Philadelphia professional sports is in the midst of a youth movement. The Eagles starting quarterback is a rookie. The future success of the Sixers — and Philly basketball — is in the hands of rookies. (This guy…a rookie.)
The Phillies have jettisoned most of their aged players, with Ryan Howard next, in an effort to make the team younger, cheaper and hopefully better.
The Union have three players on their full club squad under the age of 20.
The Flyers, who start the season Friday night in Los Angeles, have gotten younger as well, promoting two 19-year-old soon-to-be stars in Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny. The future is decidedly now.
There are as many teenagers on professional rosters in Philadelphia (5) as there are athletes over the age of 35.
And yet, the youth movement in Philly may not be quite as pronounced as the headline suggests. People may think the Eagles are in the midst of a youth movement because of Carson Wentz and a host of younger skill-position players, but as Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice noted back in September, the Eagles actually have the fifth oldest roster in the NFL. That list was published the day of the Sam Bradford trade, and with a few other moves since then, the average age of the Eagles has gone from 26.49, per Kempski, to 26.45, per our calculations of the active roster and injured reserve.
The Phillies are getting younger, but they weren’t all that young at season’s end. With eight players on the 40-man roster 30 years old or older, including Howard, the Phillies full roster finished 2016 with an average age of 26.86. The Flyers and Union have the youngest players in town, a notable thing given how young the Sixers are as a group, but both have aging players as well, as evidenced by their average age falling north of 26 years old.
All told, we looked at the 175 professional athletes across the five Philly professional teams, including 56 for the Eagles, 44 for the Phillies, 29 for the Union, 26 for the Flyers and 20 for the Sixers.
These numbers will change, obviously, as the calendars rolls. (Happy Birthday to Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff, btw.) The data will change as players move in and out of town as well. The current Sixers roster, for example, lists 20 players, but as the season nears that list will chop down, though based on roster prognostications the average age of the team will move mere percentage points.
Average age per team
The average age of the current Philly pro athlete is 26 years old.
We tracked and ranked every player by year, month and day, but the averages are pulled from their current age divided by the number of players. That threshold admittedly skews the data slightly, given a player whose birthday is tomorrow would change the average age by roughly one-tenth of a year after he blows out the candles. That said, an average age assumes every birthday falls in the middle of a given year, thus the number tends to balance out depending on when in the year the data is run.
Caveats included, four of the five pro teams have an average age that falls within the 26th year. Only the Sixers skew younger, as their roster averages out to just over 24 years old.
|Average Age of Philly Athletes:||26.29|
|Average Age of Eagles:||26.45|
|Average Age of Phillies:||26.86|
|Average Age of Sixers:||24.2|
|Average Age of Flyers:||26.85|
|Average Age of Union:||26.03|
Mean, Media and Mode
With the average age around 26 years old for all Philly athletes, it’s interesting to note how that number splits across the decades.
There are just three Philly athletes born in the 1970s: Flyers assistant captain Mark Steit (1977), Elton Brand of the Sixers (1979) and Howard (1979). There are 74 players born in the 1980s. Of the 175 players listed, 98 were born in the 1990s. How old do you feel now? (You’re welcome. Or sorry.)
|Athletes born in the 70s:||3|
|Athletes born in the 80s:||74|
|Athletes born in the 90s:||98|
The oldest Eagle is punter Donnie Jones, born in July, 1980, just two weeks before long-snapping magician Jon Dorenbos was born. Brian Carroll is the oldest player on the Union, born in July, 1981, making him the seventh-oldest Philly pro athlete. Phillies backstop A.J. Ellis ranks sixth.
Of those 175 players, 20 guys are currently 26 years old. That number will become 21 the day before Halloween when Patrick Schuster — a member of the Phillies’ 40-man roster — makes a wish and opens his gifts. That’s a lot, but it’s not the most celebrated age.
There are 21 players in Philly currently 23 years old, a number that will grow this week, as Sixers big man Richaun Holmes turns 23 on October 15th and injured Eagle Alex McCalister turns 23 two days later.
All told there are 63 pro athletes in Philly currently under the age of 25 to just 25 who are 30 years old or older.
|Under 25||No.||% of Roster|
|30-plus||No.||% of Roster|
It’s amazing to think of just how young the Sixers are when 65 percent of the roster is under the age of 25. Now, again, that number is skewed by the fact that three of the four players unlikely to make the roster are 23 or younger, but eliminating them would still mean that 10 of the 16 remaining players — 62.5 percent — are under the age of 25.
The future is bright in Philly. And young. Here is a current look at how young.
Current Philadelphia Athletes by AgeThe current 175 Philly athletes on the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, Sixers and Union, listed by age.
|Mark Streit (A)||Flyers||12||11||1977||38|
|Claude Giroux (C)||Flyers||1||12||1988||28|
|Wayne Simmonds (A)||Flyers||8||26||1988||28|
|Michael Del Zotto||Flyers||6||24||1990||26|