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Holy Cross Alumnus Wins 2016 J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame

December 21st, 2016 by 
Dan Shaughnessy

Milo Stewart Jr. National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dan Shaughnessy ’75 took his first step toward being a Hall of Fame sports writer when he was 6 years old. That’s when the Groton, Connecticut, youngster watched his older brother play high school baseball and later reported on the games to his parents around the dinner table.

“I loved baseball,” he remembers. “I played second base, first base and right field in Little League and later in high school. I had the dice baseball game and read all the sports magazines. The librarian saved the baseball books for me. I knew all the players’ stats and collected baseball cards–but I never put them in my bicycle spokes.”

His baseball cards are long gone, but his passion for sports is as strong as a high fly ball headed for the bleachers. Today, Shaughnessy is a sports columnist for The Boston Globe, the author of 12 books and a frequent guest on Boston-area radio and TV shows. He’s also the recipient of the 2016 J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The award honors “meritorious contributions to baseball writing,” and his work will be part of a permanent Hall of Fame exhibit honoring broadcasters and writers.

He winsomely reflects on the journey from tow-haired kid hitting grounders on grassy schoolyard fields to respected sports scribe enshrined in the Hall of Fame, just a few rooms away from plaques celebrating boyhood idols like Red Sox great Ted Williams.

“It’s a great feeling to have my picture alongside other great writers like Ring Lardner, Damon Runyon and Red Smith,” he says. “That’s really cool.” He laughs, adding, “It’s something, knowing my grandkids will go to the Hall and find me in there.”

Shaughnessy honed his writing skills as an English major at Holy Cross, which he attended on a partial scholarship. During his four years on The Hill, he worked at The Crusader, spending three years as the sports editor, and wrote for Crossroads, the former alumni publication.

“Working on the newspaper became like a work-study program for me,” he says. “My advisers were very instructive, patient and tolerant. The Jesuits really cared about the written word, and my English professors, like Rev. Robert Healey, S.J., were very encouraging. Rev. John Brooks, S.J., my religious studies professor, and others gave me a lot of individual attention and supported independent thinking.”

Read the full article in the Fall 2016 issue of Holy Cross Magazine. 

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