Since it’s umpiring that is first and foremost…and I am thrilled to see so many of my colleagues today and am always honored to take the field with them…here are two recollections …or anecdotes from those 35 years.

One was a couple of years ago. I had just finished a Carpenter Cup game and was heading to the car. I had to make a quick stop at one of those PortaPotties in the parking lot. I did knock, but quickly opened the unlocked door and there was a woman inside.

When she came out, I assured her…I hadn’t seen a thing. Without hesitation, she shot back…Oh, I know you didn’t. I just saw you umpire THAT game.

PAUSE…

My other recollection goes back many years. My wife Nancy and I had been invited to a wedding in Glassboro and accepted the invite. In the meantime, I had gotten a call to umpire the plate in a Diamond Classic semi-final at Camden County College – Overbrook and Washington Township. How could I pass that up? And, anyway, I told my wife, it’s really not that far from the catering hall.

So, on an incredibly hot, humid day, I wore a blue blazer to the wedding with my umpire’s pants and finished dressing at the field. It was a great game. I don’t remember who won, but I do remember…the score was 1-0. The game took only one hour and five minutes. As we were walking back to the car, my partner… Richie Brasch…said, you know, Larry, you have time to go back to the wedding. They’ll think you just were in the bathroom. So, I did. As I walked back into hall, my wife looked “stunned,” and the bride’s father, my boss…looked at me and asked, “Are you sure you’re OK. You were gone for a while and you look a bit sweaty.” …Yes, preparation meeting opportunity. I have never told that story, publicly. I was lucky he never found out.

So, how did I get here???…Through the unending and infinite support of my family. You have already met my wife, Nancy, and now meet our daughter, Julie, a second grade teacher in Atlanta, wife of Billy Kramer…who are proud parents of 8-year-old Alana and 5-year-old Aidan; our son Dr. Adam Seth Litwin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and his wife Claire, and my sister Janice and her husband…who is the brother I never had, Steve Barbell, who was among those who nominated me for this incredible honor.

Also at the table…E-J Campbell. E-J represents the thousands of Rowan students who drive and challenge me each day.  From the very first night I had E-J in class he has called me coach. And, like many of you in this room, I have been called a lot of things…good and bad…including Dad, Pops and BLUE. But nothing…nothing…resonates more than when a student calls me coach.

So, thank you to the Hot Stovers and all of my students, my family and to all of you coaches who inspire me to do what I do.

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

 

 

Disturbing week

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

With the losses of Andy Rooney and the champ, Joe Frazier, and the horrendous news coming out of State College, last week was a “down” week for many.  I have

communicated with many reporters and with my students — even devoting classes to the Penn State case study and how NOT to approach a crisis.

For this week’s blog, I will turn back to Smokin’ Joe. I first met him on Dec. 6, 1970. We remained acquaintances as I moved deeper into sports reporting. Back on that 1970 day at the Nevele Country Club in the New York Catskills, Champ honored me by joining me in a picture. He was there performing with his band, “Smokin’ Joe and the Knockouts.” [See link, below.] Joe was a far better boxer than  musician. But he loved music nearly as much as he did boxing.

In case you aren’t sure, that is Litwin on the left. May the Champ rest in peace.

http://www.joefrazier.com/news/1-latest-news/72-smokin-joe-frazier-and-the-knockouts.html

Have a great week. [To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

 

Hot Stovers add seven to its Hall of Fame

Below is the “actual” news release.To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

 

Contact:

 

Bill Wagner

 

President

 

Hot Stovers Club of South Jersey

 

(856) 767-7170

 

Dave Townsend

 

(856) 424-8545

 

             or

 

Larry Litwin – 856-767-7730 – larry@larrylitwin.com

 

 

 

Today’s Date:  Oct. 16, 2011                                  Release:  Upon Receipt

 

 

 

MEDIA ALERT

(Full release/Pick up on next page)

 

 

          Event: Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey 52nd Anniversary Dinner

 

 

 

          DATE:  Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011

 

          TIME:   2 p.m.

 

          PLACE: Masso’s Columbus Manor, Black Horse Pike, Williamstown.

