A Phil Named Syl

By Matthew Clifford

This article was published in the 2013 The National Pastime.

The famous city of Philadelphia totes the title the City of Brotherly Love for many reasons. One intention might refer to a friendship between a pitcher and a catcher that would last for 19 years. The catcher was Jimmie “Ace” Wilson, a backstop born and bred in the great state of Pennsylvania. In the fateful year of 1928, Ace found himself crouched behind home plate at St. Louis’ Sportsman’s Park, a place where his mitt would feel peppered twirls from a quiet, skinny hurler named Sylvester Johnson. The batterymates would . . .

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