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Saluting Stan: Colleagues and admirers

"On behalf of all of us here at the News, congratulations on your historic tenure. And thanks much for all you continue to do for the Daily News."

"You would be hard-pressed to find another sports columnist, another sports writer, who helped fuel a sports section's rise to national prominence — and some 50 years later, is still a key factor in keeping us there. The word iconic has gotten to be a much too frequently used adjective. But for Stan, it's a perfect fit. On behalf of all of us here at the News, congratulations on your historic tenure. And thanks much for all you continue to do for the Daily News."

— Michael Days, Daily News editor


"To me, Stan is as good as it gets as a reporter and columnist. I hired him based on a couple of columns he wrote on Art Aragon (the former boxer) in San Bernadino that were sent to me by a friend I had in college. He was good right from the start — not only good, but fast. I was amazed by how fast he was. You could put him on anything and he would write a story that would answer any and all questions that a reader could have. He's one of the masters of the sportswriting universe."

— Larry Merchant, former DN sports editor


"Stan has had an incredible career covering sports in the nation's most rabid sports city. He writes with unmatched expertise and insight and with a wry sense of humor. He is always fun to read and just as much fun to be around. Congratulations Stan on 50 great years and let's hope for a couple more decades."

— Gov. Rendell


"One of the great things about Stan's work is you know you're getting the straight scoop from him. He's got insight, he's got the longevity, he knows who did what when and he just has a critical eye into sport. I enjoy reading him. I know I'm getting not only a factual account, but an intelligent account of what's going on. I think he is one of the standout sports writers, not just at the Philadelphia Daily News, but I'm sure his peers would agree in the country."

— Mayor Nutter


"Stan was one of the first writers I met when I first moved to Philadelphia. He was with me during my days with the Eagles and he was with me during my start up of the Flyers. He's been around Philadelphia so long, he probably covered Ben Franklin in high school."

— Ed Snider


"Stan was an honest writer. If his opinions were different than yours he never resorted to personal criticism to express them. He was the best we have had."

— Bob Clarke


"I've always appreciated Stan's fairness and objectivity. As far as I know, he never let personal feelings sway him one way or the other. Whether you support his point of view or oppose it, he always calls it like he sees it. I've always admired that in Stan."

— Bill Campbell


"Stan was always the guy who would have the story first if it was a big story. He stood on the edges and he knew what was going on. I would know something was going on and where would I read it the next day? Stan Hochman in the Daily News ... and I was saving it for 6 o'clock that night ... He always seemed to know who to ask and what to ask. Invariably, he got the full story. A lot of guys had part of it, but Stan more often than not had the full story. I've always admired his work.

"He might be the most knowledgeable and well-rounded sportswriter I've ever read in this city. He was a great beat writer, a great columnist and a great book reviewer. There aren't too many people that can touch all of those bases. The Daily News hit a home run when they hired him."

— Al Meltzer


"Don't know Stan's age, but to me, he's as young as any twittering facebooker out there. Always up on the latest trends and fads, not to mention the sports scene. Love his writing style — crisp and to the point. Respect his intelligence and the breadth of his sports knowledge and total recall of same. Love his sense of humor most of all. Have laughed as hard as I ever have in my life with him on 'Daily News Live.' Punch line was 'Jason Sehorn.' What I admire most about him is his adoration for his wife, Gloria. She's the love of his life. They hold hands. They dance together. They're sweethearts, now and forever. Congrats Stanley!"

— Michael Barkann


"As a young fan following our game, I'll never forget Stan covering the Phillies while Gene Mauch was manager. Upon joining the Phillies, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet Stan. Since then, I've admired his work and benefited from his friendship."

— David Montgomery


"Stan is a true professional journalist. Sometimes he wrote things I may have not liked. But, he always had my respect. Fifty years with one newspaper is unheard of. Stan, you are a dinosaur."

— Dallas Green


"Stan is a Philly sports legend. He was a supporter and good friend and I congratulate him on 50 years of service to Philly sports."

