Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Who is Philly's Number One No. 1?

Who is Philly sports' most beloved No. 1?

Who is Philly's Number One No. 1?


They came from afar and played games as
different as grass and ice.

They played as Hall of Famers decades apart
and dabbled elsewhere, but set down roots
in the Delaware Valley that would last the
reminder of their lives ... and beyond.

And they wore the same uniform number, the ultimate uniform number.

So, we ask you — Who is the No. 1?

Who is the most beloved No. 1 in Philadelphia sports history?
Bernie Parent
Richie Ashburn

 ... Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent?

 ... Or Phillies centerfielder/broadcaster Richie Ashburn?

Asburn hailed from Tilden, Neb., and roamed the centerfield
pasture at Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium as though
he owned it. He played out his career in Chicago and
New York, but returned to man the broadcast booth
as deftly and easily as he had centerfield.
 
Parent came from north of the border and ushered in
a sport on a level never before seen in the city. He was dealt
away, but returned in time to become the block of
granite between the goalpipes that cemented back-to-back
Stanley Cups.

The names of both became as synonymous with the city as
the Schuylkill, Tastykakes and the Liberty Bell.

Thousands mourned the passing of Ashburn after his sudden
death in 1997 ... and have recounted his seemingly endless
entertaining stories every day since.

Thousands more cheered as Parent returned and shined
in an old-timers game he had no business playing. And did so
just a few feet away from an alley that bears Ashburn's name.

It is probably as tough a choice as any Philadelphia sports fan
will ever have to make ...

Ashburn or Parent?

Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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