The good and bad in Philly sports history, day by day

Looking for a Father’s Day present for a sports-crazed loved one?

Check out “This Day in Philadelphia Sports,” written by Brian Startare and Kevin Reavy, with the foreword by former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

“I have only one question: Why didn’t someone think of this book sooner?” asked Hall-of-Fame writer Ray Didinger.

The book takes readers on a 366-day tour through the highs and lows of being a Philly sports fan. Each day on the calendar is marked by a significant event in the history of the Flyers, Phillies, Eagles, or 76ers. There are also some memorable entries from the local college and high school ranks.

Here is a sample:

MAY 4th, 2000 _ Hmm, which day to choose? After all, the Flyers began play in this eventual quintuple-overtime game (yup, that’s five) on May 4th, attempting to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins at two games apiece…

May 5th, 2000 _...but ended at 2:35 a.m. EST on May 5th with one of the most cherished goals in Flyers history. The six hour, 56 minute game set an NHL record for real time elapsed, as both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh labored through four and a half overtimes of scoreless hockey, locked up at 1-1. Rookie goaltender Brian Boucher stopped 57 of 58 shots when it was all over, but the player of the game was a laboring Keith Primeau, who scored the game-winner. Primeau whipped a wrist shot past the understandably weary goalie, Ron Tugnutt, to tie the series and set off one of the most dramatic and effective momentum-shifters in Philadelphia sports history. The Fly Guys would send the Penguins packing with relative ease in the next two games, winning the series in six games. At its conclusion, Tugnutt summed up the marathon: “People were starting to ask what period it was.”

Startare, a talk-show host for ESPN Radio 97.5 (The Fanatic), was asked how the idea for the book originated.

“We just were having a few beers together and thought, ‘Let's compile a sports history book,’ he said. “We were going to do the 15 most heartbreaking stories, and decided it was too sad. So we just started listing a moments _ good and bad _ and the idea just took off from there.”

The book took two years to compete, and the authors will have a book signing June 12 at XfinityLive from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., following an afternoon Phillies game.

The book is available for delivery at

Bobby Shantz, who was named the American League MVP after winning 24 games for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1952, called the book a “wonderful way to remember so many teams, players, and moments of this great sports city’s past.”


Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.