Ted Silary, a gifted sports writer, dedicated journalist, and ardent lover of all Philadelphia scholastic sports, bid farewell to us on Thursday, May 18, 2023. I learned of his passing from his protege, dear friend and fellow scholastic sports scribe Amauro Austin. With profound sadness, Black Cager Sports remembers his remarkable contributions to the coverage of scholastic sports in the City of Brotherly Love and the countless lives he touched through his words. Silary’s untimely departure leaves a void in the sports writing community that will be impossible to fill.
Silary’s remarkable journalistic career began covering high school sports at the, since shuttered, Evening Bulletin in 1975. After two years, Silary embarked upon a legendary 36 year run at the Daily News from 1977 to 2013. From the moment he picked up a pen, he channeled his love for the game into captivating narratives that transported readers into packed gymnasiums and onto cleat trodden gridirons. His ability to weave stories about fierce neighborhood rivalries with eloquence and depth was truly extraordinary, making him a revered figure in South Philly, West Philly, North Philly, Uptown, the Far Northeast, on the Main Line and among his peers.
Silary had a permanent laminated “Media Pass” to the cookout…
Throughout his illustrious career, Silary’s byline adorned Philly’s major newspapers and, eventually his own byzantine online platforms, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of sports journalism. His insightful analysis, meticulous research, and vivid descriptions brought the student-athletes and spirit of competition to life. After reading Silary, you felt that you personally knew Gene Banks, Lewis Lloyd, Tony Costner, Stevie Black, Howie Evans, Rico Washington and Pooh Richardson. Silary allowed a young high school student-athlete reading the Daily News in Darby Township to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat through his written words.
Whether covering Public League basketball, a Catholic League football or Inter-Ac baseball Silary’s’s commitment to accuracy, fairness, and integrity set him apart as a trusted and respected voice on the Philadelphia sports media landscape. Beyond his professional achievements, Silary was a mentor, a friend, and a source of inspiration to those fortunate enough to know him. He possessed an infectious enthusiasm for scholastic sports that inspired many budding journalists to pursue their dreams. Always approachable and generous with his time, Silary nurtured the talents of young writers, offering guidance and encouragement that would shape their careers. He believed in the power of storytelling to unite people, and he strived to amplify the voices of athletes from all backgrounds, highlighting their triumphs, struggles, and the impact they had on their communities.
Today, as we bid farewell to Ted Silary, we reflect on his enduring legacy. He taught us that scholastic sports writing was not merely about reporting scores and statistics but about capturing the human spirit, the essence of competition, and the stories that transcended the game. Silary truly defined high school sports writing in Philadelphia. His eloquence, integrity, and unwavering dedication to his craft continue to inspire us. Although Silary may no longer be with us in person, his words will forever echo in the annals of Philadelphia sports journalism, reminding us of the power of storytelling and the impact one person can have on an entire industry.
Ted Silary, you will be sorely missed, but your words will live on, immortalizing your passion, talent, and love for the game. Rest in peace, dear friend, and thank you for sharing your gift with the world.