The Bo Ryan Emlen Tunnell Statue Fund Challenge

The Sports Legends of Delaware County museum, located at 301 Iven Avenue in Wayne, PA, just completed a very successful Delaware County Cavalcade of Stars luncheon. The purpose of the luncheon was to acknowledge local sports excellence, helping to preserve the heritage of our local sports history by recognizing and rewarding such excellence.
There was a variety of athletes present–white and black, men and women, both mature and youthful–a diverse group of individuals representing fourteen different sports. The audience mirrored the athletes: White and black, men and women, both mature and youthful. During the program, the organizers of the luncheon brought out that the museum was currently raising funds for the raising of a statue to honor one of Delaware County’s Hidden Figures–the late Emlen Tunnell. Emlen was a WWII hero and the first African-American to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty throughout his lifetime are values we can all embrace.
One of the athletes being honored at the luncheon was Bo Ryan. Bo, an accomplished three-sport athlete at Chester High School, grew up in Delaware County and was a three-year starter on the Wilkes College basketball team. He is most notable as the former coach of the University of Wisconsin basketball team, retiring with the highest winning percentage in the history of Big Ten Basketball. We are proud to have him as a member of our statue advisory committee.
After the event, Bo asked, “Of the 75,000 dollars needed to pay for the statue, how much more is needed?” When told that we have raised $55,000, leaving $20,000 to go, his response was immediate: “Let’s get this done. If there is an individual, club, organization, business or company willing to donate $10,000, I will match it with a donation of the final $10,000.”
Hearing this, Jim Vankoski, president of the SLDC, added that if a successful Chester High graduate like Bo is willing to support this worthwhile project with such a gift, there must be other successful individuals from Emlen’s home town of Radnor or home county of Delaware willing to step up to the plate, singly or collectively, to get this done. As a war hero, Emlen Tunnell’s contributions to our country are national in scope and it is only proper that we celebrate the legacy of this Delaware County native.
If there is anyone who would be willing to respond to the challenge presented by coach Ryan, contact SLDC president Jim Vankoski at 610-909-4919 or vankoski21@comcast.net.

Roberto Clemente’s 1972 Game Worn Road Jersey on Display

Currently on display at the Sports Legends of Delaware County (SLDC) museum is a 1972 road jersey and pants worn by Roberto Clemente during his historic final season, when he got his 3,000th career hit at his final time at bat. Later that year, Roberto would make the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to help others in need on December 31, when he perished in an airplane crash while flying to Nicaragua to deliver supplies to earthquake victims.
During his 18-year career, Clemente was a 15-time All-Star, a 12-time Golden Glove Award recipient, a four-time Batting Champion, 2 time World Series Champion, and both a National League and World Series MVP Award winner. This significant knit jersey, with black and gold trim, has the Pirates team name across the front with his number 21 below it.
It has been confirmed by the Clemente family that they were presented with this uniform by the team during memorial ceremonies at Three Rivers Stadium at the start of the 1973 season.
The jersey and pants will be on display at the SLDC museum through December 31 of this year–the 45th anniversary of Roberto’s death. The museum is located at 301 Iven Avenue in Wayne, PA 19087 and is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturday from 11am to 1:30pm. Photo compliments of Hunt Auctions
For more information, contact Jim Vankoski at 610-909-4919

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 A 12"x18" Mickey Horsehide and Signature Print is available by contacting vankoski21@comcast.net or 610-909-4919

A 12″x18″ Mickey Horsehide and Signature Print is available by contacting vankoski21@comcast.net or 610-909-4919

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Sculptor Jennifer Frudakis-Petry was commissioned by the New Jersey CRDA and the Pop Lloyd Committee to do this 6' x 8' bas-relief of the history of Negro League Baseball, originally placed at Sand Castle Stadium in Atlantic City, NJ. When the stadium was closed, the work was relocated to Stockton University and can be presently viewed in front of their Athletic Department. You are invited to try to identify the sixteen significant personalities/events depicted here. To check your answers, scroll to the bottom of the this month's page on the Sports Legends of Delaware County website www.sportslegendsofdelawarecounty.com. To find out about Delaware County's contribution to Negro league Baseball, go to that same website and view Brad Nau's video on Hilldale Park entitled Champions Walked Here. The video is in the dvd section produced by BNProducers. In that same dvd section you can view Larry Doby, one of the players depicted on the Frudakis sculpture. As noted in the introduction to the video Ballfield to Battlefield and Back by George Case and Mickey Vernon, Mickey served in the Navy with Larry during WW II and was also a teammate of his with the Cleveland Indians. Larry Doby was the first African-American player to play in the American League—starting less than three months after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in the National League. Although Doby was, by all reports, just as good a player as Jackie, he never received the same publicity. Tells you how important it is to be first.

Sculptor Jennifer Frudakis-Petry was commissioned by the New Jersey CRDA and the Pop Lloyd Committee to do this 6′ x 8′ bas-relief of the history of Negro League Baseball, originally placed at Sand Castle Stadium in Atlantic City, NJ. When the stadium was closed, the work was relocated to Stockton University and can be presently viewed in front of their Athletic Department.
You are invited to try to identify the sixteen significant personalities/events depicted here. To check your answers, scroll to the bottom of the this month’s page on the Sports Legends of Delaware County website www.sportslegendsofdelawarecounty.com.
To find out about Delaware County’s contribution to Negro league Baseball, go to that same website and view Brad Nau’s video on Hilldale Park entitled Champions Walked Here. The video is in the dvd section produced by BNProducers. In that same dvd section you can view Larry Doby, one of the players depicted on the Frudakis sculpture.
As noted in the introduction to the video Ballfield to Battlefield and Back by George Case and Mickey Vernon, Mickey served in the Navy with Larry during WW II and was also a teammate of his with the Cleveland Indians. Larry Doby was the first African-American player to play in the American League—starting less than three months after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in the National League. Although Doby was, by all reports, just as good a player as Jackie, he never received the same publicity. Tells you how important it is to be first.

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Take a look at what’s been happening at the museum recently.  We’ve recognized many of Delaware County’s sports legends. Be sure to bookmark the “This Month” page so you don’t miss out on our next exciting event.

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