- Sports in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniahas a rich tradition of sports, from club sports in the mid-nineteenth century to the professional teams and events of today.
Major-league professional teams
Philadelphia has a long and proud history of professional sports teams. Philadelphia fans have a reputation of avid devotion to their teams, in good times and in bad. Of late, Philadelphia teams have been performing well, but have much more often than not missed championships by failing in the crucial stages. Some locals jokingly attribute this to the "
Curse of Billy Penn". The city's last major championship came in 1983, when the 76ers swept the Los Angeles Lakersin the NBA Finals.
The Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers have each recently had new venues built for them. The Eagles currently play at
Lincoln Financial Field("The Linc"), built in 2003. The Phillies now play at Citizens Bank Park, opened in 2004. The Flyers and 76ers share the Wachovia Center(formerly the CoreStates Center ( 1996- 1998), then the First Union Center ( 1998- 2003)), opened in 1996, with the Philadelphia Wings( National Lacrosse League) and the Philadelphia Soul( Arena Football League) arena footballteam. The Wachovia Spectrum( 1967) is now home to the Flyers' top farm team, the Philadelphia Phantoms( American Hockey League), and the Philadelphia KiXX( Major Indoor Soccer League), an indoor soccerteam.
Philadelphia is the only North American city in which all of its teams (Eagles, Flyers, Phillies and 76ers) from the four major sports leagues have played for their respective championships in one year, 1980. However, only the Phillies were able to earn a championship, by defeating the
Kansas City Royalsin six games in the 1980 World Series. The Eagles lost to the Oakland Raiders, 27-10, in Super Bowl XV, the Flyers fell to the New York Islandersin six games in the Stanley CupFinals, and the 76ers bowed to the Los Angeles Lakersin the NBA Finals in six games, as well.
Philadelphia is also one of a small handful of cities, which include
Atlanta, Chicagoand Denver, where all of its teams from the four major leagues play within the city limits.
Philadelphia has also been home to the
Philadelphia Athletics(MLB, now the Oakland Athletics), and the Philadelphia Warriors ( NBA, now the Golden State Warriors).
Founded as the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883, the team changed its name to the Phillies in 1890.
The Philadelphia Athletics were founded in 1901 in the
American Leagueto compete with the Phillies. They played their last season in Philadelphia in 1954before moving to Kansas City and eventually, in 1968moving to Oakland.
The Philadelphia White Stockings played in the National Association of Professional Baseball Players from 1873-1875. They renamed their franchise twice as the Philadelphia Pearls in 1874 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1875.
The Philadelphia Centennials played in the National Association of Professional Baseball Players in 1875 but failed to complete a season before folding.
The Philadelphia Keystones played one season in the Union Association in 1884.
The Philadelphia Quakers played one season in the Players League in 1890.
The Philadelphia Stars played in the Negro National League from 1934 to 1948.
*1871 Philadelphia Athletics (NAPBP)
*1883 Philadelphia Athletics (AA)
*1910 Philadelphia Athletics (MLB)
*1911 Philadelphia Athletics (MLB)
*1913 Philadelphia Athletics (MLB)
*1929 Philadelphia Athletics (MLB)
*1930 Philadelphia Athletics (MLB)
*1980 Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Philadelphia has been represented in the
National Basketball Associationby the Warriors (now in Oakland, California) and the 76ers. Defunct teams include the Fusion of the American Basketball Association and the Fox of the Women's Professional Basketball Leagueas well as the American Basketball League's Rage.
The Philadelphia Tapers played in the American Basketball League from 1962-1963.
Philadelphia Fusion, formerly the Jersey Squires, was an American Basketball Association (ABA) team. The team folded in February 2005 with a record of 3-10.
Philadelphia Ragemoved from Richmond, Virginiain 1997 and played a year and a half in the American Basketball League before the league folded in mid-season in 1998.
Philadelphia has been the home of two
National Football Leagueteams, one Arena Football Leagueteam, one World Football Leagueteam, and one USFL league team.
Frankford Yellow Jackets
The city's first
NFLteam was the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Originally a community athletic-association team in the Frankfordneighborhood of Northeast Philadelphiadating back to about 1900, the club became one of the early NFLclubs in 1924. The Yellow Jackets won the NFL championshipin 1926. Its home field was Frankford Stadium(also called Yellow Jacket Field). The club disbanded in the 1931season.
Two years after the Yellow Jackets folded,
Bert Belland Lud Wraybought the franchise rights and formed a new team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philadelphia Soulis currently a member of the Arena Football Leagueand began their existence in 2004. They currently play in the both the Wachovia Spectrumand Wachovia Center, depending on the schedule.
