Philly Hall could be closer to a home
Author: Tamara Fisher
An organization that looks to preserve Philadelphia's sports history is still hoping for a place to call home. Since 2002, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has been dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of Philly sports.
"There is no central organization that honors the overall tremendous sports heritage of Philadelphia," said Ken Avallon, the group's president and founder.
The foundation will induct its third Hall of Fame class tonight in a sold-out ceremony at the Sheraton Society Hill. Among the honorees are the 1960 Eagles, baseball greats Del Ennis, Reggie Jackson, Roy Campanella, basketball Hall of Famers Hal Greer, Joe Fulks and Jack Ramsay, pool player Willie Mosconi and former Daily News columnist Ray Didinger. The group brings the hall's total to 52 individuals, as well as the Palestra and the 1954 La Salle basketball team.
Meanwhile, the foundation is continuing its efforts to find a permanent location to honor the Hall of Famers and display memorabilia.
"We have antiques from the Palestra, the Vet . . . items that we've had for over 100 years," Avallon said. And an interim site might be in the works, Avallon said. "After speaking with local organizations and universities, we may have a temporary museum presence in the next 3 to 6 months," he said.
Avallon admits their vision of a full-functioning museum might be a long race, but a short-term location would be a step in the right direction. There are a few established locations willing to house these pieces of history, he said.
"We are consistently told, 'We can't believe there isn't [a Hall of Fame museum]' and it's about time," he said.
Aside from the memorabilia, the foundation celebrates Philadelphia's sports history through community programs. The induction ceremony will also serve as a fund-raiser for those projects. The foundation hosts sports-related youth programs, including camps, and university development programs, internships and scholarships. Avallon said the foundation has interns from Villanova, West Chester, Temple and Drexel.
More information is available on their website at www.phillyhof.org.
Willie Mosconi, Philly native, considered the greatest pool player of all time.
1960 Eagles, team induction, last Eagles team to win NFL championship
The Palestra, venue enshrinement, venerable facility opened Jan. 1, 1927
CLASS OF 2006
The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame will induct its third class in ceremonies tonight at the Sheraton Society Hill. The event is sold out. Here are the honorees:
Herb Adderley, Packers defensive back from Northeast High, seven-time NFL champion, five-time Pro Bowler, Pro Football Hall of Famer
Don Bragg, 1960 Olympic pole vault gold medal from Penns Grove, N.J.
Roy Campanella, Dodgers catcher from Simon Gratz High, eight-time All-Star, three-time MVP, Baseball Hall of Famer.
Ray Didinger, journalist, 1995 member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame writers honor roll (legacy of excellence honoree), longtime Daily News sports writer.
Bill Ellerbee, basketball coach, directed Simon Gratz boys to 12 title-game appearances and six titles (lifetime commitment award).
Del Ennis, outfielder for 11 years with Phillies, 1946 Sporting News Rookie of the Year
Joe Fulks, former Philadelphia Warrior, three-time all-NBA first team
Hal Greer, guard who was a key member of 1966-67 Sixers championship team, Basketball Hall of Famer.
Gene Hart, Flyers announcer, was voice of team from its inception in 1967 until 1995 (legacy of excellence honoree).
Reggie Jackson, outfielder from Cheltenham High, "Mr. October," two-time World Series MVP, Baseball Hall of Famer.
Jack Ramsay, retired as the second- winningest coach in NBA history, Basketball Hall of Famer, Saint Joseph's alum from Upper Darby.
Helen Sigel Wilson, Philly native who won 350 golf titles over 45 years and finished second twice in the U.S. Amateur.
Al Simmons, outfielder who helped Philadelphia A's win three consecutive titles from 1929-31, Baseball Hall of Famer.
Anne Townsend, multiple sports, captain Penn women's basketball, helped growth of field hockey and lacrosse.
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