Bill Cordrey honored: I will call it Silver Fox Field

Red Auerbach spoke at Slam Dunk dinner at Baycenter
August 5, 2022

Silver Fox Field - The softball field at Cape is now named Bill Cordrey Field. The request was made about a year ago by Cape softball coach Shannon Timmons. There will be a dedication in spring 2023. Bill had a record of 221-77 from 1993 to 2008. My sportswriter wife covered his teams and so did I. Bill often accused me of manufacturing his quotes, saying in real life he never sounded that good. Any plaque with Bill’s image embossed should include his coaching sidekicks Chip Davis and Barry Lynch. Those three guys were worth the price of admission, which was free. Bill was and is a beast of an athlete. In 1966, he scored 57 points in a basketball game for the Milton High Warriors with Frank “Bud” Hitchens as his point guard. The defensive diamonds of adult softball leagues were often missing the third basemen because to play the hot corner with Cordrey at the bat was a certain cranium crush, knocking a young man into middle age. Bill’s home runs screamed like black-and-white cartoon balls. I always thought those Fellowship of Christian Athletes hard-headed players felt no pain, but they could deliver discomfort, then offer you a hand in an act of contrition. Cape lost the state title game to Caravel 1-0 in 2004 at Sports at the Beach. I wrote the story. Here’s a snippet:  And The Silver Fox stood his ground and stared the moment down. “See this right here,” Cordrey said, pointing to an American flag pinned dead center on his chest. “I’m a Vietnam veteran and I support our troops in Iraq and it's the 60th anniversary of D-Day. I wear this to remind me that what happened here today is just a game. I may be looking at the pin the rest of the weekend, but I can handle this and so will the girls. It’s been a great season.” 

“Bobby, where am I?” At The Baycenter in Dewey Beach in the early ’90s, the speaker on stage stepped to the microphone. The tables were filled with teams ready to play in the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament. The guest speaker had arrived at Philadelphia airport and was delivered by limousine to Dewey. He spoke for 20 minutes, got back in the limo and was gone. It was Red Auerbach, who coached nine NBA championship teams and drafted Bill Russell to the Celtics in 1956. I stood stage right by the steps and just marveled that Bobby Jacobs got Red Auerbach to come to Dewey Beach. Now that is a good get.

Empty eulogizing - You live a long and impactful life. You are famous because you are known. You have separated yourself from the game. Eventually you die, then strangers two generations away eulogize the meaning and impact you had on everyone else. I think 40-year-olds with a forum should not weigh in on the passing of 88-year-old Bill Russell. Unless you really knew him, just shut down the trite commentary. I saw Wilt battle Russell in person a half-dozen times at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Statistically, Wilt would eat him up, yet Russell would rebound and start fast breaks the Celtics would usually win. Russell lived in openly racist times. Often, he was sullen and wouldn't sign autographs, yet his laugh was one of the best in the history of humankind. How much I would have loved to sit on a park bench and just talk to Bill Russell.     

Snippets - Aug. 8 is the first day of football practice, while all other fall sports begin practice Aug. 15. Baseball fans should enter free agency and go with the teams that have the best chance of reaching the playoffs and also play in the most picturesque stadiums as seen on television. Teams and players have no loyalty to the city where they play; the entire value system is skewed sideways. Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor had been torching the defense in early-season practices. The much-maligned Reagor needs to catch balls in games when it matters. The Race for the Paws 5K is set for 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, in Dewey Beach. “Every rescue tells a story, don’t it?” And most of them involve maladaptive humans. Seriously, who re-homes their own dog? Mark Moore graduated from Cape in 2000. He walked on at Delaware once school began, not being invited to camp. By junior year, he was starting at outside linebacker on the national championship team. Trip Delcampo started at left tackle on that team; he also had to make his bones once he got there. Ironically, he became a chiropractor. Go on now, git! 


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