Philadelphia Bellwas a franchise of the World Football League, which operated in 1974 and for a portion of a season in 1975. It played its home games in JFK Stadium.
Philadelphia Stars (football)were a football team in the USFLin 1983-84, after which they became the Baltimore Starsfor their final season in 1985. They won the USFL Championship in 1984.
The Philadelphia Bulldogs played in the Continental Football league from 1965-1967. They won the 1966 championship.
The Philadelphia Quakers played in the American Football League in 1926 and won the championship in 1926.
The Phillies and Athletics
In 1902 the MLB owners of the Philadelphia Phillies, Athletics, and Pittsburgh Pirates created 3 football teams with the same names and called it the National Football League. Pittsburgh was declared the champion after one season of play.
1926* Frankford Yellowjackets (NFL)1926* Philadelphia Quakers (AFL)1948* Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)1949* Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)1960* Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)1966* Philadelphia Bulldogs (CFL)1984* Philadelphia Stars (USFL)2008* Philadelphia Soul (AFL)
All-Philly All-Century Football Team
This team represents Ted Silary's opinion of the best NFL players from Philadelphia-area high schools through the 1999 season.
Philadelphia Daily News, April 12, 2000.
Milt Plum, QB,Woodbury / Penn State Franco Harris, RB,Rancocas Valley / Penn State Leroy Kelly, RB,Simon Gratz / Morgan State Irving Fryar, WR,Rancocas Valley / Nebraska
John Taylor, WR,Pennsauken / Delaware State
Frank Wycheck, TE,Archbishop Ryan / Maryland Erik Williams, L,John Bartram / Central State (O.) Frank Kilroy, L,North Catholic / Temple Harry Swayne, L,Cardinal Dougherty / Rutgers Joe Fields, L,Gloucester Catholic / Widener Joe Devlin, L, Great Valley / Iowa Matt Bahr, K, Neshaminy / Penn State Billy Johnson, Ret., Chichester / Widener
Joe Klecko, L, St. James (Pa.) / Temple Jim Katcavage, L, Roman Catholic / Dayton Art Still, L, Camden / Kentucky Mike JarmolukL Frankford / Temple Dave Robinson, LB,Moorestown / Penn State Al Atkinson, LB,Monsignor Bonner / Villanova Neal Olkewicz, LB,Phoenixville / Maryland Herb Adderley, CB,Northeast / Michigan State Emlen Tunnell, S.Radnor/Toledo-Iowa Deron Cherry, S,Palmyra / Rutgers Kevin Ross, CB,Paulsboro / Temple Frank Reagan, P,North Catholic / Penn
----All-Philly All-Century Best of the rest
Willie "Flipper" Anderson, WR, Paulsboro /
Bob Bell, DL, West Phila. / Cincinnati
Steve Bono, QB, Norristown / UCLA
James Brown, L, Jules Mastbaum / Virginia State
John Brown, L, Camden / Syracuse
Greg Buttle, LB, Mainland / Penn State
John Cappelletti, RB, Monsignor Bonner ' Penn State
Dick Christy, Ret., St. James (Pa.) / North Carolina State
Angelo Coia, WR, Northeast / Southern Cal
Andre Collins, LB, Cinnaminson / Penn State
Ed Cook, L, South Catholic / Notre Dame
Jim Cooper, L, Cardinal Dougherty / Temple
Jack Ferrante, WR, West Phila. / None
Frank Gallagher, L, St. James (Pa.) / North Carolina
Rich Gannon, QB, St. Joe's Prep / Delaware
Anthony Griggs, LB, John F. Kennedy / Villanova/Ohio State
David Griggs, LB, Pennsauken / Virginia
Burt Grossman, DL, Archbishop Carroll / Pittsburgh
Randy Grossman, TE, Haverford High / Temple
Marvin Harrison, WR, Roman Catholic / Syracuse
Best of the rest (continued)
Charles Tornetta, DL, Plymouth-Whitemarsh / Villanova
Dwight Hicks, DB, Pennsauken / Michigan
George Jamison, LB, Bridgeton / Cincinnati
Lance Johnstone, DL, Germantown / Temple
Bill Maas, DL, Marple-Newtown / Pittsburgh
Brison Manor, DL, Bridgeton / Arkansas
Lydell Mitchell, RB, Salem / Penn State
Tom Mitchell, TE, Plymouth-Whitemarsh / Bucknell
John Pergine, LB, Plymouth-Whitemarsh / Notre Dame
Derrick Ramsey, TE, Camden / Kentucky
Jesse Richardson, DL, Roxborough / Alabama
Irvin "Bo" Roberson, WR, John Bartram / Cornell
Dave Rowe, DL, Deptford / Penn State
Mike Rozier, RB, Woodrow Wilson (N.J.) / Nebraska
Todd Rucci, L, Upper Darby / Penn State
Jim Ryan, LB, Bishop Eustace / William & Mary
Harry Schuh, L, Neshaminy / Memphis State
Irv Smith, TE, Pemberton / Notre Dame
Alonzo Spellman, DL, Rancocas Valley / Ohio State
Don Strock, QB, Owen J. Roberts / Virginia Tech
Keith Taylor, DB, Pennsauken / Illinois
John Tracey, LB, Northeast / Texas A&M
J.T. Turner, L, Benjamin Franklin / Duke
The Philadelphia Quakers were a
National Hockey Leagueteam that played only one full season, 1930-31, at the Philadelphia Arena. They were the successors of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Philadelphia Flyers were part of the