 

Details:  Seven inductees will have their names added to the South Jersey  Baseball Hall of Fame housed at Campbell Field in Camden. Tickets,  priced at $40, are now on sale and may be purchased by contacting banquet chair Dave Townsend at (856)424-8545 or Bill Wagner, Hot Stovers’ president, at (856)767-7170. This year’s inductees are former players: Elwood Bearint, of Camden’s semi-professional leagues and a Philadelphia A’s minor league player; Joe Cruz III, Overbrook High School ’95 and Camden County College; Ted Frett, Woodrow Wilson High School ’66 and Temple University; Chuck Ricci, Shawnee High School, ’87 and Philadelphia Phillies; Josh Schwartz, Gateway Regional ’00, Rowan University and Saint Louis Cardinals system; Steve Van Note, Atlantic City High School ‘99 and University of Delaware; and Larry Litwin, Pennsauken High School, ’63 and Parsons College, who enters as a contributor (current umpire, sports announcer).

 

In addition, the Hot Stovers will be honoring its 2011 High School All-Star team, South Jersey Coach of the Year, American Legion Most Valuable Player, and six scholarship recipients including winners of the Tom Heinkel, Bill Carty, and Robert Bobo Memorial Scholarship Awards.

 

### (See next page for full release)

 

 

Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 1 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

 

 

Seven inductees will have their names added to the South Jersey                      Baseball Hall of Fame housed at Campbell Field in Camden.  The induction luncheon is set for Masso’s Columbus Manor, Black Horse Pike, Williamstown on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets, priced at $40, are now on sale and may be purchased by contacting banquet chair Dave Townsend at (856) 424-8545 or  Bill Wagner, Hot Stovers’ president, at (856) 767-7170.

 

In addition, the Hot Stovers will be honoring its 2011 High School All-Star team,

 

 

 

South Jersey Coach of the Year, American Legion Most Valuable Player, and six

 

 

 

scholarship recipients including winners of the Tom Heinkel, Bill Carty, and Robert

 

 

 

Bobo Memorial Scholarship Awards.

 

 

 

This year’s inductees are former players: Elwood Bearint, of Camden’s semi-professional leagues and a Philadelphia A’s minor league player; Joe Cruz III, Overbrook High School ’95 and Camden County College; Ted Frett, Woodrow Wilson High School ’66 and Temple University; Chuck Ricci, Shawnee High School, ’87 and Philadelphia Phillies; Josh Schwartz, Gateway Regional ’00, Rowan University and Saint Louis Cardinals system; Steve Van Note, Atlantic City High School ‘99 and University of Delaware; and Larry Litwin, Pennsauken High School, ’63 and Parsons College, who enters as a contributor (current umpire, sports announcer).

 

           

 

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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 2 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

Elwood Bearint is entering the Hall posthumously. He grew up in the Cramer Hill section of Camden where he was considered one of the top baseball players in the area.  He was a crafty left-handed pitcher. Newspaper stories and boxscores indicate he was an above average hitter and excellent defensive outfielder when not pitching.

 

He was signed by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in 1926 and played for the Chambersburg (Pa.) Maroons in the Blue Ridge League and York (Pa.) in the New York-Penn League in 1926 where he hit .256 with a 7-6 pitching record.

 

In 1927, Bearint hit .316 for the Maroons with a 1-4 pitching record. In an exhibition game for the York Roses, he pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals (facing Rogers Hornsby) losing 6-2.

 

Prior to signing with the A’s, Bearint pitched and hit for the successful Defiance team in Camden. In 1923, Defiance took the Camden City championship with a 33-8 record.  After injuring his elbow in 1927, he returned from the minors to lead Camden to championships in the South Jersey Police League and Strawbridge and Clothier in the Camden City League. For a time, he was a mechanic in the Camden Police garage.

 

He continued to play in the area during the ’30s and /’40s while running a roofing business. Bearint died in 1954 at 48. Both of his younger brothers, Paul and Chuck, played professional ball and are members of the SJ HOF.

 

Joe Cruz is a 1995 Overbrook (Pine Hill) graduate and an All American in ’96 and ’97 at Camden County College. In 1997, he was National Junior College Player of the Year, Region 19 Player of the Year and South Jersey Baseball Coaches Player of the Year and named to Team USA.

 

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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 3 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

At Overbrook, Cruz was an outstanding infielder and hitter batting .430, .419 and .469 respectively in ’93, ’94 and ’95. He had double digits in extra base hits and runs batted in all three years. He was All-Olympic Conference all three years, All-Group IV and All-South Jersey in ’94 and ’95 and All-State in ’95. In 1995, Cruz was honored by the Hot Stovers with the Billy Carty Memorial Scholarship. He was Most Valuable Player of the North-South New Jersey State All-Star game in ’95.

