November 25, 2023
On Black Friday 2013, Shibe Sports opened its doors for the first time, selling the products the previous owner had in a prior store, including Florida Marlins hats, WHA jerseys, and a bizarre black shirt that just said "fantasy football" on the front in sequins. We had a staff of one, plus ourselves. Neither of us had any previous experience in retail.
Soon after, we reached out to my buddy Jon Billett, who had done a bunch of design work I liked at Sidecar bar. He started doing some designs for us, then turned us on to Keni Thomas soon thereafter. Keni's been designing shirts for the store ever since. A Sidecar bartender, Alex Ciambriello, came up one day and told us he was starting a screenprinting business. We teamed up, and he would make our shirts for the next eight years in a garage next door to a punk rock coffee shop in South Philly.
We didn't really make much money those first years, though we were having a lot of fun. That was the Chip Kelly era, the Phillies were nosediving, and the Sixers were 10-72. Tough time to open a sports store! But it forced us to be creative, forced us to take some chances, forced us to roll the dice on quirky things like Philadelphia A's hats and Philadelphia Bell t-shirts. And by being a bit different, people started to take notice.
Then the Eagles won the Super Bowl. That was a crazy time, and we actually reached a point where we could afford to hire a manager. An old buddy of Johnny's, Darren, just so happened to be moving back to the city after a few years away. He'd always worked in the bar and restaurant business, but had no retail experience. Well neither had we, so why not give him a shot? And for the past 5+ years, Darren has been an absolute rock star in the store. He's also hired a staff of awesome people who work hard and are fun to hang out with. It's awesome to go into the store when you like the people you're working with, and we've got a terrific staff.
We're in every sense of the word a small, community-based business. We've got a great relationship with the Anderson Monarchs baseball program, and have raised tens of thousands for them over the years. We work with Philly Express in South Philly on a lot of our shirts, and with KCB Printing in the suburbs for many of the rest. Many of our products are made locally, we're two local guys, and from our video producer Kyle to our photographer Marissa to our artists Keni and Scott to our brand ambassador Reef...we're all local. We've fought some, laughed a lot, cheered on the local teams, hung out with you guys at tailgates and said "Go Birds" millions of times. It never gets old. We're not just dudes selling t-shirts. We're local sports fans who love selling ya cool gear when the local teams are looking good and are there to commiserate when the local crew can't finish the job.
And we've got an awesome collection of customers. For that, we want to say thank you. Whether you've shopped with us for 10 years or today for the first time, it's really cool of you to support local business, and we really do appreciate it. It's been a crazy ten year ride, and it's all thanks to you all that we get to continue it into another decade. Thank you and Go Birds!
- Johnny and Brian
P.S. We've extended our Black Friday sale to today - save 20% off everything with the code: blackfriday
November 19, 2023
August 04, 2023
We're excited to announce the opening of our third location - second with Wheelhouse, the area's leader for sports cards.
Located at 1518 Paoli Pike, it extends our footprint West to our friends in Chester County and beyond. Fans in West Chester, Exton, Malvern, Paoli and Glen Mills can now pick up their kelly green Eagles gear closer to home!
Stocked with original designs from local artists and officially licensed team gear, the new location is a one-stop-shop for Philly sports fans.
Wheelhouse offers card grading from PSA and SGC, wax pack, breaks and all the latest drops for sports cards. Their motto is Cards & Community and we aim to create a family friendly shop that's a fun place to hang out at...much like our Wayne and Center City locations!
We hope to see you soon! Find directions on Google Maps.
March 02, 2023
There were at least 100,000 fans who swore up and down they watched Wilt scored 100 points in Hershey, though the actual attendance was closer to 4,000. But in 2012, I had an opportunity to chat with one person who we know was there for sure. Harvey Pollack worked for pro Philly hoops, first for the Warriors and later for the Sixers, starting in 1946. He would work for the team in one capacity or another until his death in 2015. Primarily a statistician, he introduced the concepts of the blocked shot and the triple double. And he was the guy who wrote the article for the Inquirer and wrote down the "100" for the famous photo the night that Wilt did the impossible. He talked to me for quite a while about that incredible night. 50 years later, he still talked about it as if it had happened a few nights before. I simply stood by and transcribed.
I should have known, the day he scored 100 points, at Hershey, Pennsylvania, on March 2, 1962, that he was going to do something that night. Why did I know? (Team owner) Eddie Gottlieb always used to take the team to Hershey before they got the expressway built. And he was always fearful that the bus was going to get stuck and they’d be late for the game, so they’d show up early. They’d arrive at five, and the game wasn’t until eight. And they used to kill time at the arcade. There was an arcade there in the building. So I go down there, and Wilt’s there. The 24-second shot clock operator is down there, and challenges Wilt to a game shooting clay pigeons. And he says, “you go first Wilt,” and Wilt doesn’t miss a thing. He knocked every single one down. And the rest of the guys are playing pinball machines. So he challenged everybody there. Now for real money. He couldn’t miss. He beat Attles, he beat Paul Arizin, he beat Tom Gola. So I should have surmised that something was going to happen that night.
