I loved his Phillies coverage. Loved his wonderfully unique style. Loved how he frequently made words rhyme—he brought a sense of poetry to his writing—and how he had a smart-aleck edge to his work.
He was critical without being pushy, knowledgeable without being condescending, entertaining without being hokey.
Sadly, the one-of-a kind Hochman—who, amazingly , was still writing more than a half-century after I, and countless others, started reading him—died on Thursday at 86. Philadelphia lost a treasure.
Hochman, who also wrote many fine pieces for JerseyMan and PhillyMan Magazines, was deeply respected because of his integrity, hard work and sense of humor. And he had an uncanny knack for getting to the crux of an issue, a knack for being the Voice of the Everyman.
After covering the Phillies during his early days at the Daily News, Hochman became a columnist. And if there was an important Philadelphia sporting event that took place in the last 50 years, there’s a good chance Stan was there.
He was a three-sport media star, a man whose gravelly voice was frequently on radio or TV. But, to me, his “voice” was found in his writing. His style was so distinctive, so fun to read – and, at the same time, so “spot on.”
With his passing, Philadelphia has lost two sports-media legends in the last six months.
Broadcaster Bill Campbell, whose career touched parts of nine decades, died in October at age 91.
Hochman covered the infamous 1964 Phillies, while Campbell was one of the team’s broadcasters that year.
Christine Campbell, Bill’s daughter, was saddened to hear of Stan’s passing.
“What a wonderful man and gifted writer,” she said. “Dad surely welcomed him to heaven.”
It’s easy to imagine the two being reunited with the late Gene Mauch, the fiery manager of that ill-fated ’64 Phillies team.
And, oh, the stories they could all tell….