 

Cruz transferred to Mount Olive (N.C.) College where he was first team

 

All-Regional MVP and played with the 1998 Team USA in Toronto, Canada. Later he

 

signed with Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic Independent League.

 

Ted Frett is a 1966 Woodrow Wilson graduate. The left-handed pitcher and hitter

 

led the Tigers to the Camden City Series Championship, was his team’s MVP and was selected Camden City Player of the Year. In 1966, he tossed one no hitter, two one hitters, and two two hitters. A member of the Cramer Hill Boys Club, he was honored as the winner of the Boys Club of America Medallion emblematic of “Boy of the Year.”

 

Frett received a baseball scholarship to Temple University where he is still third all-time in strike outs averaging 9.44 per game and 11th in strike outs with 166. His four-year earned run average was 3.07. He was a First Team All-Star pitcher in NCAA District II in 1969 and caught the eye of professional scouts in May 1968 when he tossed a three hitter against Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) snapping the Profs’ 35-game winning streak.

 

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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 4 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

 

 

During the summer, he played in the South Dakota Basin League and named an All Star averaging 13 strike outs per game enroute to a 9-4 record.

 

After graduating from Temple, he signed with the Boston Red Sox playing for Greenville (S.C.) and Winter Haven (Fla.) – Class A. When his professional career ended, Frett returned to the area to play for another 10 years in the Philadelphia Penn-Del and other leagues in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

 

He is a life-long educator and retired principal living in West Deptford where he is proud to say, “I fly the flag in front of our home 24/7, 365 days a year.” He is the nephew of South Jersey Hall of Famer Fred “General” Frett, HOF ’91 also from the Cramer Hill section of Camden.

 

Chuck Ricci is a 1987 Shawnee High School graduate and former Phillies pitcher. Now a national cross checker for Cleveland Indians, he has spent 25 years in professional baseball.

 

At Shawnee, he earned four varsity letters being named All-Conference in ’85, ’86 and ’87, All-Group IV and All-South Jersey in ’86 and ’87 and All-State in 1987.  Ricci posted a career 31-6 record and 1.73 ERA for the Renegades.

 

During his 11 year professional career (1987-97), Ricci, a right hander, went

 

65-60 with 49 saves and a 3.94 ERA. He led the International (AAA) League with 25 saves in 1995 and was named Pitcher of the Year with the Scranton Red Barons. He had a short stint with the Phillies and went 1-0 with the Phillies in 1995 with nine strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA.

 

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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 5 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

 

 

Josh Schwartz had stellar careers at Gateway High School (’00) and Rowan University. He was taken by the Saint Louis Cardinals in the 42nd round of the Major League Baseball draft after graduating from Rowan in 2005.

 

At Rowan, Schwartz won 37 consecutive games, holds the Prof record for shutouts in a season with four and the career record with eight. He also holds the Profs’ career record for wins in a season, 13, career victories, 38, and a career ERA of 2.03. He is tied for the university record of 17 career complete games.

 

He was a three-time New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) Division II/III Pitcher of the Year. He earned NJAC All-Conference honors and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)

 

All-Region First Team honors three times. In 2004 and 2005, he was named to the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III Baseball All-America First Team. Schwartz is a member of the All-2000 Decade team – Division III.

 

The lefthander went 9-2 in his senior year at Gateway where he was

 

All-Conference, All-Group and All-South Jersey. He is now the pitching coach at Gloucester County College, 2009 national champions and the 2010 runners up.

 

Steve Van Note, a 1999 graduate of Atlantic City High School, earned four varsity letters in baseball. He led the Cape Atlantic League his senior year, batting .556. He was All-Group IV, All-Conference and All-South Jersey in 1998 and ’99.

 

 

 

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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 6 of 6 – October 16, 2011

 

 

 

At the University of Delaware, Van Note was team captain and MVP batting .333 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI and a team-leading 19 stolen bases He is 10th all-time among Blue Hen home run hitters with 31.

 

Van Note spent three seasons with the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Atlantic Independent League leading them to the league title. He has taken his baseball prowess to the All-Star Baseball Academy in West Chester, Pa. where he serves as director of special events.

