Behind the Mic: Brotherly Love?

Philadelphia was certainly in the limelight this past week with the Democratic National Convention taking center stage.  All of the media had a presence there.  However, there was no national sports media.

I bring this up because Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 24.

I watched the great Griffey, Jr. play with the Mariners and the Reds.  His numbers were awesome – 630 home runs, 13 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Glove Awards, and the statistical list goes on and on.  He received 99.32% of the votes, the highest ever in Hall of Fame history.

Mike Piazza’s story was even more amazing.  As a favor to Dodgers manager, Tommy LaSorda, he was drafted in the 62nd round.  He went on to hit the most home runs by a catcher, bat .308 lifetime, and spent 16 years in the majors.  He was an All-Star 10 consecutive seasons.  He certainly repaid the favor – but mostly as a New York Met.

So what does this have to do with Philadelphia?  The ceremony in Cooperstown made me wonder who the last Philadelphia Phillie was to be inducted into the Hall.  I discovered it has been a while – 21 years to be exact.  On July 30, 1995, Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn entered that day.  And Philadelphia celebrated with an estimated 25,000+ fans showing up for the induction ceremony.

Twenty-one years is a long time.  And it will only get longer, it appears.  As you look at the list of “potential” Phillies to get a consideration, you come up empty.  Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Bobby Abreu will all probably come up short.  Jim Thome, Scott Rolen, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Curt Schilling could possibly get in.  Just not as Phillies.

And it’s not just the Phillies casting a pall over the Philadelphia sports scene.  The Eagles’ last Hall-of-Famer was Reggie White – 24 years ago.  The 76ers’ last was Charles Barkley in 2006.  And neither of these teams appears to be going to get someone in their respective Halls very soon.  Flyers’ fans certainly remember their Hall of Famers Bill Barber (1990), Bobby Clarke (1987), and Bernie Parent (1984), but their inductions were a long time ago.  Mark Howe was the last Philadelphia professional inducted in 2011 in The National Hockey League Hall of Fame.

So as much as we admire the Piazzas and the Griffey, Jr.s of the sporting world, Philadelphia fans would much prefer seeing one of their professional athletes in the limelight.  National politicians?  Not so much.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. The Phillies are batting .218 in their home games this year and are scoring 2.92 runs per game at Citizens Bank Park. That’s the lowest run production in any home park in the major leagues.  Buy your ticket and see no offense at all.
  2. Because July 31 was a Sunday, the Major League Baseball trade deadline was extended to 4:00pm on Monday, August 1. As I write this, phone lines around the MLB offices must be buzzing with activity.  Someone might want to trade for the LA Dodgers’ ball girl.  On Sunday, she caught a foul ball traveling at 108.7 miles per hour.
  3. If you need a Lehigh Valley reason to watch the Olympics, then let Joe Kovacs be that reason. Joe, a Bethlehem Catholic graduate, is a medal favorite in the shotput in Rio.  He won the world championships last year.  The final for shot put is August 18 @ 8:00pm.
  4. Sunday produced another great “Major” finish in golf. The PGA Championship came down to the final putt of the final match.  Jimmy Walker (no, not of “Dyn-o-mite” fame) won his first major.  Every major golf tournament this year was won by a first-timer.
  5. The Patriot League Football Media Day was this week, so the pads will be thumping between now and opening day or night. RCNTV has Central Catholic at Freedom on opening night, August 26.
Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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