This article is also published on Sox and Dawgs as a guest contributor.
Today marks an end of an era in Western Massachusetts.
Garry Brown, known for his creative and entertaining, "Hitting to all Fields" column is retiring after 59 solid years of sports reporting for The Springfield Republican.
He doesn't hold the record for the longest employee at the paper, but does amongst the editorial department. That honor goes to Al Santaniello a mailroom supervisor who started working there when he was 14 and left when he was 78.
Brown, 78, kicked off his journalism career at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts and obtained a degree in English in 1955. At AIC, he covered the colleges' sports teams for its school newspaper, The Yellow Jacket.
At 18 years old, Brown landed a full-time job as a sportswriter at The Morning Union in 1950, which later became The Daily News, The Union-News, and finally The Republican. He wound up leaving school, but was convinced to go back and earn his degree.
It was a good choice as Brown eventually returned to his alma mater to become a journalism professor in the 1970s and 1980s.
Brown's duties consisted of many. He covered high school sports, college, the Boston Red Sox, Springfield Falcons, and the Springfield Indians, a minor league hockey affiliate which no longer exists. He's also copy-edited, served as sports editor, and later would become a noted columnist.
Though he is retiring, he's said that he'd keep continuing his "Hitting to all Fields," column, which appears every Tuesday.
Brown is married to Mary (Bukowski) Brown who he met at AIC and have been together for 57 years. He is the proud father of three children, Melissa, Peter, and Paul and four grandchildren.
Editor's note: Information was obtained through email and American International College's Alumni Page.