By Ryan Briggs (Hidden City Philadelphia)
The breakout success of the Taney Dragons that rocketed an underdog team to the final round of the Little League World Series has captured the collective imagination of a famously divided city and, increasingly, the nation as a whole. But who, or what, is a Taney? Starting with last month’s Best of Philly issue, in which Philadelphia magazine’s Liz Spikol recalled her encounters with the Taney youths of her Center City childhood, the word has bubbled to the surface of the Philadelphia lexicon. Wrapped up in the name, now splashed across ESPN chyrons nationwide, is a long and complex history that traces changing demographics and social attitudes of Philadelphia and are, in a way, embodied by the team itself.