|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - April 09, 2015
Stan Hochman, perhaps the greatest Philadelphia sports columnist ever, passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2015, at the ripe old age of 86. Hochman had a huge presence in the daily lives of local sports fans with his 56 year run at the Philadelphia Daily News.
Hochman started at the paper as a writer in 1959 and six years later became a columnist. Over the years, he wrote about every sport, but made a monumental contribution in boxing by covering some of the City's best fighters and events.
In his first year at the Daily News, Hochman wrote my all-time favorite story about a local fight, "Too Much Heart for His Own Good", his chronicle of the savage war between Charley Scott and Garnet Hart.
His description of that classic welterweight battle offered a ringside seat to all of us who missed the fight. Even now, more than 50 years later, reading his story is like being transported to Convention Hall on one of its most memorable nights.
Hochman did the same for fans of baseball, football, hockey, and all the other games religiously followed by the masses. He also crossed over to radio and television in a day when no one else did.
Stan was a brilliant writer, a great talker, full of funny stories, and was one of the warmest and friendliest icons I have ever encountered. Speaking with him at a banquet, a boxing event, on the telephone, or on the streets of Philadelphia always made my day.
Hochman was a respected and celebrated pro. He was named the PA Sportswriter of the Year in 1967, 1985 and 1986, and won the Nat Fleisher Award as the Boxing Writer of the Year in 1991.
Hochman also was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and last year, the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.
The Brooklyn-born Hochman was also a proud family man, husband to Gloria Hochman for 55 years, father to daughter Anndee and daughter-in-law Elissa, and grandfather to Sasha.
Stan Hochman was one of the leaders of the movement dedicated to getting a statue of Joe Frazier erected in Philadelphia. He was adamant that our heavyweight champ be memorialized in bronze, and it is sad that he won't be there to see it. But his efforts played a big part in making it happen. So, when the Frazier statue is finally unveiled in the Fall, I will be thinking of Stan as much as Smokin' Joe.
Rest in Peace Stan. You were one of the greats.