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.
June 20, 2013 |
Ruth Mack Clark was a baseball fan her whole life. After all, it was in her blood. Mrs. Clark, 99, of Lansdale, daughter of baseball Hall of Famer Connie Mack, died Sunday, June 16, at Souderton Mennonite Home. Her father, born Cornelius McGillicuddy, was the longtime manager and owner of the Philadelphia Athletics. He led the team to nine pennants and five World Series titles over more than 50 years. Sports were a big part of Mrs. Clark's life as well. In her youth, she competed in basketball, field hockey, track and hurdles, and tennis.
March 30, 2013 |
Albert Lord Jr., at age 67, is planning to retire as chief executive officer of student loan giant SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, where he has battled presidents and barons of Congress, college heads and student protesters, rival bankers. and other ferocious foes since 1981. He's left Sallie Mae twice before - once voluntarily, once not. Tough job? Even for a guy paid $7 million in cash and stock in 2011, the last year Sallie reported his income? Albert Lord knows tough.
January 28, 2013
By John J. Rooney When I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, I follow the advice of sleep specialists who recommend a vicarious walk through a familiar, pleasant scene. In my imagination, I find myself revisiting the section of North Philadelphia where I grew up - a rowhouse, working-class, Irish American neighborhood known as Swampoodle. I close the front door behind me, cross the porch, and descend the steps to 20th Street. Two versions of the scene come to mind.
November 8, 2012 |
ON A NIGHT when sports and politics went one-on-one, name recognition scored few points with voters. Linda McMahon, who once ran World Wrestling Entertainment with her husband, lost her U.S. Senate race in Connecticut - again. Connie Mack IV, who carries one of the most venerated names in baseball, was defeated in a bid for a Senate seat in Florida. George Allen, with familial links to the Washington Redskins past and present, also was blocked from the Senate. Ben Chandler, the grandson of former baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, was out of his U.S. House seat in Kentucky.