 

Larry Litwin is being inducted as the 2011 contributor. He played his high school baseball at Pennsauken (’63), summer ball in the Delaware Valley League where he was All-Star Game MVP in ’62 and Garden State League leading the league in hitting in 1963 with a .429 average. He went onto Parsons (Iowa) College (’67) where he became a sports announcer after suffering a career-ending injury.

 

Since 1965, Litwin has covered and announced hundreds of high school, college and professional baseball, football and basketball games. He is a 35-year member of the New Jersey Baseball Umpires Association – officiating nearly 1,500 college, independent and high school games including New Jersey State finals, semi-finals and several North-South All-Star Games.

 

As an announcer, Litwin called games for WJJZ (Mount Holly), WKDN and WCAM (Camden), ABC’s World of Sports (New York), and KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia). On Aug. 11, 1981, Litwin was behind the microphone at Veterans Stadium for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Network and called the Pete Rose hit that broke Stan Musial’s National League hit record. He became a member of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association in 1968 and has served as secretary since 1977.

 

In addition to his involvement in amateur and professional sports, Litwin has been a full- and part-time faculty member at Rowan University for 41 years.

 

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Phillies fan panel identifies areas of concern

A few weeks ago, philly.com asked my and others’ opinions on the upcoming Phillies’ season. Below is the piece posted on Feb. 11. [To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com]

The fan panel responds to the following question: What are your biggest concerns?

Larry Litwin, Berlin, N.J.: My biggest concern is right- and leftfield offense. Defensively – not a problem. We will know soon enough whether Raul is up to the task. As for rightfield, even with Werth’s sting, he lacked the consistency I look for. That hole can be plugged, but the offensive production calls for a .270 average and a total of 25 home runs and 75 RBI out of that position. All that said: Ryan Howard has to put last year behind him – especially that last at-bat – and practice discipline as he approaches the plate. At this stage, I’d be surprised not to see the Phillies in the World Series. But I’ve been a Phillies fan all of my life, so I am a realist. That’s why I say surprised and not shocked.

Robert Finafrock, Orrtanna: Righthanded batting success. We need to get a righthanded power man.

Rob Pino, South Philly: My biggest concern is Chase Utley. His batting average and OPS have slipped for 3 consecutive years. We need him to produce like a No. 3 hitter again if this team is going to put up big offensive numbers.

John Burgo, Eagleville: My biggest concern is an aging team, which will result in an offensive dropoff from the lineup, further depleted by the loss of Jayson Werth.

Kevin S. Prosser, Philadelphia: My biggest concern is the bench. Our team is getting older and they need to be rested every now and then. If there is an injury, we need someone to step in and give us professional baseball. A big pinch-hit wouldn’t hurt, either.

Fred Harris, Sewell, N.J.: The Phillies do not become complacent with an outstanding pitching rotation.

Bill Avington, Bensalem: My biggest concern is offense, believe it or not. Yes, their track record seems to indicate that last year was a fluke, but I worry that it may not be. I hope that Ryan Howard and Chase Utley can bounce back from years below their own expectations and that Jimmy Rollins comes back from injuries to be one of the top shortstops in the game.

Bud Shaffer, Hatboro: My biggest concern is the production of the corner outfielders. Who will be out there? How will they hit? Will they be able to protect Howard? Can they play adequate defense? Should be an interesting spring to see how that sets up for the regular season.

Jim Lyons, Northeast Philly: My biggest concern is our hitting. I don’t see our guys having enough patience at the plate. I know injuries played a big part in last year’s lack of hitting and I hope that doesn’t happen this coming year.

Ray Kelly, Yardley: Replacing Werth’s bat is a big concern for the new season. I’m also concerned about Jimmy Rollins. I’m hoping he recaptures his swing of 2 years ago. The Phillies must return to the hitters they were 2 years ago. Chase Utley has me worried. His hitting and fielding were off last year. I’m hoping a healthy Chase returns to form.

Bill Moore, Deptford, N.J.: My biggest concern is really twofold: Are these guys getting old too fast? And is getting old the reason for the prolonged offensive slumps and injuries? Last season was unbelievable with the injuries and the lack of offense for long periods of time. I am really hoping that if Jimmy Rollins can stay healthy all year this team can be the best Phillies team ever because he seems to be the spark that sets the team off.

Rob Kilby, Bordentown, N.J.: My biggest concern has to be who the five-hole hitter will be. I’m guessing that there will probably be a platoon situation at both corner outfield positions. Out of those four guys, they need to have a righty and a lefty step up to show some consistency and power to protect Howard. And speaking of the big guy, see the ball, hit the ball.

