Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Anthology: One Last Read

One Last Read
By Ray Didinger
(Temple University Press; $27.50)

A compendium of Didinger’s handpicked “favorite” columns from his 26-year career at the Daily News and the Bulletin (requisite topics include the 1970s Phillies, the author’s man-crush on former Eagles wide receiver Tommy McDonald, and Villanova basketball coach Rollie Massimino looking, post-game, like “an unmade bed”), this book shows that Didinger doesn’t write with an exceptional amount of punchiness, but rather with pathos — he has a sneaky way of getting a reader to empathize with some of the more “difficult” athletes to have passed through town (Moses Malone, Charles Barkley).

A perfect gift for your dad or any other cranky old Philly sports fan, it’s also a heartening reminder that, yes, there have been Philly sports teams that could legitimately call themselves “champions.”