“Menchy” Goldblatt, a native of South Philadelphia, will always be remembered not only for his skills as a basketball player and coach, but as a father figure and mentor to generations of basketball players in the City of Philadelphia.
He was an all-city basketball player at Southern High. As a member of the University of Pennsylvania basketball team in the 1920s, he won All-American honors and was the first Jewish captain of a team in Penn’s history. In 1925 and 1926 he was elected to the all-star team of the Eastern Intercollegiate League, a forerunner of the Ivy League.
In the early 1940s, he became the first head basketball coach at John Bartram High School. During the next seven years, his basketball and baseball teams won several league and city championships. At least five of his players went on to become college All-Americans.
From 1948 to 1952, he was the basketball coach at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. He is a member of Textile’s Hall of Fame. Following his coaching career, he continued to teach at Bartram until 1969. For several years he was the director of Camp Harlam, the Reform Jewish Movement’s camp in the Poconos.
He loved the game of basketball, and to him it was more than a game. It was a means of building character and achievement in life. Goldblatt did not just touch the lives of the players he coached, he molded them. A highly charismatic individual, Goldblatt’s influence on his students and players continued long after they graduated. His “boys” continued to call him and see him in California, where he lived from 1969 to 1981, and in Boulder, CO, where he lived until his death in 1994.
In a fitting tribute to Goldblatt and his life, over 200 friends, former athletes and coaches were in attendance at a Memorial in his honor. At that tribute he was called “a wonderful human being, whose life was dedicated to helping others.”