Banquet celebrates murals

On Wednesday, area sports fans and supporters of the Portsmouth Murals gathered at the SOMC Friends Center for the annual Portsmouth Murals Baseball Banquet. Organizers of the event believe a record amount of money was raised this year.

The annual banquet is held every year to raise money for the maintenance and upkeep of the Portsmouth Murals.

According to Portsmouth Murals Inc., President Bob Morton, the banquet had roughly 40 baseball dignitaries and former players attend.

The keynote speaker as this year’s banquet was Tom Browning.

Morton said the sellout crowd seemed to really enjoy what Browning had to say.

“We had a good speaker and we had some good speakers from our program,” Morton said.

At the banquet, local baseball dignitaries are invited to address those in attendance. Morton said a lot of people look forward to that part of the program each year.

Past keynote speakers include television announcers George Grande, Chris Welsh, radio announcer Marty Brennaman and former Major League Baseball player Tom Browning, retired Major League umpire Charlie Reliford and umpire Greg Gibson.

He said there were a number of former Major League Baseball players and officials there selling books they had written.

Former Cincinnati Reds Scout and Scioto County Resident Gene Bennett was on hand to sell his recently released book. Morton said Bennett sold every copy he had with him.

Once all of the money raised and all of the bills are paid, Morton believes this year’s banquet will be a record breaking year for the amount of money raised.

When asked about the possibilities of a new mural, Morton said there is a committee exploring the possibility of adding a mural next to the TOSRV mural, when you enter Portsmouth from the Second Street Bridge.

Morton said preparations will soon begin on the 2017 Baseball Banquet.

For more information about the Portsmouth Murals visit,

By Wayne Allen

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Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT