February 22, 2022 - or if written differently, looks like 2-22-22. A palindrome day of all twos taking place on a Tuesday.
It's something to celebrate. This is why we have crafted a list of the top Philadelphia athletes to have worn the number 2 or 22.
There are Hall of Famers, All-Stars and some names that may not be familiar to all fans. But what they all have in common is their history with Philly, their determination to be the best at their sport and, most importantly for this occasion, their uniform number.
David Akers - #2
A 2017 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee, David Akers became the first kicker to achieve that accolade. In his 12 seasons with the team (1999-2010), Akers set records including 1,323 points, 294 field goals, 441 extra points and 188 regular-season games played. Akers earned five Pro Bowl appearances as an Eagle in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
Duce Staley - #22
Staley was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He spent 10 seasons as a running back, the first five with the Birds. He then returned to the Eagles as a coach and would remain for another 10 years. Through his coaching career, Staley held the titles of Special Teams Quality Control Coach, Running Backs Coach and Assistant Head Coach. He would work under three different head coaches - Andy Reid, Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson and help coach the Eagles to their Super Bowl LII win.
Timmy Brown - #22
Brown was a running back and a kick returner who won the NFL Championship with the Eagles in 1960. Brown was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He passed away at the age of 82 in 2020.
Upon his passing, sports columnist and analyst Ray Didinger wrote of Brown's many accomplishments.
"He is the Eagles' all-time leader in average yards per touch (6.52) and he still holds the franchise record for most kickoff returns (169), most kickoff return yards (4,483), and most kickoff returns for touchdowns (5). He was the first NFL player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. He accomplished the feat in a 24-23 upset win over Dallas at Franklin Field on November 6, 1966," Didinger wrote.
After retiring from football, Didinger wrote, Brown went to Hollywood and became an actor. He had roles in Robert Altman films, including "M*A*S*H" and "Nashville."
"Timmy Brown was an all-time great Eagle and one of the most dynamic multipurpose players of his era. He overcame many obstacles in his life to enjoy success both as an athlete and as an entertainer," Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said. "A three-time Pro Bowler and member of our 1960 NFL Championship team, Timmy excelled as a running back and return specialist with his incredible athleticism and signature versatility. He was one of the most exciting players to watch during his career. Those who knew him well have said they will remember him for his outgoing, uplifting personality and the connections he built with his teammates and the community."
Asante Samuel - #22
Samuel is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion, including when he was a member of the New England Patriots team that defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. The cornerback would play for the Eagles between 2008 and 2011. He was tied for the league lead with nine interceptions in 2009.
NOTE: Quarterback Jalen Hurts wore No. 2 in his first season, but switched to No. 1 for his second when he became the official starting quarterback.
Moses Malone - #2
Malone started his career in the ABA before moving to the NBA. In 1981, he led the Houston Rockets to the NBA Finals. Two years later, Malone and the 76ers won the 1983 NBA Championship. He was the regular season and Finals MVP that year.
"Malone retired following the 1994-95 season having scored 27,409 points and grabbed 16,212 rebounds in his 19-year NBA career. He made more free throws, 8,531 more at the time, than any other player in NBA history and also finished his career ranked second behind Wilt Chamberlain in free throw attempts with 11,090," Malone's NBA.com Legends Profile reads.
Malone was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1979, 1982 and 1983; an All-NBA First Team selection in 1979, 1982, 1983 and 1985; a six-time All-NBA Second Team choice; a six-time NBA rebounding champ; a 12-time NBA All-Star from 1978 through 1989; an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection in 1983; an NBA All-Defensive Second Team pick in 1979; an ABA All-Rookie Team selection in 1975; and an ABA All-Star in 1976.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Malone passed away in 2015 at the age of 60.
Andrew Toney - #22
Toney was selected No. 8 overall by the 76ers in the 1980 NBA Draft.
He was nicknamed "The Boston Strangler" for his domination over the Celtics. In 1991, the former 76ers guard told the Baltimore Sun, "It was easy. I have no explanation for it. It was just easy for me to score at Boston Garden."
He won the 1983 NBA Championship with the 76ers and played all seven seasons of his career in Philly. He retired from the NBA in 1988.
"A pair of ravaged feet forced him into retirement at 30," the Sun wrote.
In that same article, Charles Barkley said Toney was the "best player (he) ever played with."
"When I first got to Philadelphia, everyone kept asking me, 'How's Dr. J? What's Moses like? How about Maurice Cheeks?' Barkley said. "I told them, 'They're all fine, but wait until you see Andrew.'"
Matisse Thybulle - #22
Thybulle is one of the young stars on the current 76ers' roster. The 24-year-old, soon to be 25 on March 4, was selected No. 20 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. The shooting guard is in his third season with the team so it remains to be seen where this #22 will take his career.
Granny Hamner - #2
Hamner was a three-time All-Star who helped the Whiz Kids win the National League championship in 1950. According to Sports Illustrated, his story began when a Phillies scout went to Richmond, Virginia to watch Hamner's brother. But once there, the scout became more impressed with Hamner's skills, so he signed them both.
Hamner played in every game of the 1950 season. He would go on to play a total of 1,501 games with the Phils in his 16 seasons. He is a member of the Phillies Walk of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Hamner died in 1993 at the age of 66.
Pete Incaviglia - #22
Incaviglia was part of the memorable 1993 National League Champions.
"There were so many amazing things about that ballclub. We kind of came out of nowhere. Nobody was looking for the Phillies to do anything that year. There were so many great memories. So many great comebacks," the left fielder told MLB.com in 2013.
That season he tied Darren Daulton for the team lead in home runs at 24 and drove in 89 runs in 368 at-bats.
"The bottom line was we were going to do whatever it took to win ballgames," Incaviglia said. "Go out and grind. We were kind of a blue-collar team, and I think the fans enjoyed the way we played baseball. We were a bunch of nuts. We slid hard and took people out and got dirty. We played for each other. We played for that dream of putting a ring on our finger. I know we didn't, but every one of those guys who was in the dugout feels like a champion."
Incaviglia made his MLB debut for the Texas Rangers in 1986.
NOTE: Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wore the No. 22 in his first few games with the Phillies in 1972. He switched to his famous No. 20 the following season.
Mark Howe - #2
The son of NHL legend "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe, the younger Howe created a legendary career of his own. Mark Howe is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Before coming to Flyers, Howe was part of a play while on the Hartford Whalers that would forever change his career and lead the NHL to switch to safer nets.
"It really was an innocent play. I was back on defense on a three-on-two rush. I turned around to take away the passing lane. Tonto (John Tonelli of the Islanders), who I played with in Houston, bumped me from behind and I skidded into the net on my back," Howe told NHL.com concerning the events of December 27, 1980.
As the report described, "In this era, the NHL still used nets that were fastened to the ice on metal spikes. As Howe careened into the net, his skates lifted the goal post off the ice, exposing the spike below it. The spike impaled the player, narrowly missing his spinal column. A fraction of an inch difference could have left Mark Howe permanently paralyzed...Exploratory surgery revealed the metal spike missed Howe's spine but had created a gaping laceration. Days later, the wound became infected."
Miraculously, he recovered and his career was not over. In 1982, at age 27, Howe joined the Flyers.
The five-time All-Star helped the team to the 1984-85 Stanley Cup Final.
Howe was the youngest player in professional hockey when he made his pro debut for Houston in 1973. He was the oldest player in the NHL when he retired in 1995.
His No. 2 jersey was retired by the Flyers in 2012.
Rick Tocchet - #22
Tocchet was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1983 NHL Draft.
Originally known for his fighting skills on the ice, he turned into one of the NHL's top power forwards in the late 1980s to mid-1990s.
He had two 40-goal seasons (1989-89 and 1990-91) and four with 30-plus.
Tocchet was also a member of two Flyers teams that reached the Stanley Cup Final - 1984-85 and 1986-87.
He played for the Black and Orange in two stints: 1984 to 1992 and then 2000 to 2002.
Tocchet garnered some impressive stats. He recorded 232 goals and 508 points in 621 regular-season games. He is also the franchise's all-time time leader in penalty minutes (1,817). In 95 career playoff games, he produced 27 goals, 33 assists, 60 points and 349 penalty minutes.
Tocchet was named Flyers captain on Oct. 2, 1991.
He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 for Mark Recchi.
Tocchet was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 2021.
"Rick Tocchet epitomizes the character and work ethic to what it means to be a Philadelphia Flyer," Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan said at the induction ceremony.
"Being drafted by the Flyers was the best thing that happened to me," Tocchet said during his speech. "It was the perfect team for me."