The Public is Invited to Philly Sports Writers’ Banquet

PSWA Dinner


The Public is Invited to Philly Sports Writers’ BanquetPosted: 30 Dec 2010 07:33 PM PST [To comment:]

Dear Sports Fans –

Tickets are still available for the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 107th annual sports awards dinner, which will be held Monday, January 31, 2011, at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Below are some clips from recent press releases about the dinner.

Phil’s ace Roy Halladay named Pro Athlete of the Year
Phillies Cy Young Award-winner Roy Halladay, the only pitcher ever to throw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season, has been named the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s Pro Athlete of the Year, it was announced by PSWA president Rich Westcott.

Halladay, who also won a Cy Young with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003, led the Phillies to the best regular season record in major league baseball in 2010 by going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts.

Former Eagle Bill Bergey named Living Legend
Bill Bergey, one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, has been named the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Living Legend.

Bergey, who was acquired in a trade with Cincinnati , was voted into the Pro Bowl in four of his seven seasons in Philadelphia . He played here as a middle linebacker from 1974 to 1980 with his last game coming in that year’s Super Bowl against Oakland.

Ian Laperriere will accept Flyers’ Team of Year award
The 2009-10 Philadelphia Flyers, who came within a shootout of not making the NHL playoffs at all, will be honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association as the 2010 Team of the Year at the PSWA’s 107th annual banquet on January 31, 2011.

After upsetting the No. 2 seed New Jersey Devils in the first round, they found themselves down three games to none in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Bruins. They forced a seventh game in Boston, and after trailing 3-0, pulled off the biggest comeback in franchise history, winning the game – and the series – 4-3. They are now only one of three teams to win a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

Tickets for the dinner at $95 apiece are available online by clicking here.

Fans can also friend PSWA on Facebook.

Thank you,

Robbie Kenney
Ticket Chairman
(609) 702-7473

‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ Earns PSWA’s Humanitarian AwardPosted: 30 Dec 2010 07:21 PM PST

Shane Victorino, PSWA Humanitarian

Shane Victorino of the Phillies, the “Flyin’ Hawaiian,” has soared to new heights this year, landing the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year award given by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. The centerfielder will be in Cherry Hill, NJ to receive his award at the PSWA’s 107th annual banquet on January 31, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Route 70. Tickets are available to the public.

The former All-Star and his wife Melissa have created the Shane Victorino Foundation to promote opportunities for youth in Philadelphia and Hawaii by engaging in projects which provide children with educational, recreational and wellness programs. Beneficiaries of the 2010 Shane Victorino Foundation Celebrity Dinner & Golf Classic in Maui include the Waipio Little League program, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui and St. Anthony’s School Shane Victorino Scholarship Fund.

Through a $900,000 pledge to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, the Foundation’s first effort in Philadelphia will be to renovate the Nicetown Club, located in one of the most impoverished, economically challenged areas of the city, with no positive after-school options for neighborhood youth.

Shane was also honored recently with the Phillies’ Roberto Clemente Award, the 2010 Phillies Charities Community Service Award and named the prestigious Union League’s Sportsman of the Year. Previously, he was honored with the 2009 Phi Delta Theta International Lou Gehrig Memorial Award given annually to the MLB player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Shane is also a member of the Philadelphia Action Team, a national young volunteer initiative by the MLB Trust and Volunteers of America and is featured in a national ad campaign promoting volunteerism.

On the field, Victorino recently finished his sixth season with the Phillies and became one of nine National League players to win 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, his third Gold Glove Award in as many years. Victorino posted a .995 fielding percentage, committing only two errors in 373 total chances. He finished tied for the NL lead in outfield assists with 11, first among all National League center fielders, and ranked second in double plays (4). Victorino is now the sixth Phillie to have won at least three Gold Glove Awards, joining Mike Schmidt (10), Garry Maddox (8), Manny Trillo (3), Scott Rolen (3) and Jimmy Rollins (3).

The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” will join other Phillies personnel – teammate Roy Halladay (2010 Pro Athlete of the Year), general manager Ruben Amaro Junior and manager Charlie Manuel – at the PSWA’s head table.

Other announced honorees include Bill Bergey, the former Eagles great selected as Living Legend; and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, selected as 2010 Team of the Year. The award will be accepted by popular Flyers right winger Ian Laperriere.

Other awards, including Amateur Athlete of the Year, Good Guy Athlete, Native Son and Outstanding Penn Relays collegiate performer, will be announced soon.

The most coveted award, the Most Courageous, is kept secret until the night of the dinner.

The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association was founded on May 12, 1904, and the first of what would become an annual Awards Dinner was held Feb. 15, 1905.