Anyway, the Inquirer decided not to send a reporter to the game. I was a stringer for the United Press. So they (the Inquirer) asked me to cover the game for them. The AP gave me the same story. So there I was, I had 5 different jobs that night. I was the writer for the AP, the UP, the Inquirer, the PR director of the team, and I was the head statistician for the game. Otherwise, I had no duties. Little did I know what was going to happen. Little did I know that I was the one who would let the whole world know about this through the AP and the UP.
He had 49 points at halftime. If there was a timeout or a lull in the game, I would type something up, and my son, that game was his first paid assignment, ran the copy up to the second deck, where the Western Union was. That’s how the story was disseminated then. There were no computers.
When he got to about 65 points, I said, “Yo Zink (to legendary 76ers announcer Dave Zinkoff), I don’t know where this guy is gonna stop tonight, but every time he scores a field goal or scores a foul, announce what number it was.” So he’d say, “Wilt with a Dipper Dunk, that’s 68 points.” So he did that right up that right up to the end. That place was in a fever pitch. As it went on, they would echo him. When he’d say 65, the whole audience would say, “Sixty-five.”
He hit the 100, and the whole crowd came out of the stands. Those that could grabbed Wilt’s arms, and they were holding his arms. Referee Willie Smith comes and hands the ball to me, and he says, “I think we should take this ball out of the game.” I said, “What is there something wrong with it?” He says, “No. I think this ball should go into the Hall of Fame.”
Now Hershey at that time was a goodie-goodie town. There was no crime. No nothing. No security at the building. But they didn’t want to leave the ball in the dressing room, with no locks on the door, because someone would steal it. So they put the balls at the press table. So I hand him another ball, we had them right under the press table, he bounces it, squeezes it, says, “It looks OK to me.”
Because the game wasn’t over yet. There was still 48 seconds to play. Now, the Knicks played with 5 guys. But Wilt didn’t play. He just stood on the side of the court with his arms stretched out like Jesus Christ. And never touched the second ball. The Knicks scored 2 more baskets. And when the game ended, Wilt dashed into the dressing room.
So first I had to get the box score done. I had to make sure that my stats and the official scorers had were identical. Then I had to write a one-paragraph lede saying Wilt Chamberlain set a new scoring record tonight with 100 points. Then I went back to the dressing room. This photographer, who was there, had seen no-one taking pictures, so he went to get his camera out of his car at halftime. He came with his son. He’s the only guy who had pictures of the game. He was back in the dressing room when I came back. And he’s standing there. And Wilt is sitting on a stool. They had no lockers there in those days. So (the photographer said) “I need to get something that shows what happened here tonight.” So I said, “Why don’t you get something that shows 100 on it?” He said, “Well what can I get?” So a guy from the Bulletin had a pad, and I said, “Give me a sheet of paper, Jim, and he ripped it off and I wrote “One-oh-oh”.
Meanwhile, everybody is signing Wilt’s ball. All the players, the owner, the stat crew. Only one person didn’t sign the ball. Me. I didn’t have time. So I went and said, “Hey Wilt, there’s only one photographer here. He wants to take a picture of you holding the ball and a sign that says 100.” So I go back and he took the picture, and the stupidest thing I ever did in life was, when he was all finished, I threw the piece of paper in the trash. But I had to get to the phone. I had to call the AP, I had to call the UP, and dictate stories. And then I had to write a story for the Inquirer. A story that ended up on Page One. But it didn’t say By Harvey Pollack” it said “Special to the Inquirer“. But don’t you think the everybody didn’t learn from me quickly that I was the author of that article (laughs). Then I come back to the room. Wilt says, “Hey Harv, can you get this ball (the 100 point ball) back to the Sheraton Hotel?” That’s where the headquarters of the Warriors was back then. He lived in New York, even though he played with the Warriors. He went back from Hershey with the Knicks. They came up in cars. He didn’t want to be sitting in the car with the Knicks and say, “Hey, I scored a hundred points on you guys and here’s the ball to prove it.” (laughs). So I gave it to the trainer and told him to put it on Eddie Gottlieb’s desk at the Sheraton.
We got in the car (to head back to Philly), and I told the driver, “The first bar we pass, I want you to stop. I’ve been under so much pressure here tonight, I need a drink.”
February 09, 2023
The Super Bowl is here, and Shibe is excited to organize some fun giveaways to help foster youth football in the Philly community.
We're hosting a Squares Contest and 100% of the money raised will go to the South Philly Sigma Nu Sharks.
Here’s how you can get involved and win some great Eagles prizes.
After we get 100 squares filled in, we’ll randomly assign numbers. At the end of each quarter/game, the last two numbers of the score will determine our winner. (For instance, if the Eagles are beating the Chiefs 14-7 after the first quarter, whoever has the Eagles 4 and the Chiefs 7 will be our winner.)
And everyone who enters get $10 off a Shibe purchase.
Started in 1992 by the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the Sharks service over 400 youth between the ages of 5 and 14. The program offers numerous football leagues, a basketball leagues, and offers tutoring services. They never turn away any kid who wants to play football, no matter what their financial situation is.
