Today in Boston Sports Media History – Remembering Ray Fitzgerald

From August 5th, 1982.

Ray Fitzgerald Is Dead at 55; Sports Columnist in Boston
UPI

Ray Fitzgerald, an acclaimed sports columnist for The Boston Globe, died Tuesday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after a long illness. He was 55 years old.

Mr. Fitzgerald, a versatile writer, covered many sports for the newspaper for 17 years. He began writing his column in 1975, taking over after the retirement of the veteran columnist Harold Kaese.

The columns were known for quips and tongue-in-cheek humor, characteristics that helped Mr. Fitzgerald win the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Award 11 times in balloting by sportswriters across the state.

After graduating in 1949 from the University of Notre Dame, which he had attended on a baseball scholarship, Mr. Fitzgerald began his newspaper career that year at The Schenectady (N.Y.) Union-Star. He later worked for The Springfield (Mass.) Union for 12 years before being hired by The Globe in 1965.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, his mother, a brother and two sisters.

If you can come across a copy of the compilation of his columns, Touching All Bases, I highly recommend picking it up. You’ll get a great feel for Boston sports in the 1970′s and very early 80′s.

  • Red

    If Mr. Fitzgerald were 55 when he passed away, that means he graduated from Notre Dame six years prior to his birth.

    • Bruce

      The obituary is from 1982.

    • Duh

      He died in 1982, math whiz. An F in reading comprehension for Red.

  • Michael Gee

    Ray Fitz was from the era when columnists were widely read because they were fun to read. He was a wonderful writer with an original mind and fluid style. He never yelled in print. Obviously, that would make him unemployable in 21st century sports journalism.
    Good on you for recommending the book, Bruce. I still have my copy.

  • J.R.

    Those of you of a certain age (hello, self) who remember when the Globe’s sports section was actually worth reading (Ray Fitz, Leigh Montville, the young Gammons and Ryan, etc.), can’t help but notice how far the talent has fallen at that rag.

    Instead, today there are hacks like the “legendary” Shalize Manza Young, Monique Walker, Bert Sneer, etc., all of whom wouldn’t have been hired as janitors to sweep up the sports department floor 30-35 years ago. Just pathetic.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/EvilStaceyJames EvilStaceyJames

    Yet Dan Shaughnessy still lives. It's a cruel world.

  • Chris

    I'm with you, Red. I also missed the line that said the item was from 1982. Ack!

  • Fred West Lynn

    I agree with both M. Gee and EvilStacyJames. It's wrenching to think that the Boston Globe has devolved from Fitzgerald, Montville and the writerly early Peter Gammons to actively promoting and celebrating the fetid darkness of Shank. I'm not much of a "back in the good old days…" kind of person, but I do know that sportswriting and commenting has taken on a evil, sneering, debased air, defended by the small-minded as "not being homers" or "bravery." Sad to say, they've done it to themselves.