Philadelphia Sports Day

A’s, Phils Stars Shine In New Hall Of Fame Book

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It may be years since anyone has connected the current Oakland Athletics team with its progenitor in Philadelphia; indeed, it’s been 65 years since the original American League franchise left the City of Brotherly Love for a 13-year layover in Kansas City before finishing its cross country trek to the Bay Area.

And the Phillies? Their history goes back even further, to 1883, and nearly 9900 wins (and more than 11,000 losses) later, the franchise has had its share of stars pass through Shibe Park, Veteran’s Stadium and, now, Citizens Bank Park.

In his new coffee table book The National Baseball Hall of Fame Collection: Celebrating the Game’s Greatest Players (Epic Ink, 192 pps), James Buckley introduces fans to more than 175 players, managers, owners and other contributors who have risen to the top of the sport. From early stars like Napoleon Lajoie, who made his mark in Cleveland but started and finished his career in Philadelphia, to Roy Halladay, dozens with Philly connections are included.

Though Buckley pens roughly equal sized biographies for most of the enshrinees, a few standouts are afforded extended essays. One of those is the great Connie Mack, feted as “Best of the Best” in the chapter on managers. The author estimates that Mack was present at perhaps 10,000 professional games.

The book is full of stunning photographs, and the breezy bios accentuating the highlights of each star’s career are the next best thing to a trip to Cooperstown.

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