Tickets for the dinner are $95 apiece and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Fans can also friend PSWA on Facebook.

The Return of the Philadelphia Challenge Cup

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The 2011 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, Presented by Coca-ColaR will host the
return of rowing’s premiere Amateur Single Sculling Championship event on
the Schuylkill River.

Philadelphia, PA (December 21, 2010) – The City of Philadelphia, along with
the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation are proud to announce the
return of the Philadelphia Challenge Cup event-The Gold Cup, at the Aberdeen
Dad Vail Regatta, Presented by Coca-ColaR, Saturday, May 14, 2011, on the
Schuylkill River.

The Philadelphia Challenge Cup is presented to the undisputed amateur single
sculling champion of the world. Inspired by John B. Kelly Sr., a
Philadelphian and 1920 Olympian (Brussels, Belgium), the newly revitalized
event will showcase the top four men and women single scullers in the world.
These elite athletes will row in separate men’s and women’s races.    Each
champion will receive a newly minted commemorative of the Gold Cup along
with a prize award of $10,000.  Second and third place finishers will be
awarded $5,000 and $2,500 respectfully.

“Athletics are an integral part of our city’s culture especially those
played on the scenic Schuylkill River. The storied history of the Gold Cup
Challenge is uniquely Philadelphian, and I am looking forward to watching
elite athletes compete for it again in our city,” said Mayor Michael A.

In restoring the Philadelphia Challenge Cup event, Philadelphia will again
play host to the top elite men and women international scullers in the
world. Last contested on the Schuylkill River in 1962, on hand today to
witness the revival of this Philadelphia tradition is John B. Kelly III,
grandson of Kelly Sr.  the  inspiration and first recipient of the Gold Cup,
and 1964 U.S. Olympic oarsman and 1966 Gold Cup winner, Don Spero.

About the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation:  A private group of
Philadelphia rowing enthusiasts who rediscovered the Gold Cup and hope to
reinstate the Philadelphia Challenge Cup event and tradition to its rightful
place in single scull rowing prominence.

About the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, Presented by Coca-ColaR: The largest
collegiate regatta in North America with over 100 colleges and universities
from the United States and Canada.  Held annually since 1953 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Schuylkill River, thousands of student
athletes and spectators visit the City of Philadelphia during the weekend of
the second Saturday in May.

About the Schuylkill Navy: An association of amateur rowing clubs in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest amateur
athletic governing body in the United States.  The member clubs of the Navy
are all located on the Schuylkill River where it flows through Fairmount
Park in Philadelphia, with most of the clubs being located on historic
Boathouse Row. The Navy organizes several rowing events during the year.
Many of the clubs in the Navy have a rich history and have produced a large
number of Olympic and World class competitors.

Media Contact:
For The Philadelphia Challenge Cup — Jim Murray Ltd., 856-985-0848,
For The Schuylkill Navy — Jim DeLorenzo, Jim DeLorenzo Public Relations,


Flyers’ Tough Guy to Accept Sports Writers’ ‘Team of the Year’ Award

Ian Laperriere, PSWA's Team of the Year

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Even in the National Hockey League, they don’t come much tougher than Ian Laperriere.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ forward is sidelined indefinitely with “post concussion syndrome.” To keep “Lappy” off the ice … well, it’s just not easy.

In the first round of last year’s NHL playoffs, Laperriere through himself in front of a shot and took the puck square in his face. He suffered a concussion and a brain contusion, to go along with a broken nose. He required almost 70 stitches in his face, and was expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.

But for one of the toughest men to ever lace ‘em up in the NHL, missing the Flyers’ inspired playoff run was not an option. He returned to action in the Conference Finals against Montreal.

Laperriere isn’t on the ice right now, but he will be on the dais for the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 107th annual Awards Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Monday, January 31, 2011. For tickets, visit

Lee — Always in the cards — thanks to wife’s PR knowledge

Cliff Lee flashes the No. 1 finger as he poses with his No. 33 Phillies jersey after his news conference Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Below is an excerpt of David Hale’s story in the Dec. 16, 2010 “Courier-Post.”

In it, Cliff Lee’s wife, Kristin, made use of a popular strategic communication tactic depended on by many strategic communicators: The “Force Field (Conflict) Analysis” – (see it in Chapter 15 of “The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook). If it weren’t for that “Force Field,” there is a good chance Lee would be a Ranger – or worse – a dreaded Yankee.

Here is the excerpt [Scroll down below picture].

