The Fall of the 1977 Phillies

Here is a new book that was written by one of my readers, Professor Mitchell Nathanson of Villanova University School of Law where he is the Associate Professor of Legal Writing. He contacted me about his book in an e-mail just this morning. I’ll save you the idle chatter and just provide you with info about the book along with a link.  Here is what he has to say about his book:   The book is a social history of 20th century Philadelphia as told through the relationship between the city and itsprofessional baseball teams (first the Athletics and, later, the Phillies).  Using the infamous “Black Friday” game against the Dodgers (October 7, 1977) to form the structure of the book, it analyzes the relationship between the Phillies and the city of Philadelphia and discusses how, in the Phillies, the city draws its identity.  Basically, the book opens with the question of why it is that the city of Philadelphia has historically loathed the Phillies.  The answer, I’ve found, lies in the city’s opinion of itself as well as the role the Phillies have played in being the public face of the city for decades. The book traces the roots of the city’s legendary inferiority complex with regard to New York (back to the 19th century), the collapse of the city’s infrastructure during the middle of the 20th century as well as its resurgence in the 1960’s and ’70’s.  My book ties all of this together with the city’s opinion of the Phillies and shows that, by taking the temperature of this relationship, one can fairly accurately gauge how the city feels about itself at any point in time.  In so doing, the book resolves the issue of just why it is that, althoughPhiladelphians will freely boo the Eagles, Sixers and Flyers when things aren’t going well, they’re just as likely to boo the Phillies even when they are.  As I say in my book, although Philadelphians love the Eagles, we identify with the Phillies.  My book explains why this is so. 

Please note that part of the book is based upon an article that won the 2006 McFarland-SABR Award for the best article on baseball history or biography of the year.  Here is the link to the book on

The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit

There is also a link to this on the sidebar to the right ->

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