— Mike Schmidt


"Stan Hochman is simply the most honest sports journalist this city has every had, and we've had many, many great ones. Not only does Stan have an unfailing eye for the detail that makes the story, but he is absolutely fearless in expressing an opinion that goes against the grain of conventional thinking. The best thing about Stan -- among countless attributes -- is that he always has had his priorities in perfect order. And his first priority, for all of these years, has been to serve with honor and integrity the people reading his words."

— Angelo Cataldi


"When I was a student commuting to Temple University in the '60s, I actually looked forward to the long ride on the #11 trolley because it gave me time to read and really savor the Daily News. I loved the paper, especially the sports section, and the distinctive voice of Stan Hochman. His writing style was unique. Short, punchy sentences. Vivid imagery. Good quotes that made you feel like you were in the locker room, evesdropping on a conversation.

"As a college kid who aspired to a career in sports journalism, I marveled at Stan's ability to make every story feel fresh. Even if he was writing about the Phillies fifth loss in five days, you wanted to read it because whether it was in his description of Gene Mauch's post-game cigarette or Johnny Callison's sagging shoulders, he gave you a lot more than just the hits, runs and errors. He was a master storyteller and remains so today. I feel privileged to have worked alongside him at the Daily News."

— Ray Didinger


Dick Vermeil told this story about Stan: Vermeil was in his house recently looking through some old boxes. "I was looking for something specific. Carol kept really extensive scrapbooks. I found the series you wrote when you spent a week in Napa Valley with my parents. I made the mistake of starting to read it. It was tremendous. It brought tears to my eyes." Also, Dick once let Stan spend a week with the team before they played Pittsburgh. "There are very few guys we would have trusted to come and do the job you did ... And we won the game."


"Growing up in the Philadelphia area, I always looked forward to reading Stan Hochman. He wrote with a certain rhythm; his writing almost had a cadence to it. The interesting thing wasn't always so much the subject, but the craft ...

"I also remember watching him on Channel 6, and that whenever I would go into the City Line Deli for a corned beef sandwich, I would see his photo on the wall, which was very exciting to me.

"I equated him with Bill Campbell, who was a figure of similar stature electronically.

"After I started working in the business, I found him so nice, so real, so approachable, even though he was bigger than life to me ... He was a major media figure who acted like one of the gang.

"I know that he's fair. He doesn't write for effect, doesn't try to create a story. I think he has a unique way of getting at the core of things. His writing has its own special rhythm."

— Merrill Reese


"I first met Stan Hochman when I was 12 during a Sixers game at the Spectrum. He graciously signed my program, and I cherished it. I understood his role of conduit to the games that I loved, but only years later did I discover his imprint on my life's path. His words -- assembled so artfully, filled with profundity -- spoke to me, as I suppose they spoke to all of his readers. He built a special bond with us. Because I believed those words. I trusted them. And as I embarked on my own writing career, I kept Stan Hochman's way in my forefront. For his way was the right way. For Stan Hochman is a truth-seeker and a truth-teller, and his passion for those games and the people who shaped them never waned. Fifty years into it, Stan Hochman's voice remains as poignant as ever."

— Anthony Gargano


"First and foremost, on behalf of the 76ers I would like to congratulate Stan on reaching this truly historic milestone in his career. Over the course of 50 years with the Philadelphia Daily News, Stan has become a journalistic institution not only in this city, but nationally as well. Regardless of whether he was writing about what occurred on the hardwood, the ice, the field or the track, his words added a sense of history to whatever the event. His longevity with the Daily News is a testament to not only his talent, but what he means to the fans of Philadelphia sports."

— Ed Stefanski


"I was a freshman in college when Stan arrived in Philadelphia, so I didn't grow up reading him, but as with any Philly fan he soon came in to my consciousness. You couldn't help it.

"I first got to know him in my first go-round with the Sixers, in 1968. In those days, there was an aura around Stan. He was intimidating, a force in the days of Jack Kiser, George Kiseda, Sandy Padwe and Frank Dolson. The reputation of Philly sports writing was emerging, and Stan was right at the forefront. He was aggressive, a creator of new sports media.

