The Eagles have said goodbye to Malcolm Jenkins and are probably going to do the same to Jason Peters.
It sucks, but Philly sports fans have been losing their superstars for years. Great-great-grandpop Barkowitz is still apoplectic that Ed Delahanty left the Phillies in 1901 to go play for Washington.
With Jenkins, the soul of the Super Bowl champs, heading elsewhere, here’s a look at other prominent athletes who have left us as well as some who joined in their twilight.
Hurt the most: Reggie White, DE
Legacy here: White anchored some of the great defenses in team history, registering a team-record 124 sacks from 1985-92. The Eagles offense often was impotent in the postseason, so White left for Green Bay, which was coming off 9-7 season under rookie quarterback Brett Favre.
Departure: It wasn’t pretty. White was 32 -- the same age as Jenkins -- and had grown weary of Eagles management. The death of teammate Jerome Brown in a car accident in the summer of 1992 cast a pall on what would be White’s final season in Philadelphia. Four years later, he helped the Packers win the Super Bowl.
He wrote it: White and Eagles’ management “split on so many issues - the 1987 players’ strike, the firing of head coach Buddy Ryan, the loss of free agent Keith Jackson - that in the end, they had nothing to build on. There was no trust, no goodwill to serve as the foundation for constructive talks between White and the Eagles once he was named an unrestricted free agent. And looking at it from White’s standpoint, if you can’t even talk to management, why bother staying? He did what any businessman would do with maximum leverage: He went for the best deal. It happened to be in Green Bay, where he signed for four years at a reported $17 million.” -- Daily News columnist Ray Didinger, April 8, 1983.
Other Eagles to fly: Harold Carmichael, Trent Cole, Randall Cunningham, Ron Jaworski, Brian Dawkins, Malcolm Jenkins, LeSean McCoy, Tommy McDonald, Donovan McNabb, Wilbert Montgomery, Jason Peters (?), Jon Runyan, Tra Thomas, Andre Waters, Brian Westbrook, Nick Foles.
Hurt the most: Steve Carlton, LHP
Legacy here: He won 27 games in his first season for a team that won a total of 59. Think about that. He racked up four Cy Young Awards for the Phillies, was an eight-time All-Star, and left here second in baseball history to Nolan Ryan in strikeouts. Carlton won two games in the 1980 World Series to help the Phillies win the first title in franchise history.
Departure: Though Carlton wanted to keep pitching, it was evident by the time the Phillies released him in 1986 that his career was finished. It was painful to watch him bounce around for San Francisco, the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland and finally Minnesota before he called it quits in 1988.
He wrote it: “The ultimate irony of sports is this: The athlete is told to never, ever, give up. No matter how wretchedly his team may be playing, no matter how far behind it may have fallen. And then one inevitable day, he is told that it is time for him to quit.” - Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon, June 29, 1986.
Other Phillies: Richie Ashburn, Johnny Callison, Del Ennis, Cole Hamels, Granny Hamner, Robin Roberts, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley.
Hurt the most: Allen Iverson, G
Legacy here: He is arguably the most beloved player in 76ers history and maybe in city history both for his fearless style and knack for the big moment. The run to the 2001 Finals included two Game 7 wins in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Departure: It was time. As talented as Iverson was, he was also moody. Whether it was the “talkin’ 'bout practice” press conference or showing up minutes before tipoff and being benched for 2006 Fan Appreciation Night, Iverson needed a change.
He wrote it: (General manager Billy) "King declined to provide an autopsy of the situation that led - for years and years - to yesterday’s announcement. There would be no exact accounting of the exit wounds, of whether the ultimate weapon that dispatched Iverson was employed by Mr. Snider in the board room, Mr. Cheeks in the study, or Colonel Mustard in the library.
"He did great things for this organization, and I don't want to discredit what he's done," King said. "There's no reason to go back. "
Going back isn’t very appetizing because it presents a long menu of the team’s failed strategies in trying to manage Iverson, all of which ultimately fell like so many fragile soufflés. Friendship, tough love, money, more tough love, accommodation, more money, Chris Ford. They tried everything except the obvious - until this season, until yesterday." -- Inquirer columnist Bob Ford, Dec. 20, 2006.
Other Sixers: Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks, Billy Cunningham.
Note: Chamberlain played just three seasons for the Sixers (1965-68), but he was still in his prime. His trade to the Lakers -- for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff -- is among the most lopsided in NBA history.
Hurt the most: Eric Lindros, C
Legacy here: What could have been. Lindros spent eight seasons with the Flyers, turning them from a doormat to a contender in three seasons. He was 22 on that night in 1995 he cried after winning the only MVP of his career. He promised a championship, but his tenure here ended with a scary injury five years later in a Game 7 loss to the same Devils team that beat the Flyers in 1995.
Departure: Lindros had the agility to go around many opponents, he just preferred to go through them. As the concussions mounted, the relationship with management -- particularly general manager Bobby Clarke -- disintegrated. After sitting out a season, Lindros was traded to the Rangers in August of 2001.
He said it: “What a talent. He could have been up there with Lemieux and Gretzky. Who knows? But with a lot of stuff that hampered him, with injuries and outside stuff, it’s not a sad story but a story that is unfulfilled.” -- Flyers right winger Rick Tocchet told the Inquirer when Lindros was traded.
Other Flyers: Mark Howe, Tim Kerr, Rick MacLeish, Brian Propp.
What are you doing here?
Here are prominent players elsewhere who came to Philadelphia toward the end of their career:
Eagles: Mark Bavaro, Richard Dent, Antonio Freeman, Jeff Garcia, Jevon Kearse, Jim McMahon, Art Monk, DeMarco Murray, Dan Pastorini, Refrigerator Perry, Mark Rypien,
Phillies: Jimmie Foxx, Pedro Martinez, Joe Morgan, Dale Murphy, Roy Oswalt, Tony Perez, Fernando Valenzuela.
Sixers: Toni Kukoc, Bob McAdoo, Glenn Robinson.
Flyers: Paul Coffey, Peter Forsberg, Jaromir Jagr, Vinny Lecavalier, Adam Oates, Darryl Sittler.