PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — How often do you wish you started honing your professional craft when you were still a teenager?
Benjamin Goldstein of Yardley, who turns 15 next week, is doing exactly that.
Now a freshman at Pennsbury High School, his interest in sports media was sparked six years ago when he took a tour of Citizens Bank Park for his birthday, which included the Phillies television broadcast booth for then-Comcast Sportsnet, now NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just kind of fell in love with everything that was going on there,” Goldstein said.
A behind-the-scenes member of the TV crew broke down the broadcasters’ jobs, and that was IT for the youngster.
“I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
In 2017, Goldstein started his professional journey by founding Philly Sports Reports, a website that bills itself as a “new era of Philly sports media.”
Since then, that site has grown to include several young writers on staff who create content, simply because they want to do this for a living long term. It's almost like Goldstein has created a developmental network for young people covering Philadelphia sports, providing an invaluable experience that will pay off down the line.
Not only that, but his efforts are gaining respect from other Philadelphia sports fanatics in the process.
A young fandom full of knowledge
Goldstein was too young to remember where he was or how he was feeling on Oct. 29, 2008 — he had only celebrated his first birthday just before — but that doesn't mean he’s clueless about the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship. He watches Game 5 of that series against the Tampa Bay Rays at least once a month.
It’s all part of his strategy to research big Philly sports moments so he can talk shop and hold down any conversation about things that happened well before he was born.
“His knowledge is so incredible for a 14-year-old,” said his father, David.
“Some of his friends’ dads … they’ll be talking about [something related to Philadelphia sports] and the dads will be like, ‘I don’t know. Call Ben and ask him,’” said his mother, Jenifer.
“Sometimes I forget how young Ben is,” said Brett MacMinn, one of the founders of the Phandemic Krew.
Benjamin is one of the youngest members of the fan group, which was formed during the 2020 COVID-shorted baseball season. Fans had to watch Phils games from beyond the gates because spectators were not allowed inside. The founders clearly welcomed Benjamin’s moxie and expertise.
“He has a lot more drive and a lot more ambition than I definitely did at that age,” MacMinn said.
“I believe Brett was the one that let him go up on the ladder to watch some games,” fellow Phandemic Krew founder Oscar Alvarado said. “We actually had someone that had a PA system out there. … We allowed him to do the starting lineup. … He was just so on board.”
MacMinn added, “For somebody that doesn’t remember the last time [the Phillies] made it to the postseason, he knows a lot.”
Benjamin’s love for sports runs in the family. Although his mother is from North Jersey, she’s a converted Philadelphia sports fan. His father is from Cheltenham and grew up in a household with a strong love for the teams in this town, so to see his son take up such an interest brings David a lot of joy.
However, it wasn’t a Philadelphia team that originally sparked Benjamin’s love of sports. It was the 2016 Chicago Cubs, who memorably won the World Series for the first time in more than a century. After that, this passion for sports and Philadelphia sports went to a whole new level — and one that has turned him into a rowdy fan who, admittedly, boos a lot.
“I come from a dad who’s a very rowdy fan, so I kind of pick it up from him,” Benjamin said.
“It just makes me a happy dad,” David mused.
Philly Sports Reports
The site that Benjamin founded when he was just 9 is a core part of his life today, and more importantly, where he wants to go when he grows up.
“I don’t care what it is,” he said. “I just want to be in sports media.”
Over the years, he has written and vlogged about all sorts of things relating to Philly sports. From a feature on “The Philly Captain” to the recent breaking of their postseason drought and the Sixers’ aspirations for a Center City arena, where Benjamin visited to conduct firsthand observations.
One of his more recent YouTube videos took viewers inside Phillies owner John Middleton’s suite at Citizens Bank Park. Middleton invited the Phandemic Krew in for a game, which included Benjamin and his dad.
But he’s not doing all the content creation alone.
“It’s incredible,” Jenifer said. “He’s got 10 people that write for him, that write under him. Like, he’s gonna be 15 years old [soon]. Wow!”
One of Benjamin’s writers is 15-year-old Colin Daly, who goes to Hatboro-Horsham High School. Daly is Philly Sports Reports’ Phillies writer.
“We don't really do things as traditional as some other media networks do,” Daly said. “We have vlogs when you go to a game or something cool happens. … We have a few different podcasts that we run, a TikTok account, a Twitter account. So we’re trying to bring new angles of Philly sports.”
Jaxson Webster, a junior at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, used to contribute to Philly Sports Reports and said the site is a great starting block for Benjamin and his writers as they build portfolios.
“You might not be getting paid, but you’re doing the work and you’re doing a damn good job,” Webster said.
The college journalism student certainly sees the growth in Benjamin.
“He kind of found his own voice,” said Webster. “And I think that’s what’s so important in our business, is finding your own voice and finding how you do things.”
Although he’s running Philly Sports Reports, that hasn’t stopped him from contributing to other news outlets. He helps keep statistics for 1490-AM WBCB, a station in Bucks County that broadcasts local high school sports.
The reach Benjamin has developed over the years is evident when his family is out and about. People stop Jenifer and David all the time, whether it’s in the grocery store or ballpark, to comment and compliment Benjamin on his work, and the couple couldn’t be more proud of their son.
“We’ve been at Phillies games where strangers have come up to him and asked him about [Philly Sports Reports],” David said. “The first time that ever happened I was like, ‘What the hell?!’ But, it’s actually happened a few different occasions.
“People actually knew who he was and it was just like, ‘Oh my God.’”