Montco Chapter names nine to Hall of Fame
Nine men and women will be welcomed to the Montgomery County chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame at its third annual induction banquet on Sept. 25 at the salley Forge Radisson Hotel.
David Ritting, president of the Montgomery County chapter, has announced the following honorees for the Class of 2012. They were chosen for their accomplishments in baseball, football, WUDFN DnG fiHOG, fiHOG KRFNHy, swimming, sports media, wrestling, lacrosse, and basketball. Two of the honorees represented the U.S. in Olympic participation. Two former high school football stars advanced to the National Football League.
The nine new inductees are William (BillF Bartle, Bob Bloss, him Gallagher (deceasedF, Henry (HankF hing, John hing, Chad Levitt, Richard (DickF Ritting, Bonnie Smith Taylor and Wally Triplett.
Bonnie Smith Taylor and the late him Gallagher each have Olympic backgrounds on their resumes. Smith 7DyORU, D fiHOG KRFNHy DnG swimming standout at Norristown High and at Temple University, went on to a OHnJWKy fiHOG KRFNHy FRDFKing career, then served as a ODFURVVH DnG fiHOG KRFNHy umpire for nearly three decades, and was president of the Abington chapter of umpires. An inductee of three Halls of Fame — Norristown High, Temple University, U.S. Field Hockey — she was a member of the 19761984 Olympic Development Coaching staff, and held a key organizational post with the Houston, Oklahoma and Atlanta Olympic Festivals.
Gallagher, a stroke victim who passed away at age 39, was an Upper Dublin High School student-athlete who later earned international acclaim as a silver and bronze medal winner in the 800-meter run at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, respectively. She was the only U.S. man or woman to have won an individual medal in any event longer than 400 meters at Seoul in 1988. Gallagher courageously battled FDnFHU-UHODWHG DIflLFWLRnV IRU 14 years before succumbing in 2002. As late as 1992, she competed in the Olympic trials. She has been inducted in Halls of Fame established by the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches, Upper Dublin High and the Penn Relays.
Chad Levitt and Wallace (WallyF Triplett are two 2012 inductees who attended Cheltenham High School and eventually played foot- ball in the NFL.
7ULSOHWW, WKH fiUVW AIULFDn American to start a football game at Penn State, was a member of the Nittany Lions’ 1948 Cotton Bowl team that played SMU to a 13-13 tie. After college, the Cheltenham High Hall of Famer SODyHG fiYH yHDUV IRU WKH DHtroit Lions and Chicago Cardinals. He remains Detroit’s holder of the single game record for kickoff return yardage — 294 yards.
Levitt, in addition to football, was also a Cheltenham wUHVWOLnJ DnG WUDFN DnG fiHOG (shot put and 4x100 relayF standout. He carried his football talent to Cornell where he was a three-time All-Ivy /HDJuH fiUVW WHDP. HH HVtablished Cornell records for most 100-yard games (24F, and for most rushing attempts (922F. A member of the Cornell University and the Philadelphia Jewish League Halls of Fame, Levitt was a fourth round draft selection of the Oakland Raiders. He also played for the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears.
William (BillF Bartle, from the mid-1970s to 2000, was one of the most headlined competitive swimmers in Pennsylvania, then an outstanding high school swimming coach in Montgomery and neighboring Berks County. A four-time high school All American with eight PIAA championship medals to his credit, Bartle later piloted 17 scholastic swimming and 16 water polo All Americans during his head coaching tenures at Reading High School (1985-’94F and North Penn High, (1994-2000F. He is enshrined in the North Penn High, North Penn/Souderton and Berks County Halls of Fame, and is recipient of the David H. Robertson Excellence in Coaching accolade.
Bob Bloss enters the sports Hall not for prowHVV Rn WKH fiHOGV DnG FRuUWV of play, but for his media coverage of those athletes whose performances he’s described via typewriter and microphone. The Temple University Communications major has covered the Phillies regularly since the early 1960s, and recently authored two nationally distributed baseball books. His MontJRPHUy CRunWy EyOLnHV fiUVW appeared for editor Charley Myers at The Reporter, then, through the 1960s, under legendary Times Herald sports editor Red McCarthy. Bloss’s sports coverage has included play-by-play of Bux-Mont League football (WNPs Radio, 1960s
-‘70sF. For 20 years he was the Montgomery High School All-Star Football Game public address announcer.
Henry ( HankF hing, who’s earned lifetime achievement commendations for his baseball scouting contributions to Philadelphia Phillies’ successes, returns to his boyhood turf for his Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame induction. An Upper Merion High letterman in football, basketball, and baseball, his pitching talent led him, beginning in 1962, to contracts with the White Sox and Orioles systems. In 1975 he joined the Phillies family. For 24 years, starting in 1984, Hank was the club’s chief advance scout. He evaluated Tampa Bay prior to the Phils’ 2008 World Series triumph. The current Limerick resident has conducted instructional baseball programs for youngsters for several yeas. And when not engaged with baseball seasons, he’s served as a certified basketball referee.
John hing and Henry hing are sometimes mistaken as relatives. That’s not the case, but having both of them — from the same region and same high school, and at the Hall of Fame’s head table Sept. 25 — is an interesting coincidence. Each an Upper Merion High threesport letterman. Baseball excellence in both of their backgrounds. At Brown University John set a league home run record and earned first team All- Ivy League three times. He also lettered in football, and is a Brown Hall of Famer for football and baseball. While at Upper Merion High John hing received the Triangle Club’s William Dannehower Award. His strong baseball interest continues. In the 1990s John served a successful term as president of the Perkiomen salley Twilight League.
Richard (DickF Joseph Ritting — (Unsung Hero Award RecipientF — The Montgomery Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame is proud to have instituted this special honor for persons who devoted several decades of dedicated athletic excellence and service to teamwork and wholesome sportsmanship.
Dick Ritting’s background and resume typify this annual award’s characteristics. The long-time resident of WKH GOHnVLGH DUHD fiUVW HDUnHG notable sports page attention as a football, baseball, DnG WUDFN DnG fiHOG VWDnGRuW at Philadelphia’s Northeast High in the early 1940s before serving in the U.S. Navy, 1943-1946. With Ritting in key roles, Northeast won City football and track titles. He placed second in the 1943 City Championships high jump competition.
During the many decades since he returned from military service, where he was a walk-on starter for the Navy baseball team, the list of Dick’s athletic accomplishments and contributions have rarely been equaled. Some examples: Two-way semi-pro football player, Cheltenham Jay sees, 20-plus seasons.
Cheltenham Jay sees semi-pro baseball in Suburban and Penn-Del leagues, 30-plus years. Jay sees MsP, 1957. Player-coach several seasons.
Extensive volunteer service following his active playing and coaching career: 35- plus years Board of Directors, Cheltenham Jay sees; 25- plus years Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chapter of Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and 10- plus years as the PA Sports Hall of Fame Eastern Region vice president. Still building on his lifetime of achievements, Dick Ritting is currently active in his 10th year on the American Legion’s executive board.
Doors will open at 6 p. m. for the Montgomery County chapter’s third annual Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame dinner on Sept. 25th at the Radisson Hotel salley Forge, 1160 First Avenue, hing of Prussia. The induction dinner begins at 7: 30. Tickets, at $ 60 each, can be ordered through Chapter President David Ritting at 610 256- 0300. Dave can also be reached by email at daveritting@ verizon. net. Tables of 10 are available at $ 600. Checks and money orders can be issued to PSHoF- Montco Chapter, and mailed to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Montco Chapter, 476 Brookwood Rd., Wayne, PA 19087.