So join us in raising money to get as many of our city's youth as possible into such a wonderful program!
Learn more about the Sharks by listening to our Shibecast with coaches Darron Carpenter and Anthony Meadows.
January 04, 2023
New song "The Way" by Reef The Lost Cauze drops Friday, January 6 as part of the Philadelphia Eagles/Pepsi Gameday Playlist. Listen to a preview below and the full version on the Eagles app after Friday or at the game on Sunday!
October 04, 2022
We're thrilled to be part of the Wayne / Radnor / Main Line community and invite you to come hang out with us on Saturday, October 8 & Sunday, October 9!
Saturday is our kids day with the Villanova mascot, Will D. Cat making an appearance and taking photos from noon to 1pm. Then at 2pm, bring your binders and boxes because our friends at Wheelhouse Cards are sponsoring a kids' card trade day. Come meet new friends and make some trades!
On Sunday, Hall of Fame journalist Ray Didinger will stop by to sign copies of his book and talk Eagles at noon. At 4 o'clock we'll head over to the Great American Pub for the Eagles-Cardinals game and exclusive food & drink specials, like:
We hope to see you there - 106 E. Lancaster Ave (intersection of Lancaster & Wayne Aves)!
September 10, 2022
Every year we honor Anderson's mission by donating 20% of all Giving Tuesday sales to this remarkable program. Shop now!
Coach Amos talks about the Anderson's Monarchs mission to serve kids in the Philly community and the impact Shibe Sports has on their programs.
Shibe ❤️ Philly!
August 22, 2022
We're super excited to share the news that Shibe Vintage Sports is opening a new location in Wayne!
Come visit us at 106 E. Lancaster Ave. - at the corner of Lancaster & Wayne Avenues.
We'll be sharing a space with our friends from Wheelhouse Cards - everyone's favorite spot for exclusive cards, wax packs and grading services.
Together we aim to bring a high quality sports experience to neighborhood and we're looking forward to seeing you soon!
Stay tuned for more details on our Grand Opening party.
Watch Villanova Basketball legend Kris Jenkins make the announcement:
July 13, 2022
Our Summer 2022 TV Commercial airs tonight during the Phillies game and will be replayed throughout the rest of the season in the Philadelphia area.
From Octavius Catto to Connie Mack to Edith Houghton, it's always been about more than baseball in Philadelphia.
It's been about changing the game.
That's why, in the spirit of those pioneers, Shibe Vintage Sports is a proud supporter of the Anderson Monarchs youth baseball program in South Philly.
We believe that it's important to honor the past and also invest in the future.
You too can support youth baseball in Philly. For every Philadelphia Stars shirt sold, a portion of sales will be donated to the Monarchs.
In April 2022, we raised $4200 in honor of Jackie Robinson to help send the Monarchs on a summer trip to Cooperstown, NY - home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We're happy to report the kids are on the trip this week and are having a blast!
June 27, 2022
We were delighted to be part of the Anderson Monarchs Homecoming this past weekend!
It was a day to celebrate the hard work of Monarchs past and present with baseball, music and family fun!
As part of the festivities we unveiled an outfield banner, Johnny threw out the first pitch, and most importantly, we raised money to support youth baseball in Philly.
Through the direct support of Shibe customers, we've all helped to fund a trip planned to Cooperstown this summer for the kids. Together we raised $4200 for Jackie Robinson Day in April and every day we donate a portion of the sales of our Philadelphia Stars Negro League products.
Learn more about the Monarchs at: AndersonMonarchs.org
April 13, 2022
As sports fans, this is one of our favorites times of year. NBA playoffs are tipping off, Phillies season has just begun, and we have an opportunity to honor the legacy of one of the great heroes of American history, Jackie Robinson. And there's no organization that does a better job of honoring Robinson than the Anderson Monarchs baseball program. For over 25 years, they have taken youngsters from neighborhoods - where the sport of baseball would otherwise be left behind - and taught them the values of teamwork, community, and leadership inherent in the sport.
For the past few years, Jackie Robinson Week has been an opportunity to spotlight Anderson's work and to help them raise money for the various opportunities they provide. This year, we're fundraising for a week-long tourney for the Monarchs 12-and-Under Team in Cooperstown this summer.
Monarchs Executive Director Amos Huron told us, "there are 40 teams there from across the country. Teams will play between six and ten games, live together in dorms, eat meals together, visit the Hall of Fame, and make life-long memories."
To help them pay for the trip, Shibe co-owner Johnny Goodtimes will be doing 50-50 raffles at his quizzos this week, and Shibe will be donating 30% of all sales between Thursday and Sunday to the Monarchs.
Adds Huron, "Shibe Sports has a long history of supporting our work. We want to thank them for helping us honor Jackie Robinson's legacy every April and all throughout the year."
So when you shop with us this weekend, you'll be not only helping a local business, you'll be supporting a baseball organization that truly carries on the legacy of one of our greatest Americans here in Philadelphia.