Longtime Springfield sportswriter Garry Brown has died at 90
Garry Brown, a sports reporter and columnist for newspapers in Springfield, Massachusetts, spanning more than seven decades, has died at age 90.
He died Monday, according to The Republican newspaper.
The names of the papers may have changed through the years, but Brown was a constant presence for generations of readers. His work first appeared in the Springfield Union in 1950, and what turned out to be his final column was published Saturday in The Republican.
During his career, Brown covered everything from local baseball games at Forest Park in Springfield to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
He spent many years on the Sox beat, and in 2004, was recognized by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America with its Dave O’Hara award for long and meritorious service.
Brown may be best known, though, for his "Hitting to All Fields" column, which was a collection of one-liners on sports and beyond. According to The Republican, it began in 1973 and continued through last week.
Republican executive editor Cynthia Simison said the Wednesday staple had something for everyone, “whether it was favorite sports names, 'honk if you remember,' whether it was a horse that he favored in a certain race or just a simple recollection about his dog."
Simison said she grew up reading Brown’s work and clipped his columns out of the paper as a child. She called him "a good and kind person, who was a heck of a sportswriter."
"He grew up here, he loved sports, he loved people. I think you saw all of that translate into his work,” she said.
Brown officially retired in 2009 but continued writing “Hitting to All Fields” and a Saturday column on a weekly basis. He also made other contributions to The Republican, and Simison said she and Brown were recently planning coverage of the upcoming Western Mass. Baseball Hall of Fame induction.
According to The Republican, funeral services will be private.