Mike Breggar, Cherry Hill: Can this team be relatively injury-free this year? Can the offense revive to its spectacular 2008 grandeur?

Jack Martin, Ambler: I am most concerned that the Phillies have a reasonably healthy year. They need to avoid big injuries to the starting rotation and key team leaders, Utely, Howard and Rollins.

David Chalecki, Sellersville: Offensive constancy is my biggest concern. With the exception of a few blowouts, I never thought the Phillies’ bats got hot last season.

Ed Gallagher III, Philadelphia: Bottom Line – INNINGS!!! Our “dream-team rotation” has thrown a lot of innings the last 2-3 years, and I’m just hoping they will stay healthy, and that Charlie will have the wherewithal/gusto to take these guys out an inning or two early to preserve those “million dollar” cannons for October, when the real battles begin . . .

Mike Hart, Ridley Park: The starting pitching has to stay healthy and the bats need to be consistent. Last year we would go 2 weeks blowing teams out and then the next 2 weeks we would struggle to get more than two runs. If we can be consistent and score four to six runs a game, this will be a fun-filled season. Staying healthy will be key to the team’s success.

Jonathan Finafrock, Downingtown: Offensive productivity – Will the bats provide the runs? Or will they go cold as they did in the 2010 NLCS? We can’t win all the games 2-1!! If the Phils can score four to five runs, then every game is winnable . . . the closer role is also suspect.

David B. Jones, Skippack: My biggest concern is the hitting. If the team’s offense does not produce about three runs a night, the pitching will need to be near perfect, and that may be a bit difficult on the pitching staff. If the aces go out there and have a three-or-more run lead early in the game, they will be able to pitch from ahead. That is always easier on them.

Paul Groffie, Marlton, N.J.: My biggest fear is that the team continues to struggle at the plate, thus putting more pressure on the starters to be perfect instead of relaxed.

Jeff Berman, Lower Southampton: I am most concerned that Chase Utley and Ryan Howard’s postseason hitting slump follows them into the regular season. They came up very small in the playoffs.

Kate Campbell, Exton: Will Ryan Howard rebound? Will Jimmy Rollins rebound – at least back to great defense and strategic hitting, if not blazing speed on the basepaths?
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/homepage/20110211_Phillies_fan_panel_identifies_areas_of_concern.html#ixzz1DqpJ6VQ2
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PSWA banquet on Jan. 31: So who’s going to be there? The Public is invited

The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association hosts its 107th annual Awards Dinner on Monday night, Jan. 31.

The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, just minutes from all Philadelphia bridges. Doors open at 5 p.m., and dinner starts at 6:30.

The public is welcome, and tickets are available by clicking here.

Award winners include:

Roy Halladay (Phillies) – Outstanding Pro Athlete
Bill Bergey (Eagles) – Living Legend
Bobby Convey – Native Son
Elton Brand (76ers) – Good Guy Athlete
Philadelphia Flyers – Team of the Year
Sheila Reid (Villanova cross country) – Outstanding Amateur Athlete
Shane Victorino (Phillies) – Humanitarian Award
Jack Childs (Drexel wrestling coach) – Special Achievement
Fran Dunphy (Temple basketball coach) – Special Achievement
Al Bagnoli (Penn football coach) – Special Achievement
Herb Magee (Philadelphia University basketball coach) – Special Achievement
Matt Hoffman (Rowan football) – Special Achievement
Villanova Cross Country, Gina Procaccio – Special Achievement
Gabby Mayo (Texas A&M women’s track) – Frank Dolson Award (Penn Relays)
Wyatt Middleton (Navy football) – Army-Navy MVP

Other speakers include:

Charlie Manuel (Phillies manager)
Steve Addazio (Temple’s new football coach)
Joe Conklin (sports comic)

Other dais guests:

Ruben Amara (Phillies GM)
Elizabeth Donald (Penn women’s rowing)
Rebecca Donald (Penn women’s rowing)
Christina Mastropaolo (Drexel field hockey)
Jill Davis (LaSalle women’s lacrosse)
Sarah Simonetti (Philadelphia University cross country)
Nicole McCreight (St. Joseph’s field hockey)
Lavoy Allen (Temple basketball)
Ben Ijalana (Villanova football)

The PSWA awards dinner is open to the public. Tickets are still available ($95). Click here to order tickets online.

