Wilmington Morning News - January 10, 1980

Philly ump to call ‘em at dinner


National League umpire Eric Gregg has accepted an invitation to speak at Monday night's 31st Wilmington Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association annual dinner.


In addition to Gregg, two University of Delaware football All-Americans, Scott Brunner and Herb Beck, will attend the dinner, which will be held in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont.


Approximately 20 area, regional and national, sports celebrities are expected to be featured, with Al Meltzer, prominent Philadelphia sportscaster, to be the evening's toastmaster.


Gregg, a native Philadelphian, became professionally involved with baseball in 1971 when he began umpiring in the New York-Pennsylvania League. He made his major league debut in September 1976 after four seasons in the Pacific Coast League.


Phillies' fans might remember Gregg's controversial call last September during a game with the Pirates at the Vet. Gregg ruled that catcher Keith Moreland's sixth-inning blast into the left-field stands was a fair ball, only to have his decision overruled by umpire-in-chief Doug Harvey.


As for Brunner, he played behind Jeff Komlo, 1978 All-American and another WSBA guest, for three seasons. He responded to his opportunity to start by quarterbacking the Blue Hens to a 13-1 won-loss record and a national Division II championship. His efforts, which included a school record-tying 24 touchdown passes, earned him College Division All-American recognition in the annual American Football Coaches Association poll.


Brunner, son of Temple backfield coach John Brunner, also was named to the second team of the Associated Press'" All-American poll for Division 1-AA and II.


Beck, who became the first Blue Hen football player since quarterback Don Miller to start in four consecutive seasons, was an AP Little All-American. The 250-pound offensive guard was a major reason for Delaware's impressive offensive average of more than 450 yards a game.


In his four years, the transfer from the University of Georgia played three different positions for Coach Tubby Raymond. He played two seasons as a defensive tackle, earning AP All-American honorable mention in his sophomore year, then he moved to offensive tackle in his junior season, when he attained a second-team berth in the AP's All-American selections.


In addition to Gregg, Brunner, Beck and Komlo, who started for the Detroit Lions in his rookie season, featured guests expected to attend the WSBA dinner include the Phillies' Pete Rose, The Sporting News' Player of the Decade for the 1970s; Ken Singleton, Orioles' outfielder and runner-up in the American Leagues' MVP voting; and Eagles' quarterback Ron Jaworski, who finished third in National Football Conference passing with a 76.8 ratio.


Presiding at the banquet will be Caesar Alsop, a seven-year member of the News Journal sports staff, who last week was selected present of the WSBA. Alsop succeeded Henry Freeman, former assistant sports editor at the News Journal and now sports editor of the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.