Veteran baseball fans around the area are looking forward to the annual Old Timers banquet on Jan. 12 at the Kennett Fire Co. Red Clay Room. Every year they join for an evening of reminiscing and celebration of the good old days when they played their favorite game.Also included in the festivities is the induction of new members into the Old Timers Hall of Fame, a collection of former players who went beyond high school in their baseball careers. They are honored by having their names inscribed on the ever-growing plaque in Burton's Barbershop in Kennett Square.
The inductees this year are the following:
o James "Jim" Brison of Willingboro, N.J.: Jim grew up in West Grove and played for Avon Grove and more.
o Paul "Chis" Chisholm Jr. of West Chester: Paul grew up in Kennett Square pitching for the Kennett High School team.
o E. Kenneth "Ken" Davis of Hellertown: Ken in Avondale and played on the high school team and adult leagues.
o Joe Donohoe of Hockessin, Del.: Grew up in Kennett Square played on high school team and beyond.
o Rockey "Rocco" Malchione of Kennett Square: Grew up in Kennett Square played for the Tuffied and against the Greysox.
o Gary Michelson of Wyoming and Arizona: Grew up in the coal region of Pennsylvania and Kennett Square. Played in Kennett and Lincoln University.
o L. Dean Paisley of Wilmington: Played for Avon Grove High School and adult league teams.
o Ken Riale of Kennett Square: Grew up in Kennett Square and played for Kennett High School, Babe Ruth and more.
o Tim Skiles of West Chester: Grew up in Parkesburg and played for Octorara, West Chester University and adult league teams. Coached Kennett high school baseball.
Through the years, the banquet has hosted many speakers, especially those connected with the Phillies, including recent addresses by Curt Schilling, Dick Allen and Charlie Manuel. This year's speaker is Phillies play-by-play announcer Scott Franzke.
Franzke made his Phillies debut in 2006 when he was named the preand post-game host for the Phillies radio broadcasts. In addition, he did p[lay-by-play in the middle innings. He began in 2007 as the main commentator for Phillies radio broadcasts working with Larry Anderson.
A perennial guest is Phillies vice president for public relations Larry Shenk, who is scheduled to visit again this year. Though semi-retired, Shenk still retains an office with the Phillies and obtains speakers for the annual banquet, according to Bob Burton of Burton's Barbershop in Kennett Square. Burton, one of the banquet organizers, also maintains an extensive baseball museum and display at his barbershop.
Get tickets at Burton's Barbershop ($30) or call 610-444-9964 at the barbershop or Junie Gregg at 1-302-239-7786.