For Hale’s full story, go to the “Courier-Post” website. It carries the full story of Lee’s return to Philadelphia. [Scroll down below picture]

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PHILADELPHIA — There’s a scrap of paper sitting on the kitchen counter in Cliff and Kristin Lee’s house in Arkansas, a scrap that Kristin nearly threw away before leaving for Philadelphia, where her husband was officially announced as the newest member of the Phillies’ starting rotation Wednesday.

Before the paper reached the trash, however, Kristin realized just how important the words on it were. She knew that piece of paper might have been the turning point that led her husband to come back to Philadelphia, to come back to a place they both longed to call home once again.

Of course, that scrap of paper is just part of the story — and the twisted tale of Cliff Lee’s return to the Phillies was filled with more than its share of twists and turns.

Still, it took that scrap of paper to provide the final push.

The night before, when the negotiations still looked bleak, Kristin Lee had trouble sleeping. She knew she wanted Cliff to sign with the Phillies, but she also knew the money wasn’t close to what the Yankees or Rangers had offered.

So when she woke up, she grabbed a piece of paper and began to write. She drew out three columns — one each for reasons to sign with the Phillies, the Yankees and the Rangers. By the time she was done writing, the Phillies’ column dwarfed the other two.

“That morning I was thinking of all those things that were so great about this place, so when we’re trying to figure out what to do I wanted to be able to say, “Hey Cliff, we can’t forget these things,’ ” she said.

Once the deal was done, it didn’t take long before the Lees were reminded all over again of how much they loved Philadelphia.

Flying into the airport, the city was lit up and Kristin Lee was thrilled to be home. At the airport and at dinner, fans came and congratulated the couple on returning to Philadelphia.

It was a most unlikely outcome, but it was the perfect ending for Lee.

“It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for me, and it’s been a fun ride,” Lee said.

“This offseason has been full of unknowns, but it feels great to land back here in Philadelphia.”

Again, full story:

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Phillies’ Pitcher Roy Halladay Named ‘Pro Athlete of the Year’ by Philadelphia Sports Writers Association

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Phillies Cy Young Award-winner Roy Halladay, the only pitcher ever to throw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season, has been named the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s Pro Athlete of the Year, it was announced by PSWA president Rich Westcott.

Halladay will be honored at the PSWA’s 107th annual Sports Awards Dinner on Monday, January 31, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, N.J. Tickets are available to the public.

Halladay threw a perfect game in Florida on May 29, then tossed a no-hitter against Cincinnati on Oct. 6 in the opener of the National League Division Series. It was only the second post-season no-hitter in history.

Halladay, who also won a Cy Young with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003, joined Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Gaylord Perry as the only pitchers to earn the awards in both the National and American Leagues.

Halladay led the Phillies to the best regular season record in major league baseball in 2010 by going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He led the National League in wins and topped the major leagues in innings pitched (250 2/3), shutouts (4) and complete games (9).

The Philadelphia Flyers, the 2010 Stanley Cup runner-ups, will be honored as the Team of the Year at the dinner. Other prestigious awards, including Outstanding Professional and Amateur Athlete, Living Legend, Native Son, Humanitarian of the Year, and Good Guy Athlete, among others, will be announced in coming weeks. The most coveted award—Most Courageous—is kept secret until the night of the dinner.

Tickets for the dinner at $95 apiece and can be purchased by clicking here.

Fans can also friend PSWA on Facebook.


End of an era for Penn Football

Philadelphia Sports Writers Association member Joe Kadlec sent this along. It is a true tribute.

C.T. Alexander (l) with son John, U of P C'87.

Don’t forget, tickets to the 2011 PSWA dinner are on sale at Honored guests include the Phillies’ Roy Halliday and Shane Victorino and Eagles’ legend Bill Bergey.

[To comment:]

Posted on Saturday, December 25 2010

C. T. Alexander was not a public-address announcer. He was the Voice
of Franklin Field, and at the University of Pennsylvania, that
qualified him as a celebrity.
When he walked into the Faculty Club at the Inn at Penn, a table of
Quakers basketball fans stopped eating their breakfast to stand and
shake his hand. He waved to passersby while strolling the Locust Walk
on Penn’s campus on a recent Saturday. Later, Gov. Ed Rendell, a proud
Penn alum, greeted Alexander.

Franklin Field has been deemed by the N.C.A.A. the oldest stadium
operating for football games. And for 50 of the stadium’s 115 years,
Alexander was behind the microphone in the press box, joined by his
son and daughter as the spotters who help him to identify the players.

But a Penn tradition came to a close on Nov. 13 when Alexander, 76,
called his final game at Franklin Field.

