Phila. Sports Hall of Fame Announces Charter Class

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation today announced its Charter Class. The Foundation is dedicated to establishing a Hall of Fame and Museum to celebrate Philadelphias rich sports history. (For details, see attached document About the Hall.)
The Charter Class includes:
Bernie Parent Joe Frazier
Bert Bell Julius Erving
Bill Tilden Mike Schmidt
Billy Cunningham Paul Arizin
Bobby Clarke Richie Ashburn
Chuck Bednarik Robin Roberts
Connie Mack Steve Carlton
Jack Kelly, Sr. Steve Van Buren
Jimmie Foxx Tom Gola
Wilt Chamberlain

The Class of 2003, the Hall of Fame's inaugural class, was selected utilizing a highly participatory process. The Foundation solicited input from its Advisory Panel and a select group from the Philadelphia area. Those submitting input included local sports writers, coaches, announcers, athletes, broadcasters, athletic directors and others involved with and interested in the Hall of Fame. (For details about the selection process, including participants see attached document About the Charter Class.)

The Foundation also announced Sonny Hill and Harry Kalas for recognition with its Charter Class.
"The Mayor of Philadelphia Basketball", Sonny Hill will receive the Foundation's inaugural Lifetime Commitment Award for his dedication and service to the community. The Lifetime Commitment Award is given for integrity, character and exemplary service to the community through sports-related activities.” (See Sonny Hill Bio at the end of this release.)
Legendary Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas will be the Foundation's inaugural Legacy of Excellence Honoree for his outstanding career. Kalas, a well-known personality throughout the city of Philadelphia has broadcast more than 5000 games for the Phillies. The Legacy of Excellence is for outstanding, long-term achievement in contributory, supportive or complementary activities.” (See Harry Kalas Bio at the end of this release.)

"Our commitment to preserve and promote Philadelphias sports history is more viable than ever,” said Ken Avallon, president of the Foundation. With such a wonderful sports legacy we want to recognize the significant contributions of athletes, teams, venues and events that have graced our city. This Charter Class is the embodiment of that legacy. It solidifies the Philadelphia Hall of Fame as a reality and should be a catalyst in helping us develop our community programs."

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation's inaugural induction ceremony and banquet for the Charter Class is slated for February 2004.

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation is a registered non-profit organization with 501 (c) (3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Formed in 2002, it is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations, the Maxwell Club, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and the International Association of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame. More information about the Foundation can be found at

**Sonny Hill Bio**
A graduate of Northeast High School, William R. "Sonny" Hill has been referred to as the "Mayor of Basketball" in Philadelphia. Sonny co-founded the Baker League for professionals, which is the oldest league in the country and one of the most prestigious. Mr. Hill has been a player, coach, color analyst for CBS sports and the Philadelphia 76ers. He was also featured in Ten Feet in the Air, a 1973 film on Philadelphia street basketball narrated by Harry Kalas and produced by NFL Films.
Mr. Hill's influence goes well beyond the basketball court. In addition to the Baker League he also founded the Sonny Hill League for youth as an alternative to the challenges of the street. It has been said that "the Sonny Hill League has done more to battle the perils of gangs and drugs and promote life skills than any other program in the city."
Mr. Hill has been honored with over 25 civic awards including Man of the Year.

Lifetime Commitment Award
For integrity, character and exemplary service to the community through sports-related activities. To qualify, individuals must meet any or all of the following qualifications:
· Dedication, leadership and support in advancing community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the Philadelphia area.
· Longtime history of training, motivating, and inspiring youth in their communities.
· Significant contributions of a lasting nature to promote and develop community programs or events on the local, state or national level.

**Harry Kalas Bio**
A native of Naperville, Illinois, Harry Kalas graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech, Radio, and Television. An original member of the Astros' broadcast team in 1965, he called games for Houston until 1970. He moved to the Phillies broadcast booth in 1971, where he shared the microphone with Hall of Fame outfielder Richie Ashburn for 26 seasons. Kalas has been honored as Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year 17 times. He has also broadcast Big Five basketball and Notre Dame football. Kalas, revered for his uncanny ability to connect with his listeners, whether on radio or television, has called more than 5,000 Phillies games.
Legacy of Excellence Honor
For outstanding, long-term achievement in contributory, supportive or complementary activities. To qualify, individuals must meet any or all of the following qualifications:
· Broadcaster, announcer or media member.
· Administrator or contributor at the team, collegiate or league level.
· Significant contributions of a lasting nature that enhance the sporting experience for fans.

**Hall of Famers**
The Lifetime Commitment Award and the Legacy of Excellence Honor are tantamount to induction into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and bear all rights and privileges therein. As such, the term "Hall of Famer" shall equally apply to Hall of Fame Inductees, Lifetime Commitment Award winners and the Legacy of Excellence Honorees.

**About the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation**
Founded in May 2002 as a Pennsylvania 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has evolved from an idea and vision to a reality. The mission is to develop a Sports Hall of Fame as a means to preserve and promote the rich history of Philadelphia sports. The ultimate goal is to build a museum in the area to honor Philadelphia's unique sports legacy.

