You know the Mount Rushmore joke, right?
It’s a goofy dig directed at sports talk radio, because when the hosts are bored or don’t have anything to talk about, they’ll ask callers to chime in and participate in this fallback crutch of an exercise.
“Give me your Mount Rushmore of Eagles linebackers!”
Then people call in and nominate four guys who would be enshrined on the side of the mountain. They suggest names like Jeremiah Trotter, Seth Joyner, Chuck Bednarik, and Bill Bergey. Unfortunately, Chris Gocong and Casey Matthews would not make the cut.
We do the Mount Rushmore bit on Twitter all the time, but I thought it would be cool to do a weekly, recurring, pseudo-joke of a column, where the topic is pretty obscure, like “give me your Mount Rushmore of Taco Bell seasonal items that aren’t always on the menu.” In that case, the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa would be George Washington. Or “give me your Mount Rushmore of Flyers players from Slovakia,” which would include Stefan Ruzicka as Abe Lincoln and Radovan Somik as Teddy Roosevelt.
For our first installment of what should be an award-winning column, here is our Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia athletes named “Bobby.” For the purposes of this exercise, they must be called Bobby. No Bobs, Robs, or Roberts.
<Harry Kalas voice>
One of the best players on those utterly average Phillies teams of 20 years ago. He was a two-time All Star, won a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and now has a spot on the Phillies Wall of Fame. He played eight seasons here, and every single year finished with an OPS above .875.
Abreu is still in the Hall of Fame discussion. This was his second year on the ballot, and he pulled 8.7% of the vote. People seem to be split on whether he deserves it, and he’s right on the edge in most expert opinions, but he remains alive by virtue of the fact that he reached the required threshold for inclusion next season. He’ll be on the ballot again in 2022.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@FightinPhils4) April 7, 2020
Of course you gotta put Bobby Jones on your Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia athletes named Bobby.
The 6’9″ forward won the 1983 championship with the 76ers and was a four-time All Star during a playing career that spanned 12 seasons, from 1974 to 1986.
On the team that won it all, Jones actually was not a starter, but played the fourth-most minutes per game, coming off the bench for Marc Iavaroni more often than not. That was a squad that also included Moses Malone and Dr. J, with Andrew Toney and Mo Cheeks handling the ball. As a result of that setup, Jones was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year that season.
Jones was a ferocious defender, and eight times he was named to the league’s all-defensive first team. His #24 is retired by the Sixers and he finished his NBA career with 11,391 points, 5,739 rebounds, and 2,522 assists, a healthy 12/6/3 over the course of his career.
15 seasons with the Flyers.
136 playoff games. 42 playoff goals. 77 playoff assists. 119 playoff points.
He still holds most of the team’s single-season and postseason records, and the list of individual awards for the two-time Stanley Cup winner is lengthy.
In the 1974 finals, Clarke bagged three goals and three assists, and scored the overtime winner in game two up at the Boston Garden. In the 1975 finals, he had two goals and three assists, all scored in the game one and two victories.
Clarke wore the captain’s ‘C’ on those cup-winning teams, and was a regular season beast those years, putting up 87 points in ’73-’74 and then 116 points in ’74-’75. He had 89 assists that second year.
His time as Flyers GM didn’t result in a cup, and the Eric Lindros stuff is forgettable, but the Flyers did win a lot of games during his time and just couldn’t get over the hump.
Still, Bobby Clarke is a Philly legend and goes on our Mount Rushmore.
Certainly one of the best corners to ever wear an Eagles jersey, Bobby Taylor played nine of his ten NFL seasons in Philadelphia. From 1999 to 2002, he played 63 regular season games and seven playoff games, intercepted 15 passes, and earned himself a Pro Bowl nod.
Yeah, Taylor was a part of the teams that lost to the Rams and Bucs in the NFC Championship Game, but when you go back over the last 30 years of Eagles football, that secondary group of him, Troy Vincent, and Brian Dawkins provided some of the best defensive back play we’ve ever seen. He was a good player every year, for a lot of years.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 13, 2018
honorable mentions: Bobby Convey (USMNT), Bobby Dernier (Phils), Bobby Taylor (the Flyers goalie), Bobby Walston (Eagles), Bobby Shantz (Athletics), Bobby Wine (Phillies), Bobby Joe Esposito (KiXX)
not an honorable mention: Bobby Hoying