August 29, 2016 |
I realize the admission could cost me membership in the Philadelphia Chapter of the Aging Baby Boomers Society, but I never thought the Three Stooges were funny. For me, the appeal of the slapstick was overshadowed by the unpleasantness of the slapped faces, not to mention all the eye-gouging, ear-twisting, and hair-pulling that convulsed so many others who watched the Stooges nightly on Sally Starr's Popeye Theater . So it was as disappointing as it was surprising when a Facebook friend recently posted a black-and-white photo I'd never seen, a publicity shot in which those same Stooges were playing stickball with, of all people, Connie Mack.
June 27, 2016 |
Even before the Cavaliers' chartered jet departed San Francisco Monday, the morning after that franchise's first NBA title, a massive parade was planned for downtown Cleveland, mock-ups of their championship rings were all over the internet, and their mandatory White House visit was being hastily arranged. Those three rewards - the procession, the precious stone, and the president's personal praise - have become the official booty of champions, the trifecta of triumph, the sine qua non of sports.
January 7, 2016
By John Rossi There were few Philadelphia worthies on the recently released Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Of course, Dick "Don't Call Me Richie" Allen is on the Old Timers ballot again but has at best a slim chance of election, something that many fans, not just Philadelphians, believe is long overdue. But there is another Philadelphia baseball player who has been overlooked and now is largely forgotten by the city's rabid baseball fans: Robert Lee "Indian Bob" Johnson. Part Cherokee Indian, Johnson was born in 1906 in Oklahoma - then called the Indian Territory- and gloried in his politically incorrect nickname.
December 7, 2015 |
There were no tears or celebrations when his life's obsession was done. There was only great relief. "I was ready to be done," Norman Macht said. "I lived with it for so long. " Early this year, Macht sent off the galley proofs for the third and last volume of the Connie Mack biography he began in 1985. He was 56 then. For three decades, he immersed himself in the man who managed and owned the Philadelphia Athletics for a half-century. He traveled everywhere Mack had been.
June 22, 2015 |
Before the pair of renaissances that yielded the Phillies their only two World Series titles and salvaged some pride for a franchise paralyzed by humiliation, Bucks County-born author James Michener was asked how he endured the ups and downs of being a baseball fan. "Ups?" Michener replied. "What ups? I'm from Philadelphia. " The Philadelphia Michener knew as a boy was a robust industrial hub, a city frequently referred to as "The Nation's Workshop. " But by the time the prolific writer died in 1997, most of the factories that had cranked out everything from locomotives to hats were shuttered.
December 15, 2014 |
As the concrete foundation of the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center was being poured last week, the Phillies continued dismantling their own less-enduring underpinnings. Jimmy Rollins is going to the Dodgers. Cole Hamels is on the market. And if you phone now, Ryan Howard can be yours by Christmas. The baseball around here figures to be hellish at least for as long it takes Comcast's second Center City tower, a 1,121-foot edifice on Arch Street, to reach the heavens. For whatever reason, this phenomenon of simultaneous ascension and descent is more common here than you might imagine.
June 23, 2014 |
Dan Snyder has been forced to circle the wagons in his greedy defense of the controversial Washington Redskins trademark. And few outside of Cleveland would be surprised, or dismayed, if the Indians' overtly racist logo - the toothy Chief Wahoo - soon vanished. The supporters of these anachronistic sporting symbols see them as worthy, innocent, and long-standing traditions. But to believe that, you've got to overlook the disturbing history from which they arose. There was a time in American sports, predominantly in early 20th-century baseball, when deformed or degraded mascots were the norm.
March 25, 2014
PHILLIES fans once hurled batteries at J.D. Drew because he refused to sign with their team. Philadelphia is the only city in America that had a judge, court and even jail on the premises during a professional football game. And, yes, Philadelphia fans did throw snowballs at Santa Claus. But that is another story. What is the source of Philadelphia's infamous reputation for negativism, for always expecting the worst of its sports teams? After all, Philadelphia did have its moments of sports glory.
December 2, 2013 |
Mike Turner nearly forgot about the tiny bedroom closet in his late father-in-law's house. Chick Galloway, a shortstop for nine seasons with Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's, had built the house in Clinton, S.C., in 1926, the year Turner was born. Since the former ballplayer's death in 1969, two of Turner's daughters have occupied the Spanish-style dwelling adjacent to Presbyterian College's campus. Now his youngest daughter, in the midst of a divorce, is making plans to sell the longtime family residence.
October 28, 2013 |
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. - Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself," Leaves of Grass Not long ago, amid the dirt and grass of Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, where Walt Whitman himself is interred, I went looking again for my great-grandfather. There, under my boot-soles, I found him in Plot 115. But the great poet was mistaken. The grave site yielded few answers. John Radcliff is a ghost.