Been tied up on several fronts, but wanted to pay tribute to Stan Hochman, the long-time columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. He passed away last week. Hochman, a workhorse, grinded it out almost to the end, filing his last column in February.
From the Daily News:
Hochman, according to Pat McLoone, managing editor of the Daily News, could be summed up in one word: “Great.”
“When you think that Stan Hochman came on the Philadelphia sports scene in the late ’50s, made a mark right away and has been great, truly great, for more than 50 years, it really is overwhelming,” said McLoone, who was sports editor from 1989 to 2008. “I mean, Stan was great as a Phillies beat writer covering Gene Mauch in the collapse of 1964, great covering Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Doctor J, Bobby Clarke, Reggie White and great to his final piece [in February].
“His coverage of Dick Allen’s shot at the Hall of Fame, how he helped champion the cause, showed how great he still really was. I have been in awe of Stan since the first time I read the Daily News as a young kid and remain in awe of him today. For his insistence on accuracy, his incredible speed as a writer and his courage and truth-seeking as a columnist. Most importantly, I have been witness to him as a great husband, father and grandfather. It is a sad day in the history of Philadelphia sports, and he will be missed by so many.”
Rich Hoffman at Philly.com:
The integrity of the man and his work were unmatched. He had a strong belief in the homework because it best informed your questions. He had a strong belief in the interview, because the best columns were when you could display a connection with your subject in the subject’s words. He had a strong belief in fundamental fairness – that you give a guy his say, that you agree or disagree with it in your commentary, and that you show up the next time and let the guy tell you what he liked or didn’t like about what you wrote.
That was the Stan Hochman transaction, a three-way relationship among the columnist, the athlete and the reader, a transaction based on honesty at its core. The athlete was rarely surprised at what Stan wrote, even if he didn’t agree with it – and a lot of them did not agree. If he had remained a schoolteacher for more than a brief period at the beginning of his working life, Stan would have been known as a tough grader. But he was fair. He always said that was his goal, tough but fair, and he succeeded for a half-century.