Stan Hochman was one of the city’s best sportswriters. Hochman, who passed away on April 15, 2015, was a sensational sportswriter for The Philadelphia Daily News.
His sports columns had a big impact on the sports world as well as the community at large. Hochman had a great way of telling a story with his very descriptive writing. He had a knack of covering a game and taking the reader inside the story. There’s a great book out now that highlights 50 years of his fantastic sports columns.
“Stan Hochman UNFILTERED: 50 Years of Wit and Wisdom from the Groundbreaking Sportswriter,” Stan’s wife, Gloria Hochman collects roughly one hundred of his finest sports columns about not only baseball, horse racing, boxing, football, hockey and basketball (both college and professional) but also food, films and even Liz Taylor. Each section of the book starts out with a friend or colleague such as Garry Maddox, Larry Merchant, Ray Didinger and Bernie Parent.
In going through the book, there are several columns that really standout. One of them is titled “Dick Allen Belongs in Hall of Fame.” Here are the first two paragraphs on Allen, the former Phillies great, which makes a strong case for him going into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Dick Allen led the entire cockeyed world of baseball in OPS-plus for 10 years, from 1964 to 1973. His number was 165, higher than Henry Aaron, higher than Willie McCovey, higher than Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays.
“Dominate any phase of the game for 10 years, pitching or hitting or slugging, and you oughta be in the Hall of Fame. Allen is not in the Hall of Fame. The other seven guys are.”
In 2015, Allen came one vote short of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, the “Golden Days” committee will select a new Hall of Fame class in December 2020 for induction in 2021.
Allen played for the Phillies during the civil rights era. He was one of the early African Americans to play for the Phillies. He had two stints with the team (1963-69, 75-76). He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1970), Los Angeles Dodgers (1971), Chicago White Sox (1972-74) and Oakland (1977). He completed his career with a .292 batting average, 351 home runs and 1,119 RBIs.
Hochman has chronicled Allen’s career along with other Philadelphia legends Wilt Chamberlain, Joe Frazier, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, Ron Jaworski and others. The book has some great photos of Hochman and his family along with a photo of him and Muhammad Ali at a formal affair. His book will bring back a lot of Philadelphia sports memories.
Gloria Hochman and Ray Didinger will be at Barnes and Noble, 1805 Walnut St. on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.