1967 NHL Expansion, the league's first. They have won two championships, the 1974and 1975 Stanley Cups.
Philadelphia Major League Soccer team
Major League Soccerwill place an expansion team in Philadelphia beginning in 2010. The new team will play its home games in the not-yet-built Chester Stadiumin Chester, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Women's Professional Soccer team
Women's Professional Soccerwill also be placing an expansion team in Philadelphia beginning in 2010. As with the new Major League Soccer franchise, the women's team will play at Chester Stadium.
The Philadelphia KiXX are an indoor soccer team in the
National Indoor Soccer League. They won the championship in the 2001-2002 and 2006-2007 seasons.
Philadelphia Barrageof Major League Lacrosseplay at the United Sports Training Centerin Downingtown, PA. They have won the MLL Championship twice since moving from Bridgeport, CT.
Philadelphia Wingsof the National Lacrosse Leagueplay at the Wachovia Center in South Philadelphia. The Wings have won the NLL title six times, in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, and 2001. They are currently the longest-tenured team in one location in the NLL.
The original National Lacrosse League played
box lacrossein the summers of 1974 and 1975 until the 1976 Summer Olympics prevented the Montreal franchise from playing home games and forced the league to fold. The Wings and this NLL have no relation to their current incarnations although the Wings logo was resurrected and John Grant Sr., father of John Grant Jr., played for both versions of the Wings.
Minor-league professional teams
The Philadelphia Phantoms were created in
1996and have won two Calder Cups, in 1997-98, and 2004-05.
Philadelphia Firebirdswere a minor-league hockey team from 1974-1979. They played in the defunct North American Hockey Leaguefrom 1974-1977, winning the league championship in 1976. When the NAHL folded in 1977, they joined the American Hockey League, where they played from 1977-1979. In 1979, the team moved to Syracuse, N.Y. They played their home games at the Philadelphia Civic Center, razed in 2005.
emi-professional, amateur, and community teams
Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFCare the only semi-professional rugby unionteam in Philadelphia. The team was formed in 1985, due to the merging of the Philadelphia and Whitemarsh clubs. The team competes in the Rugby Super League.
The Schuylkill River Exiles Rugby Football team is one of two Division 1 rugby team located in Philadelphia. The team plays matches at FDR park located across from the major Philadelphia sports teams stadiums. The Exiles are members of and compete in MARFU, The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union, and are also members of USA rugby. The team competes against various other local area teams and plays matches against teams from Boston to Charlotte and out to Pittsburgh.
Media Rugby Football Club is a Division 1 Rugby Union organization and a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, charitable organization based outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (EIN 23-2799960). It exists to play and promote the sport of Rugby Union and to further the growth of the sport in the United States. Media Rugby is a member organization of USA Rugby and the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Union.
Philadelphia is the home of
rugby leaguein the US and has two community clubs in the American National Rugby League, the Glen Mills Bullsand the Philadelphia Fight. The game was re-introduced into the USA by David Niu, an Australian who is now an American national and is still a regular in the United States national rugby league teamwho will soon be competing in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifyingmatch against Japan in Philadelphia in October 2006.
Philadelphia hosted the
St Patrick's Dayinternational between USA and Ireland six times between 1995 and 2004.
