ICC Presents Local Author Tommy Shea

Tommy Shea

*PLEASE NOTE* Due to the forecast of snow, this event has been postponed. Later date to be announced!

Springfield native and former sports and feature columnist Tommy Shea will read from and discuss his new book, Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History on a date to be announced at the Collegian Court Restaurant on 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA.

The public is welcome to attend this free event. Doors open at 1:00 pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Parking is available in the Collegian Court lot, on street, and at the Center Street Chicopee Savings Bank, which is a short walk across the street.

Shea co-wrote the book with his friend and fellow writer Joshua Shifrin, who is a native of Longmeadow now living in New Jersey. The book is divided into 101 chapters, each one focusing on a brilliant home run, from present day and working its way back to the beginning of professional baseball in the United States.

Anyone who knows Shea understands that baseball is one of his passions. When he was asked to join Shifrin as co-author he jumped at the chance.

Tommy Shea Dingers“This was a natural for me because I was a longtime baseball writer life long baseball fan. The sport is something I live and breathe, and it was a thrill to get to do this project with Josh,” Shea said.

Shea said readers frequently tell him about their own home run memories.

“The selections were Josh’s and mine, but I’m sure any reader would have his/her own list to make. Part of the fun of reading the book is recalling your own home run memories,” Shea said.

Dingers was published by Sports Publishing in May of this year.

Tommy Shea is the oldest of seven children born to Maureen and Sean “The Diamond” Shea, who emigrated from the West of Ireland to Western Massachusetts in the late 1940s.

Big into sports as a child, at age 17 he marched down to the Springfield Newspapers in his hometown and asked if he could answer the phones in the sports department. In 2012 he ended 39 years of employment there and in the four years since co-wrote two books, worked on three others, taught journalism and spent a year as senior foreign editor at The National, an English-language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi.

In Springfield, his career included covering high school sports, the Boston Red Sox, general assignment, religion, and pedophile priest crimes, and for fourteen years wrote a thrice-weekly column the Boston Globe said “chronicles little-noticed acts of kindness and grace perpetrated by everyday people.’’

Tommy has taught journalism at Springfield, Holyoke Community and Elms Colleges and at Bay Path University, all in Western Mass. He is a member of the faculty at Bay Path University’s MFA program in nonfiction.

His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, New England Monthly, Baseball America, and the former New England Monthly. In 2002, he wrote the liner notes for the album Play It Again Sham by the Saw Doctors of Galway, Ireland.

In 2003, he received the New England Associated Press News Executive Award for best local New England column. In 2004, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  In 2006 he was awarded an honorary degree by Western New England University and in 2008 was named the Springfield Grand Marshal at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the second-largest such parade in the country.

He is married to the writer Suzanne Strempek Shea, with whom in 2013, along with M.P. Barker, he co-wrote 140 Years of Providential Care: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts. His new book, written with Joshua Shifrin, is Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History (Skyhorse Press).

He, Suzanne and their dogs, Tiny and Bisquick, live in Bondsville, Mass.