The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Announces the Philadelphia Phantoms and Afleet Alex as Winners of 2005 Pride of Philadelphia Awards
The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the winners of the 2005 Pride of Philadelphia Awards. The Pride of Philadelphia Awards are given annually to teams or individuals who exemplify the spirit and pride of Philadelphia sports.
This year’s winners are the Philadelphia Phantoms, 2005 Calder Cup Champions and Afleet Alex/Cash Is King Stables, winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
"Our Pride of Philadelphia Awards are not MVP or 'team of the year' type awards, but more a recognition of the determination and perseverance area sports fans have come to expect," said Steve Tallant, the Hall of Fame’s vice-president for Foundation Development.
During an up-and-down season the Phantoms vaulted into first place with an AHL record 17-game winning streak through October and November. They came back to earth losing 17 of 28 games from late-December through February. The team’s grit came through as they rebounded to win 16 of the final 24 games then lost just three in the playoffs, including a sweep in the finals over Chicago.
"It's a remarkable honor for the Philadelphia Phantoms to be named the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's Pride of Philadelphia Award," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "Our entire organization takes a lot of pride in the Phantoms accomplishments both on and off the ice. Capturing the Calder Cup last season was one of the greatest accomplishments for our players on the ice. Our continuing efforts of reaching out and giving back to others is our greatest off ice achievement. This is truly an honor which we gladly accept on behalf of everyone at Comcast-Spectacor."
Afleet Alex turned in one of the most memorable performances in horse racing history in the Preakness, stumbling and nearly falling around the near turn, then recovering for an amazing 5-length victory. His 7-length triumph in the Belmont left him with two of the three Triple Crown races, missing the Kentucky Derby by a mere length and a half. Afleet Alex is owned by Cash Is King Stables which consists of Chuck Zacney, Joe Lerro, Bob Brittingham, Jennifer Reeves and Joe Judge, all from the Philadelphia area.
"The recipients of this year’s awards exemplify that "triumph over adversity" that capture the hearts of Philadelphia sports fans," continued Tallant.
The Awards will be presented at the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony, to be held on Thursday April 6, 2006 at the Sheraton Society Hill. The 17 members of the Hall of Fame’s Inductee Class III will be inducted at the April 6 banquet. For tickets or more information, please visit www.phillyhall.com or call the Hall directly at 215.886.6657 Ext. 1.