With the Hall of Fame and Museum as the ultimate focal point, the Foundation celebrates Philadelphia's sports history through community programs. Such programs as youth scholarships, essay contests, sports camps for underprivileged kids, and internships for needy college students will begin this process immediately. To that end, each applicant for a scholarship, program or internship and all sports camp attendees will be required to submit an essay on a historical Philadelphia sports icon, team, institution or event honored by the Hall of Fame. This one-of-a-kind proposition will support the vision of enlightening Philadelphia area youth about Philadelphia's wonderful sports history. It could include icons like Wilt Chamberlain, Mike Schmidt, Chuck Bednarik or Joe Frazier; teams such as the '29 A's, '60 Eagles or '85 Villanova Wildcats; venues like the Palestra, Baker Bowl or Boathouse Row; or institutions like the Dad Vail Regatta, the Army-Navy Game or the Penn Relays.

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation highlights to date include:

· Registered with Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations· Federal 501(c)(3) status, which allows donations to be tax-deductible· Member, Pennsylvania Assn. of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)· Member, International Assn. of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame · Member, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce· Member, Maxwell Football Club· Member, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums

Provisions are written into the bylaws to establish an Advisory Panel as a consultative arm of the Foundation. Members of the Advisory Panel include:

Tom Starner, published in Sports Illustrated on Sonny Hill /Harvey PollackSloane Milstein, Director, Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of FameBob McMahon, mayor of Media; wrote two sports-related booksRich Westcott, author of such books as A Century of Philadelphia SportsMichael Smerconish, radio, TV and Daily News commentatorTom Shaw, radio sports talk show host (WNJC-1360 AM) Speedy Morris, Head Coach, St. Joe's Prep BasketballJay Wright, Head Coach, Villanova Men's BasketballStan Hochman, longtime Philadelphia sports writerBob Lyons, author of Palestra PandemoniumGlen Macnow, WIP radio Andy Musser, former Phillies broadcasterPhil Martelli, Head Coach, St. Joe's BasketballJack McCallum, Sports IllustratedSal Paolantonio, ESPNMark Eckel, The Trenton TimesTed Silary, The Daily NewsHoward Eskin, WIP radioDon DiJulia, Athletic Director, St. Joseph'sVince Nicastro, Athletic Director, VillanovaBob Vetrone, Jr., Daily News

Others who have offered support or expressed interest include:
· Jon Caroulis, Assistant Director University Communications and Manager of Media Relations, LaSalle University
· Chip Greenberg, Big 5 Hall of Famer
· Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer
· Bill Lyon, Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist
· Don McKee, WIP, Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame will be periodically updated and evolve as the Foundation advances its mission and accomplishes its goals. Please follow and support the Foundation in its quest to promote and preserve the sports history of Philadelphia.

**About the Charter Class**

Spanning over one hundred twenty-five years, the sports history of Philadelphia abounds with legendary figures. True icons in all sports, both amateur and professional, have graced the fields and courts, stadiums and arenas, and rivers and rings of the Philadelphia area.

Through a highly participatory process, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has selected its Charter Class. The sheer stature and distinction of these individuals merit inclusion in this inaugural group, the embodiment of all that is great about Philadelphia sports.

*The Nomination Process*
As a group, the Founders Committee of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation established an initial list of nominees for the Charter Class. To that list, the general populace added names via nominee submittals through the Foundations web site ( The list was finalized via input from the Foundations Advisory Panel. The nomination process closed on Thursday, July 31, 2003.

*The Selection Process*
In order to assure that the Charter Class is truly a preeminent group, the Foundation solicited input from a number of sources. This included all Advisory Panel members along with a select group of others from the Philadelphia area. Those submitting input include local sports writers, coaches, announcers, athletes, broadcasters, athletic directors and others interested in the Hall of Fame. From the final list of nominees, this group was asked to submit their list of the top fifteen, ranked accordingly, to be included in the Charter Class. Their input was collated and tallied to assist the Founders Committee in selecting this extraordinary group. The intention of the selection process was to ensure depth and breadth of input in order to select a truly representative inaugural class. The makeup of the Charter Class decidedly reveals this to be the case.

*A Note of Thanks*
Though common threads exist, strong differences of opinion abound among the input from the participants of the Charter Class selection process. Some participants even felt compelled to submit a name or two exclusive of the Foundation's final thirty-six nominees. Comment and controversy are sure to follow any listing or ranking, whether of sports figures or movies, television shows or historic events. The Foundation anticipates and relishes such discussion. As such, the Foundation wishes to extend an expressed note of gratitude to all those participating in the process of determining its Charter Class. An earnest, enthusiastic Thank-You to the following individuals:

Aaron Knox Bob Vetrone Sr. Glen Macnow Marcus Hayes Sal Paolantonio
Al Shrier Chip Greenberg Harry Donahue Mark Eckel Sam Charchidi
Andy Musser Chris Slawecki Howard Eskin Mike Kern Speedy Morris
Bill Bradshaw Dave Ralis Jack McCallum Mike Missanelli Stan Hochman
Bill Conlin Dave Thomas Jack Werner Phil Jasner Ted Silary
Bill Lyon Dick Jerardi Jay Wright Phil Martelli Tim Panaccio
Bill McCloskey Don DiJulia Jeff Beideman Phil Neuman Tom Starner
Bob Lyons Don McKee John Smallwood Rich Westcott Vince Nicastro
Bob McMahon Frank Fitzpatrick Larry Litwin Ron Reid Rich Hofmann
Bob Vetrone Jr. George Jahn

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