PRESS RELEASE – Charlie Flannery, legendary coach of the Gregg Post American Legion team and Reading Hot Stovers Banquet Chairman, will be crowned the 2014 King of Baseballtown at the 2014 Phillies Winter Banquet on Tuesday, January 21st at the Crowne Plaza Reading.
“Charlie has given his life to the game of baseball-from playing on the fields of the City of Reading to instilling the game to the young people through his work with the Legion and Hot Stovers,” said Baseballtown Charities President Chuck Domino. “Every community could use more involved people like Charlie Flannery.”
Since 1948, Flannery, 79, has been an influential figure in the Berks County baseball landscape, both as a player and coach. He began his playing career over 65 years ago with the Essick Playground in the City Recreation Program and then with Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute on the fast-pitch softball team.
A decade later, the Reading native began his coaching career with the Optimist Boys Club and then with Northwest Athletic Association and West Reading Juniors. His path took him to the Pulaski Post American Legion for three seasons and then to Gregg Post American Legion.
With Gregg Post, Flannery led the Keys to 254 victories over 31 seasons as skipper. He transitioned to becoming the organization’s general manager in 2006, a position he holds until this day. In 1996, Flannery was inducted into the Pennsylvania State American Legion Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game.
Flannery’s footprint across Berks County baseball has also been felt at the annual Reading Hot Stovers banquet. A member of the organization for 35 years, Flannery has been Banquet Chairman for the last 25 years, organizing the key event that has celebrated local baseball and welcomed former major league all-stars.
He was also the president of the Berks County American Legion Baseball League from 2006 to 2009. After being a leading force in refurbishing Reading’s George Field in 1982, he was named a charter member of Operation Knight Lights.
In addition to his passion for baseball, Flannery has had an impact on local basketball across eight decades. Along with being a player, Flannery served as a PIAA referee from 1967 to 1992 and a coach with the Optimist Boys Club and Reading Jewish Community Center from 1971 to 1993. That led to him serving as the secretary of the Berks County Basketball Old Timers for the past 12 years (2001-2013) and chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame Committee for five years (2007-2012).
The proud Reading native graduated from Reading High School in 1952 and earned a degree from Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute in 1957. Flannery then spent four years in active and reserve duty in the United States Army where he graduated from the Provost Marshall General School. Following his service in the army, Flannery served four years in the United States Air Force Reserves as a first sergeant and member of the air police.
Seating and table reservations for the Phillies Winter Banquet in Reading are available now by calling 610-370-BALL, visiting Fightins.com, or by stopping by the Fightins Ticket Office located at FirstEnergy Stadium. Individual reservations cost $65 for adults and $25 for children 14 and under. The children’s price includes a chicken finger and fries meal while adults will be served a banquet-style meal.
Table reservations of 10 people for the banquet cost $600 and feature an invitation for a complimentary cocktail party from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. In addition, the person who reserves the table will also receive two passes to a private session with the banquet’s guests.
Proceeds from the event benefit Baseballtown Charities, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded to keep baseball alive in Reading through programs that honor the city’s rich baseball history and secure its future by giving more kids the opportunity to play and learn from the game’s life lessons. Since being founded in 2006, the organization constructed Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer’s Park, a $900,000 youth ballpark that sits on the grounds of Lauer’s Park Elementary, in 2006 and added $90,000 in renovations to Baer Park in 2013.