When Bob McLaughlin of Ridley Park was only 9 or 10, he began to dream of someday writing a book. Even as a young boy, growing up in Chester, McLaughlin liked to write. He later became sports editor of his high school newspaper, “The Bark,” at Saint James High School in Chester. McLaughlin continued his education, graduating Widener University in 1977 and went on to a successful career in Engineering Construction, working for Bechtel Corp. and United Engineers in Philadelphia as a contract purchaser. Along the way, McLaughlin also developed a fondness for sports, playing basketball and softball in Chester’s city leagues and later coaching Saint Madeline CYO, Ridley ABA and local men’s softball teams.
When he retired in 2012, McLaughlin tapped into his fondness for writing and for sports and combined the two, and added in his fascination and admiration for two local baseball heroes, Danny Murtaugh and Mickey Vernon.
In his very first book, Danny and Mickey, Ordinary Heroes, McLaughlin tells the story of the life-long friendship of Danny Murtaugh, Manager of the 1960 and 1971 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, and Mickey Vernon, seven-time American League All Star first baseman, and AL batting champion in 1946 and 1953.
The Sports Legends of Delaware County Museum at 301 Iven Avenue in Radnor is planning a celebration of the history-making moments in the career of Danny Murtaugh.
Murtaugh, a Chester High graduate who lived for a number of years in Ridley Township, played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates during his major-league career, and managed the Pirates for 15 seasons.
His 1960 and 1971 Pirates teams were World Series champions.