SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts – After 64-plus years of writing newspaper stories and columns, Garry Brown of Wilbraham decided that it was time to write a book.
Actually, it was time to collect a book, which he has done by compiling some of his favorite pieces into a 282-page potpourri entitled “Garry Brown’s Greatest Hits.”
This volume by a retired award-winning sports reporter/columnist for The Springfield Republican will be launched at a book-signing event Thursday, June 30, in the American International College Hall of Fame room, starting at 6:30. The AIC Hall of Fame is adjacent to Butova Gymnasium on Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, but visitors to the book launch should approach it from the parking area at 125 Cortland Street.
Refreshments will be available, courtesy of the AIC Dining Commons.
“I’m thrilled to be able to host this event at AIC, because the college changed my life. I met my future wife in a world literature class when we were students at AIC. And two of our children are AIC graduates,” Brown said.
Springfield mayor Domenic J. Sarno, a long-time fan of Brown’s columns, will be a special guest. Excerpts from the book will be read by the author and members of his family. He will be available to greet people and autograph copies of the book.
Published by Levellers Press of Amherst, Massachusetts, “Garry Brown’s Greatest Hits” sells for $19.95.
“I thought about doing a book simply because I wanted to be able to give it to our children and grandchildren. If other readers come to enjoy it, so much the better,” Brown said.
The book includes a section devoted to his signature work – a “Hitting to All Fields” weekly column that has been running in The Springfield Newspapers since November of 1973.
“Although much of the book is sports-related, I also included personal columns, which I have been doing more of as I reach old age. I became inspired to do memoir writing after taking an adult-education course at AIC taught by one of my former newspaper colleagues, Angela Carbone,” he said.
Brown started in The Springfield Union’s sports department in May of 1950 at the age of 18, and went on to a 59-year sportswriting career, all of it as an employee of The Springfield Newspapers.
He began by covering Pee Wee League baseball, then moved on to become the paper’s high school beat writer. In 1969, he was named sports editor of The Springfield Union and Sunday Republican, a role he served for 12 years. When the Springfield morning and evening papers merged into The Union-News, he moved back to writing and became the paper’s Boston Red Sox beat writer in 1986. He covered the Red Sox until May 10, 2009, when he worked his last day in the Fenway Park press box.
He retired from full-time work in June of 2009, but continues to contribute columns and feature articles to The Springfield Republican as a free-lance writer.
He grew up in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, and graduated from Technical High School. He graduated from AIC in 1955, completing his studies while working nights full time. In 2014, AIC presented him with an honorary doctor of humanities degree.
Garry and his wife, the former Mary Helen Bukowski. have been married for 63-plus years. They have three children and four grandchildren.