Monday, April 14, 2014

A salute to sports excellence in Delaware County

They don't call the sports section of this newspaper "Delaware County's Sports Authority" for nothing. I was reminded of that - and some of the people who laid the foundation for that moniker - again on Sunday.

Yesterday was a pretty big sports day.

The Phillies, riding the red-hot bat of Chase Utley, were completing a sweep of the Marlins. That pales compared to one of my favorite sports events of the year, Sunday at the Masters.

I did not see one second of Bubba Watson capturing his second green jacket. Nor did take catch Utley's heroics at Citizens Bank Park.

And I could not have been happier about it.

Instead, I walked into a banquet room at the Concordville Inn and was overwhelmed at the sports excellence that has been the calling card of Delaware County for almost a century.

I attended the 75th anniversary sports dinner of the Delaware County Sports Hall of Fame. It's one thing to read about Delaware County sports excellence. It's another altogether to rub shoulders with them. People like Joe Valerio, the Ridley standout who went on to Penn and the Kansas City Chiefs. He talked about 7 principles to live your life by, including how awe-struck he was at the daily work and preparation of one of his teammates.

Maybe you've heard of him.

His name was Joe Montana.

It was incredibly gratifying to be able to sit in that room and hear this year's inductees to the Hall talk about how important it was to them to have their feats recorded in the pages of the Daily Times.

Starting with youth leagues, right through high school, and for many on to college and the pros, this newspaper chronicled every step of their careers.

Especially telling was hearing the women inductees offer their special thanks to Harry Chaykun and the Daily Times sports staff for offering equal coverage to women, which wasn't always the case.

No one in Delaware County has done more for women's sports than Harry.

Actually, most of us from the paper had an ulterior motive for attending.

One of our own was being inducted.

Chic Riebel, who served as sports editor from 1979 to 1982, was inducted. It was Chic who was the driving force behind increasing the scope of our All-Delco teams to more sports. Chic and Book Laird also started our annual softball tournament, which in the past 25 years has raised a ton of money for the American Cancer Society.

It is my hope that this n

ewspaper will carry on its mission - that of being Delaware County's Sports Authority - for years to come.http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times It was nice to be reminded that people are thankful for what we do. It's an important part of their lives, and life here in Delaware County.

http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times There will be more Phillies games this summer. The Masters can wait.

http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times Yesterday was special. It was a celebration of athletic excellence here in Delaware County. And this newspaper's small part in it.

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