Excerpt on Dave Egan

This post is part of the effort to select The Best All-Time Boston Sports Columnists

This is from Leigh Montville’s book Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero, in a part noting the death of noted Williams critic Dave Egan. It might give you a little glimpse into the man, as we consider his place among Boston columnists:

Egan left a complicated legacy. He was the only writer in Boston who had complained loudly about the Red Sox racist outlook under Yawkey, the only one who saw the shame in a forced, half-baked, no-chance tryout in 1945 for Negro League stars Jackie Robinson, Sam Jethroe and Marvin Williams. He was often credited or derided as one of the major forces in the Boston Braves’ decision in 1953 to leave town. He was a different voice at all times, making fun of the powerful and successful, siding with the unpowerful and unsuccessful. . . and, of course, there were his “accounts” at the racetracks and boxing rings.

His columns about Williams were remembered more than any others. He had been a defender of Williams in personal situations — the controversy surrounding the birth of Bobby-Jo, for instance — but a constant critic on all other matters. No one attacked Williams more often.

Later on it was noted that honorary pallbearers at Egan’s funeral included Walter Brown, Bob Cousy, Milt Schmidt, boxers Tommy Collins and Tony DeMarco, race track owner B. A. Dario and Joe Cronin. Egan’s space in the Record the next day was taken by Larry Claflin.

We’ve discussed Egan on this site before: Infamous Moments in Boston Sports Media History

  • Kevin

    You can bet that when Joe Haggerty finally shuffles off this mortal coil that Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Dustin Pedroia, JD Drew, and Kevin Youkilis will all step up wonder: “Who the hell is Joe Haggerty?”

  • AA

    OK … now somebody go to the Boston Public Library, make copies of a hearty sampling of Egan’s columns from the microfilm and the scan them in for us to see. And be quick about it!

  • Leo Coughlin

    Dave Egan was an outstanding man, notwithstanding some glaring shortcomings. A poor boy from Rhode Island he went to Harvard College on scholarship and then to the Harvard Law School. When he was at the Law School he worked at Huyler’s Ice Cream parlor on Tremont Street in Boston and as a sports rewriteman for the Boston Globe. He ranked as a great sports writer with Jimmy Cannon. Their like has not been seen since their passing. Egan’s life was shortened by his alcoholism, regrettably. He lived in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and was a regular attendee at St.Patrick’s Church in neighboring Stoneham.

  • whatsay

    Dave Egan was a total jerk.

  • In verdas memory

    Dave egan was a good man and had a great wife name verda. Thru her I was told many good stories of the past an yes in those days everyone like the drink. They had a differant life style and to this day I will alway remember the stories she told of the life style of the wife of a sports writer Dave Egan. I have been to the house on the hill in wakefield and I know it must have been busseling with the people attending the parties she so foundly talked about. I heard of the horse track owner and the boxers and have seen first hand the pictures and memoralbilia she had she was like a mother to me and I will never forget her showing me how the other half lived and she was never a snob she was down to earth and happy women.

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