By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was the Winter of 1990.
The Phillies were coming off back-to-back sixth place National League east finishes, the Flyers were on their way to missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1971-72 season, the Sixers were in the midst of an impressive 53-29 season, and the Eagles were less than a month removed for their 21-7 Wild-Card playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show was born.
On Tuesday, exactly 25 years later, the 94WIP Morning Show celebrated their quarter-century of radio excellence.
Watch highlights from the 94WIP Morning Show’s 25th anniversary show:
“I did not hear this story until this morning,” Cataldi said at the top of the 6AM hour. “Al [Morganti] and I we’re reporters. Tom Brookshier, for a fleeting moment was the program director [of WIP], and they had just started a format and Al scammed them into giving us a [part-time] job. Then, two years later they decided they wanted to hire me [full-time] with Brookie. I did not ever know this took place. When they told the owner of the station then, Flyers Chairman Ed Snider, Ed Snider—who knew Al very well covering the Flyers for years—called him in. Al pick up the story.”
Listen to the 94WIP Morning Show:
“He just said is it possible this could work?” Morganti said. “Basically I said well, think about it, if [Howard] Eskin could do it why couldn’t we do it?”
“We ripped the heck out of [Snider] and he never interfered!” Cataldi remembered.
One more piece of information many people don’t realize, is the role WIP played in the Flyers’ acquiring Eric Lindros.
“That’s another story people don’t know,” Cataldi explained. “Really, we were part of the Lindros story because they kicked in $15 million and they got the $15 million when he sold WIP. That was the money. We were traded for Eric Lindros.”
Cataldi gave out his best and worst awards from the last 25 years.
Best moment – Phillies 2008
Cataldi: “Everyone would give the same one over the 25 years. It was the Phillies Championship in 2008 and specifically, not any game. For me, the greatest moment was the parade because it brought two million people into the city of Philadelphia for this amazing event.”
Worst moment – Jerome Brown’s passing / Final sports event at Veteran’s Stadium – 2003 NFC Championship vs. Tampa Bay
Cataldi: “That is beyond tragic, that is horrific. That’s always at the top of every list. But in a game itself, for me personally, the single worst moment of the last 25 years was the final sports event ever at Veteran’s Stadium. Rhea [Hughes], I will never shake that off.
It was the biggest missed opportunity of 25 years.”
Best player – Allen Iverson
Cataldi: “The reason why I put him over Brian Dawkins, as great as Dawkins was and far more lovable than Allen ever was—Allen was weird, but Dawkins was a true hero—Iverson made such a huge impact.”
Worst player – Ilya Bryzgalov
“My original plan was to go with Andrew Bynum, until [Pruducer] Joe Weachter pointed out that I could not call him a player because he never played,” Cataldi said.
“He was terrible,” Cataldi said of Bryzgalov. “$51 million! They paid him to leave!”
Best coach/manager – Larry Brown
Cataldi: “I never felt when Charlie Manuel was the manager of the Phillies that we had an advantage in the dugout. I didn’t feel like, wow, he’ll out-think the other guy. Nor did I think that with Andy Reid on the sideline. I did think that with Larry Brown as the coach of the Sixers.”