Crickethas a long history of play in Philadelphia and is arguably the hotbed for cricket in the US. [ [http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/usa/content/town/59405.html Cricinfo - Philadelphia ] ] It was the center of the "golden age" of American cricket in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Philadelphia Cricket Clubwas founded in 1854. [ name='CricinfoArticle'> cite web|url=http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/143914.html |title=Cricinfo - Pennsylvania's hidden secret |last=Das |first=Deb |accessdate=2007-02-14 |date=7 April 2005 |publisher= Cricinfo] Greats such as Bart King, Percy Clarkand Christie Morrisplayed for the team in its prime. Though it was disbanded in 1924, it was revived in 1998. There are also cricket clubs in Germantown and Merion.
Since 1993, the city has been home to the annual
Philadelphia International Cricket Festival, held during the first weekend in May, benefiting the Inglis Foundation. Each year, twelve teams, including five from the area and seven from across the United States or guest international sides, are invited to participate in the Festival.
Professional and world-class events
Several events are competed in Philadelphia on a regular basis.
Philadelphia International Championship
The Manayunk area of the city is home to the annual
Philadelphia International Championshipbike race. The main feature of the race is the " Manayunk Wall", an inclined street including all of Levering Avenue and a few blocks of Lyceum Avenue. The race has been largely credited with the economic revival of the neighborhood, and cycling is a prominent theme of many of the shops and restaurants in the area.
Competed at the same time and over the same course is the women's "
Track and field, road racing
Philadelphia hosts the annual
Penn Relays, held at Franklin Field, the largest early-season track and field meet in the U.S.
Broad Street Run
One of the busiest streets in the city, Broad Street, is closed to traffic for the annual [http://www.broadstreetrun.com/ Broad Street Run] , a 10-mile race contested since 1980.
Philadelphia Distance Run
Philadelphia Marathon(aka the Philadelphia Independence Marathon), founded in 1954, is an annual marathon sporting event held on the third Sunday of November.
Pro tour tennis
Pro tour golf
The Army-Navy football game, an annual football game between the rival service academies
West Pointand the United States Naval Academy, has been held more often in Philadelphia (which is located approximately midway between the two schools) than in all other locations put together. Eleven of the past fifteen Army-Navy Games have been held in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia-area school with a
Division Ifootball team is Temple University.However, many Philadelphia residents are fans of the nearby Pennsylvania State UniversityNittany Lions Division I Football team.
Since 1955, Philadelphia has been home to the Big Five, a unique basketball rivalry among five local Division I universities: Temple, St. Joe's, Penn, Villanova, and La Salle. The Big Five have played many of their games at the
Palestra, Penn's venerable gymnasium. The Big 5 rivalry is unique because each of the schools has a rich basketball history and each school is located within a fifteen mile radius of all of the others. Drexel Universityalso fields a Division I team and makes up the City 6 in extramurals with the Big 5.
In addition, Division II teams are fielded by
Chestnut Hill College, Holy Family University, Philadelphia University(men and women), and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia hosts numerous local and collegiate rowing clubs and competitions, including the annual
Dad Vail Regatta, the largest intercollegiate rowing event in the U.S., and the Stotesbury Cup Regatta[http://www.stotesburycup.com/] , both held on the Schuylkill River. Boathouse Rowis a symbol of Philadelphia's rich rowing history. Each Big 5 member has its own boathouse.
2005, the Public League joined the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, as District 12. The first state championship won by a Public League team was the Preparatory Charter High School basketball team, winning the AA state basketball championship in 2006.Fact|date=March 2007
Philadelphia does have a rich history of boxing. The city is home to
The Blue Horizon, which is considered one of the finest boxing establishments in the world. The New Alhambra Arenawas named 2006 Venue of the Year by ESPN2boxing program Wednesday Night Fights.
Originally a native of
Beaufort, South Carolina, former world heavyweightchampion and Olympic gold medalist, Joe Frazier, currently resides in Philadelphia having lived there for most of his career. He currently owns and manages a boxing gym.
Bernard Hopkinsis a former world middleweightchampion. His career remains active in the light heavyweightdivision.
While Philadelphia does not currently host any professional
automobile racing, midget car racingwas popular during the 1930s and '40s. The two major tracks were Yellow Jacket Speedway, which closed in 1950, and National Speedway, which closed during World War II as a result of fuel rationing. Races were sanctioned by the American Automobile Association. [ [http://www.thevintageracer.com/articles/phila_midgets.htm The Vintage Racer] ]
In 2005, the
Champ Car World Seriesbegan negotiating with the city to organize a race. Several locations for a street course were discussed including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount Park, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, but no agreement could be reached. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/motor/champ/2005-08-18-philadelphia-opposition_x.htm USAToday] article about race track opposition]
Philadelphia is in close proximity to
Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and the defunct Langhorne Speedway, Nazareth Speedwayand Flemington Speedway.
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