Posts Tagged ‘Wilt Chamerlain’

Top 10 Philly Athletes of the Past 50 Years: One Man’s View

July 28th, 2019 by Jim Chesko | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, Basketball, Eagles, Flyers, General, Hockey, Phillies, Sixers

Philadelphia’s been the home base for a great number of incredible athletes over the years, but who are the best of the best?

If you’re a faiBobby Clarke and Bernie Parentthful viewer of Comcast SportsNet (I admit, I’m a heavy watcher), you know that CSN has recently been counting down its list of the Top 10 Philly Athletes of all time. (In case you haven’t been paying attention, Numbers 10 through 4 were Bernie Parent, Chuck Bednarik, Carl Lewis, Julius Erving, Steve Van Buren, Joe Frazier and Steve Carlton; will the final trio be Clarkie, Schmidty and Wilt? We shall see.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about MY list. First, however, the parameters: I decided to limit my Top 10 to players whom I’ve seen in action during the past the 50 years and who’ve played the bulk of their career in Philadelphia. So, no Jimmie Foxx or Lefty Grove (way before my time), no Pete Rose (despite how much he meant to the Phils’ 1980 World Series team), no Steve van Buren or Chuck Bednarik (amazing careers for both, but – again – before my time), no Richie Ashburn … and no Kobe Bryant.

Before giving you my personal Top 10, how about a few Philly greats who just missed the cut? Getting “honorable mention” status would be Charles Barkley, Brian Dawkins and – although he spent just four of his prime NBA years as a 76er – Moses Malone. All right, here goes…

10) JOE FRAZIER – Philly’s greatest boxer, “Smokin’ Joe” was an Olympic gold medalist and undisputed World Heavyweight Champion from 1970 to 1972, who had those three memorable battles with Muhammad Ali. Career record of 32-4-1.

9) CARL LEWIS – The Willingboro, New Jersey, sprinter and long-jumper won nine Olympic gold medals and an additional eight World Championship gold medals in the 1980s and 90s. (We won’t penalize Lewis for his inglorious 1993 attempt at singing the national anthem at a Bulls-Nets NBA playoff game.)

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