"Even now, he has mellowed, enjoying his role as a senior citizen. His insights are fascinating; a session with him now is living history, a chance to reminisce about things you remember from growing up. I'd classify him now as a sports treasure. My fondest hope is that he someday writes his memoirs.

"Remember, he wrote during the heydey of newspapers, when sports columnists were king. Today, the newspaper industry is scrambling, and the day of the prominent columnist is beginning to radically alter. We may never have a Stan Hochman again."

— Pat Williams, former Sixers general manager


"Of all the sports writers I read when I was a kid, Stan Hochman was my favorite. I still love reading his stuff. It didn't matter if he was writing a restaurant review or about boxing, I just liked his style. I think I could enjoy reading Stan write about grass growing."

— J Russell Peltz


"Stan, I join the many who are congratulating you on 50 years at the Daily News. As first a tenacious reporter and later as a columnist with a conscience, generations of Philadelphians have been the beneficiaries of your hard work, due diligence and, when merited, acerbic observations. You are indeed a true Philadelphia institution. Celebrate the day and everything that led up to it."

— David Stern


"Number one, he's a guy who always knows what's going on, not just in one sport but the whole spectrum, whether it's college basketball, boxing, any sport.

"The Big 5 gets credit for being a great institution, and in those days when I was at Penn it was awesome. But it wasn't just the coaches, but also the media who covered it, including Al Meltzer, Les Keiter, Herb Good and Stan; they made the Big 5 what it was as much as anyone. Stan was a vital part of that. When we would have our luncheons on Thursdays, Stan was a guy you really liked seeing. You didn't feel that way about everybody, but with Stan, you felt good seeing him."

— Dick Harter


"Nothing ever got past Stan. I go back to my Villanova days, when I was the SID. He was like Smokey Burgess. Always got a hit. Line drives, to all fields. He'd have that head down, pencil going a million miles an hour. I don't think Stan ever misquoted anyone. He had an integrity about him. Yet he was never afraid to put down his opinion. He also was a trailblazer. I remember one of the first guys among the writers who was on television. He used to the Phillies post game, the Les Keiter show. He could always do both sides of it, move back and forth without missing a beat. He was good at that. And he's a guy you can't say his name without thinking about his wife Gloria. They were his NCAA shining moments. He loved talking about her work. So he always had his priorities straight. I remember sitting with him one day discussing the whole idea of Daily News Live. He was the guy who helped us come up with Eagles Cheers, back in the day. Lawyers got scared, so then we called it Press Box Live. But that interchange has become standard. The crossover, with writers doing other things besides just writing for the paper. Things like The Great Sports Debate. He was a real inspiration for things like that. He's not afraid to go out of the box, with a good idea. And he was tenacious about what he did. What's that new sport they have now? He was probably the first MAA guy. When he was the sports editor, the rules changed. I think he followed Ben Calloway, it was a whole different personality. No let's go fishing. You can become Philly. There are people who become Philly. His roots weren't here. But he couldn't be more Philly than a soft pretzel or a Tasty Kake. Of course he wouldn't say that. He'd give you a fine wine, or Le Bec Fin. That's Stan. I have a lot of great memories of Stan. He'll give you a chuckle, and just look at you. It's not a wink, or a glance. It's just part of the portrait. I remember every year I'd have to answer how I thought the Eagles season was going to be, and I'd always use bad words like interesting. And then one year he asked, what is your goal this year? And I said, I hope to be able to be talking to you and say we're playing a meaningful game in December. No illusions of playoffs or Super Bowls. Because usually we were eliminated by Halloween. Or Labor Day. And he really liked that line. He was on the all-Pro team. Write it down. He was like Bednarik. Went both ways. Now he is forver a print guy. But he could do radio, and TV. And they're tough worlds. Now everybody's on, because the world's changing. But he started a lot of that. In Philadelphia, he's legendary. He'll always be our Stan the Man. You can only write good things about Stan Hochman."

— Jim Murray