Kate Smith left her stamp on the Flyers, inspiring the team on its way to its first Stanley Cup with her rousing rendition of "God Bless America."
Now the U.S. Postal Service is putting Smith on a stamp.
A new 44-cent commemorative honoring the American singer - the Flyers' beloved "good luck charm" - was unveiled outside the Wachovia Spectrum on Wednesday as alumni of the 1974 championship team looked on.
The event was well-timed. It was 36 years to the date that Smith performed "God Bless America" in person just before team captured its first Stanley Cup.
The relationship of Smith and the Flyers, always considered an unlikely pairing, has become the stuff of Philadelphia sports legend.
Since 1969, the team has played Smith's "God Bless America" before 111 must-win games - and racked up what some consider miraculous results. Over the years, the Flyers have amassed a record of 85-22-4 when the song has been sung.
This season, the Flyers waited to deploy it until April 11, when they faced the New York Rangers in the final game of the regular season. The Flyers won in a gut-wrenching overtime shoot-out to qualify for the playoffs.
Smith's mystique has carried into the team's incredible postseason run against the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and Montreal Canadiens. Smith's "God Bless America" has been heard before seven face-offs, and has been credited with spurring the Flyers on to six victories.
"This woman is looking over us," Flyers owner Ed Snider said at Wednesday's unveiling. "She didn't want this ceremony without us being in the playoffs." Smith died in 1986 at age 79.
Bernie Parent, retired goalie for the Broad Street Bullies, was joined by former teammates Joe Watson, Bill Clement, Bob Kelly, and Orest Kindrachuk by the eight-foot bronze statue of Smith at the Spectrum.
Parent said he still gets goose bumps when he hears Smith sing. He recalled the effect she had on the team during its first championship season in 1974.
"Kate had the personal ability to bring 18,000 people to a peak of excitement. There were times I thought the roof was going to come down," Parent said. "And it was the excitement she created that brought us to a different level."
Smith, who was one of the world's most popular entertainers in the 1930s and '40s, became closely identified with "God Bless America" after introducing it on her radio show in 1938. The song, written by Irving Berlin, went on to become the nation's unofficial second anthem.
Smith's star began to dim with the advent of rock and roll. But it was boosted when Lou Scheinfield, then vice president of the Flyers, wanted something to rattle Philadelphia hockey fans who weren't showing respect during "The Star-Spangled Banner."
"I wondered what would happen if we took it away from them," Scheinfield said Wednesday. "I just wanted to grab their attention."
The official first-day issuance ceremony for the stamp will be held May 27 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.