Public invited as Sports Writers honor Halladay, Victorino, Manuel, Amaro, Bergey and others

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, who threw a pair of no-hitters – one a perfect game – and won 20 games during the regular season, will be honored as Pro Athlete of the Year by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at its annual dinner, Monday, Jan. 31 at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill.

The public is invited to attend and see Halladay be presented with his National League Cy Young Award.

The Flyers, who advanced to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals before losing to Chicago, are the association’s Team of the Year.

Other individual award winners include Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino (Humanitarian), 76ers forward Elton Brand (Good Guy), former Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey (Living Legend) and San Jose Earthquakes forward Bobby Convey (Native Son).

The association also will honor the 2010 Most Courageous Athlete, whose identity is kept secret until the night of the dinner.

Tickets are $95 for the dinner, which begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m.

More information can be obtained at www.pswa.org.

‘Nova’s Sheila Reid Named PSWA’s Outstanding Amateur

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com. The PSWA Dinner is open to the public. Visit www.pswa.org.

Villanova track and cross country All America Sheila Reid has been named the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s Outstanding Amateur Athlete.

Reid, the 2010 NCAA cross country individual champion, will be honored at the PSWA’s 107th annual Sports Awards Dinner on Monday, January 31, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, N.J. The public is welcome, and tickets are available by clicking here.

A six-time All America in cross country and indoor and outdoor track, Reid triggered Villanova’s run to its second straight NCAA cross country title by breaking away in the last 200 meters to win the individual crown. She also repeated as the individual champion at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and Big East Championships—achievements that helped the Newmarket, Ontario native win the 2011 Honda Sports Award as the nation’s top female athlete in the sport.

Reid, a three-time Big East Academic All-Star, earned a perfect 4.0 GPA as an English major last fall. She also starred in Indoor and Outdoor track as a middle distance runner. She is the reigning champion in the Big East Indoor 1,000 meters, mile, and as a member of the 4×800 meter relay team, and the Outdoor 800 meters event. She was named Most Outstanding Track Athlete at the league’s 2010 Indoor Championships.

Reid will be joined at the head table by Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, who will be honored as Pro Athlete of the Year and presented with his Cy Young Award; Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino, the Humanitarian of the Year, and Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand, the winner of the Good Guy award.

Bill Bergey, one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, will on hand to receive the Living Legend award. The Philadelphia Flyers, the 2010 Stanley Cup runner-ups, will be feted as the Team of the Year, and right winger Ian Laperriere, one of the Flyers’ most popular players, will accept that award.

Phillies general manager Rubin Amaro, Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel will also attend as will San Jose Earthquakes soccer star Bobby Convey, the Native Son award winner. Other prestigious awards and head table guests will be announced in coming weeks. The most coveted award—Most Courageous—is kept secret until the night of the dinner.

Tickets for the dinner are $95 apiece and can be purchased by clicking here.

Dunphy, Bagnoli, Magee, Childs Among PSWA Honorees

Posted: 22 Jan 2011 10:44 AM PST

A number of outstanding local coaches and athletes will be on hand at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, NJ, January 31 to receive well-deserved Special Achievement awards, all part of the 107th Annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association dinner. The event, open to the public (tickets available by clicking here), will honor the following with Special Achievement awards:

· Penn football coach Al Bagnoli, who has won a record seven Ivy League titles in 18 seasons as head of the Quakers. His overall record at Penn is 122-56 (.685). Penn won the Ivy League crown the last two seasons with perfect 7-0 records. The Quakers went undefeated with 10-0 records in 1993 and 2003.

· Drexel wrestling coach Jack Childs, the winningest active NCAA Division I coach with 414 victories, who is retiring after 35 seasons at the helm of the Dragons. Childs, who also won 89 matches at Stevens Institute of Technology, picked up his 500th career win last season against George Mason.

· Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy, who recently won his 400th career game, is the only person who has coached at two Big 5 schools. Before coming to Temple, where he has won two Atlantic 10 championships and a pair of Big 5 titles, Dunphy won 10 Ivy League crowns and four Big 5 titles at Penn. Previously he was an assistant coach at La Salle where he was a member of the Explorers great 1968-69 team.

· Rowan University football co-captain Matt Hoffman, who missed the final game of his junior year to donate stem cells to Warren Sallach, a Texas father with non-Hodgkins lymphoma who almost certainly would have died without the transplant. Hoffman returned for the 2010 season and was named 2nd Team All America and the New Jersey Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was nominated for the Gagliardi Trophy, Division III’s equivalent of the Heisman.

· Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee, who has won more than 900 games to pass Bobby Knight as the winningest coach in NCAA history. He is now in his 43rd year as head coach at the school which he guided to the 1969-70 NCAA Division II national championship when it was known as Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. He has taken teams to the NCAA Tournament 24 times

Navy defensive back Wyatt Middleton will also be at the Crowne Plaza to receive the Most Valuable Player award for the recent Army-Navy game. Middleton was selected by the media for MVP honors after setting a record for the longest fumble return for a touchdown in the classic’s history, 98 yards, which triggered Navy’s 31-17 victory. He also had nine tackles.

Phillies All-Star pitcher Roy Halladay will be in attendance. Coming off an outstanding 2010 season, Halladay is the PSWA’s Pro Athlete of the Year. He also will be presented with his 2010 Cy Young Award at the dinner.

Others at the head table: Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino (Humanitarian of the Year); former Eagles great Bill Bergey (Living Legend); Flyers right winger Ian Laperriere (accepting Team of the Year honors on behalf of the 2010 Stanley Cup runner-up Philadelphia Flyers); 76ers forward Elton Brand (Good Guy Award); Villanova track and cross country All-American Sheila Reid (Outstanding Amateur Athlete): Penn Charter product Bobby Convey, star of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes (2010 Native Son); Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Junior and manager Charlie Manuel. The most coveted award, the Most Courageous, is kept secret until the night of the dinner. The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association was founded on May 12, 1904, and the first of what would become an annual Awards Dinner was held Feb. 15, 1905.

Tickets for the dinner, which is open to the public, are $95 each, and are still available. Click here to buy tickets now.

To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital’s Post-Concussion Clinic to be Recognized at Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner

An estimated 1.6 million sports-related concussions occur every year. Athletes of all ages who are not fully recovered before returning to their sport are much more likely to receive another—more devastating—concussion.

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital is determined to stop that from happening.

In November, 2010, Magee’s Brain Injury Service Department, headed up by Tim Young, MD and Todd Lewis , PhD, created a post-concussion clinic to help athletes, parents, coaches and teams determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to their sport, as well as to utilize Magee’s physical, occupational and speech therapy expertise to address any complications that may arise as the result of a concussion.

On January 31, The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association will acknowledge the work being done by Dr. Young and Dr. Lewis at their 107th Annual Awards Dinner, being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill at 5:00pm. Magee will also have an information booth at the dinner to discuss concussions and the post-concussion clinic.

“I’m glad that Magee Rehab is participating in our banquet this year,” said Rich Westcott, president of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. “Its new post-concussion clinic is providing a vital medical service to teams and athletes in our area. Concussions are a major issue in sports these days, and it’s extremely important that people get the proper information in terms of learning how to deal with this dangerous injury. I’m pleased that Magee will be present to do that.”

To learn more about Magee’s post-concussion clinic, call 855-587-BRAIN. To learn more about the PSWA Award Dinner, visit PSWAdinner.com.

Eagles’ great, Bill Bergey named Sports Writers’ ‘Living Legend’

[To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com] For PSWA: www.pswa.org

Former Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey will be honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association with its 2010 Philadelphia Living Sports Legend Award at the PSWA’s 107th annual banquet on January 31st, 2011.  With the Eagles, Bergey was voted into four Pro Bowls in seven seasons as an Eagle and was named Eagles MVP three times, once making 233 tackles in a single season and setting the NFL record for most single season interceptions by a linebacker.  Bergey helped the Eagles back to the playoffs in 1978, 1979 and to the Super Bowl in 1980.  He retired in 1981 and was inducted into the Eagles Roll of Honor in 1988.

The Sports Writers Association’s 107th annual banquet will be held on Monday, January 31st, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, N.J. In addition to the Living Legend award, other awards to be presented will be the Team of the Year (Philadelphia Flyers), professional and amateur Athletes of the Year, Humanitarian, Good Guy Athlete, Native Son, Outstanding Penn Relays collegiate performer, MVP of the Army-Navy game, and several special achievement presentations.

The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association was founded on May 12, 1904, and the first of what would become an annual Awards Dinner was held Feb. 15, 1905.
For more information, contact John Weber at (267) 408-7500.   Visit www.pswa.org or friend us on Facebook.