May 02, 2012
(Editor's Note: In today's installment of Authentically Speaking, Pro League Authentics executive John Rabik takes us on both a personal recollection of fond Spectrum (1967-2009) memories, and specifically zeros in on some rare jersey patch scenarios involving both the Flyers and minor league affiliate Phantoms at the start of the 2008-09 NHL/AHL hockey seasons.)
By John Rabik
In what is now the parking lot for Xfinity Live, once stood the Spectrum, “America’s Showplace”. It was here in the 1980s and '90s that my blood changed from red to Orange & Black.
Going along with my grandfather to Flyers and Sixers games at the Spectrum is how I learned what it meant to be a Philadelphia sports fan. Many trips were for the standard fare of the NHL and NBA, however there were also some other flavors mixed in. The Barnum and Bailey Circus was always a favorite. Disney on Ice was a regular trip, but I would just sit there disappointed it wasn’t the Flyers.
I’ve seen Koko B. Ware, George the Animal Steele, and Junk Yard Dog in a rare WWF showcase immediately following a 76ers game. Hulk Hogan Tag Teamed with Macho Man (managed by Ms. Elizabeth) as well as The Rockers in a Saturday morning WWF show. I’m man enough to admit it now… I saw the New Kids on the Block there. I’m proud to say I skated on the ice for the Mites on Ice segment.
All of those memories ran through my mind on my last trip to the Spectrum to see the Flyers play one last time against their minor league affiliate, the Phantoms, on October 7, 2008.
Once I got into my seat I was pleased to notice that the Flyers were wearing a commemorative patch to honor their last games at the Spectrum. It sparked my interest because the Flyers don’t often wear patches on their jerseys. After doing some homework, I found that there are three known Spectrum patches that were worn by the Flyers and Phantoms in that 08-09 season.
What I discovered was all the patches have the Spectrum building, Spectrum bar logo, dates the stadium stood, as well as the Comcast Spectacor logo, but in different locations on the patch itself.
***There is the with a black border that says "September 27th 2008 - America's Showplace." This patch was worn by the Flyers in their final NHL (pre-season) game in the building against the Carolina Hurricanes on that 9/27/08 date.
It was at this game that Mike Richards was presented with his new captains sweater by Ed Snider (below). This patch was also worn by the Flyers in their final all-time game at the Spectrum, also in the preseason versus. the Phantoms 10 days later on Oct. 7, 2008.. Note that this is the only version of the "America’s Showplace" patch with angular color bars on the border colors.
***There is an "America’s Showplace" patch version with a white border that was worn the entire season on both the Phantoms home (below left) and road (below right) jerseys.
***Lastly, there is an "America’s Showplace" patch (top of article) that was worn on the Phantom’s alternate Spectrum jersey with a black border. What's most interesting about this patch is that it isn’t fully embroidered, but rather a sublimated graphic onto a twill backing.
Like the perpetually sticky floors that were part of the Spectrum's lore, questions remain about the variations in the "America’s Showplace" patch from that final year of the building. We’d love to hear what you know. Please submit any feedback on other variations of the patch that may be out there, or any intricacies that we have omitted. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tenants of The Spectrum
Philadelphia Flyers (NHL 1967-1996)
Philadelphia 76ers (NBA 1967-1996)
Philadelphia Wings (NLL original franchise
1974-75 - current franchise 1987-1996)
Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL 1996-2009)
Philadelphia Kixx (NPSL/MISL/NISL 1996-2009)
Philadelphia Soul (AFL 2004-2008 selected home games)
Philadelphia Freedoms (WTT 1974)
Philadelphia Bulldogs (RHI 1994-1996)
Philadelphia Fever (MISL 1978-1981)
Coming Up: We have added noted baseball stadium architect Rich Villa to our lineup of presenters for the second installment of "Jerseys as Art" on Thursday, May 10.
Former Mitchell & Ness president and throwback uniform expert Peter Capolino will also be on hand discussing and exhibiting jerseys going back decades to the all-flannel era, and there will be a collector's look and presentation of virtually all of the commemorative jersey patches ever worn by the 30 major league clubs.
The event begins at 6:00 pm at our Center City store location (137 S. 13th St - between Walnut/Sansom), with refreshments provided and in-store discounts on all authentic MLB products.
We hope to you see you there, but if you can't make it we plan to tape the event to be available online.
Coming Up (2): Tomorrow on Authentically Speaking, a look at perhaps the most famous uniform in sports. Morris Levin with details on the Yankees Cool Base Jersey.