“I just think it’s time,” Alexander, who graduated from Penn in 1956,
said over coffee that morning. “A lot of people don’t decide it’s time
until it’s too late. Fifty years is a nice round figure.”

But for 50 more years, those at Penn might have stories to tell about
Alexander. With a wink and a knowing smile, he built his legend.

He claimed the secret to his vocals was his triple rinse with
mouthwash before each game (not true). He carried a foam microphone in
his briefcase (true). He jokingly boasted about being named the
best-dressed public-address announcer in the Ivy League (not true). He
and a Penn assistant once lined up cultural attachés from Europe in
Franklin Field to teach them about American football (true).

“He’s the kind of person, if you were stuck on a desert island, you’d
want him,” Barbara Alexander, his wife, said. “He’d figure out how
you’d eat, how you’d get shelter and how you’d get home.”

John Charles Thompson Alexander — called C. T. by members of Delta Tau
Delta who wanted to differentiate him from another freshman, John W.
Alexander Jr., who was also rushing the fraternity — has a personal
history that belies steady cadence at the microphone.

After graduating from Penn, Alexander served two years in the Marines,
then nine years in the active reserve. He worked as the senior vice
president of a Philadelphia bank from 1962 to 1969. The Wall Street
Journal wrote about the “bankruptcy party” Alexander hosted at his
home in 1982 to lighten the mood during tough economic times.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed Alexander the director of a
professional and cultural exchange program for the United States
Information Agency. From 1989 until 1993, Alexander served as an
appointee in President George H. W. Bush’s administration as the
director of a grant program for the Department of Education.

But Alexander, now working as a handyman in suburban Philadelphia, has
one bullet point on his résumé that outlasts the others: the Voice of
Franklin Field.

Alexander’s favorite memory was Penn’s 23-21 defeat of Harvard in 1982
for the Ivy League title on a second-chance field goal with no time on
the clock. He built a reservoir of historical perspective: he attended
all but three games in 50 years.

In 1994, Alexander crossed the globe in one day to get to a game. In
Kyrgyzstan while working abroad for his consulting business related to
international education (another of his many past occupations), he
flew to Kazakhstan, then to Moscow, then to New York, then took a
train to Philadelphia. He arrived roughly 30 minutes before kickoff
after the 24-hour whirlwind.

“It takes great discipline,” Alexander, whose payment came in the form
of credentials and a parking pass, said of his attendance record.
“Like it takes discipline not to use so many words when announcing.
It’s the same thing.”

In 1960, the Penn sports information director asked if Alexander
wanted to take over for Ray Dooney as Franklin Field’s public-address
announcer. Alexander agreed, but he never could have known he would be
at it decades later — or that it would later become a centralizing
force for his family.

His son, John Alexander, joined him in the press box in 1976. At age
12, the younger Alexander fit snuggly. More recently, Linda Alexander
Rocca, one of Alexander’s daughters, made it a threesome. Through the
years, they sat alongside their father, working as spotters with
binoculars and rosters at the ready.

“My father and I through the years were very tight, and we’ve had some
years where we ran into some difficulties,” said John Alexander, who
graduated from Penn in 1987. “But no matter what, there was no
question we’d be together five weeks every fall. That never wavered.”

Now that his father has stepped aside, John Alexander, 46, hopes to
become the new voice of Franklin Field, carrying on a tradition that
has become as much a part of the family as it has Penn. He filled in
during the games his father missed, and called half of Penn’s victory
over Dartmouth on Oct. 2, but no successor has been named.

“He’ll definitely be in consideration,” Steve Bilsky, the Penn
athletic director, said in a telephone interview. “If that happens, it
would definitely be cool. We also want to make sure the person is
professional. That’s what Penn and Franklin Field deserves.”

On Nov. 13, Penn played Harvard with the Ivy League title at stake, a
dramatic game that seemed an appropriate conclusion to Alexander’s
eventful career. He wore a sweater vest, khakis and a hat that
included his initials and his title, “The Voice.”

A number of Alexander’s classmates were in attendance to share the
moment, one of them giving him a bottle of Champagne as a gift. Many
more Quakers fans stopped to offer Alexander good wishes. Rendell, who
was also in attendance, wrote a letter of recognition to mark the day,
extending “my gratitude, respect and admiration on behalf of all

After a slow start, Penn pulled away from Harvard and cruised to a
34-14 victory to claim at least a share of its 15th Ivy League
championship. (Penn clinched the outright title by beating Cornell,
31-7, on Nov. 20.) While watching the Quakers celebrate on a beautiful
fall night here, the Voice of Franklin Field, his microphone turned
off for good, made his final announcement to no one in particular.

“I’m going out on top,” he said.  (source New York Times)