PHILADELPHIA– A former athlete and long-time supporter of University of Pennsylvania athletics, W. Joseph Blood W’47 passed away Jan. 9 at his home in La Jolla, California. Blood was 89 years old.
Blood was a two-sport student-athlete at Penn, playing basketball and baseball. A three-year member of the basketball team, Blood was also a three-year letterwinner in baseball, serving as the team captain in 1946. He graduated from Wharton in 1947, and was the Chairman and President of Johnston Pump/General Valve, Inc. in Brookshire, Texas.
In 1992, Blood worked with the athletics department to endow the head baseball coaching position at the University, bearing his name since.
Penn’s current W. Joseph Blood Head Coach of Baseball, John Yurkow, spoke fondly of Blood.
“I was lucky I had a chance to know Joe,” said Yurkow. “He was so passionate about Penn and the baseball program. He was extremely successful and generous, and a huge supporter of our program. He was a great human being.”
Blood was a lifelong supporter of Penn and the athletics department, and in a 2005 interview said, “athletics were my passion when I was at Penn; if I wasn't doing homework, then I was spending time training or with teammates. I think that my participation in Penn athletics greatly enhanced the time I spent at Penn, and I can't imagine what college life would have been like without sports.”