2007 NEWS

2007 News > 8/8/07

QUIETLY, A STAR GIVES BACK TO THE TOWN HE LOVES
By David Pevear, Lowell Sun

BILLERICA - New turf shoes for the football team, new uniforms for the baseball team. No photo ops, no fuss.

And when money was needed to finish the new baseball field at the Marshall Middle School a few years ago, Tom Glavine made sure the job was done. Grateful townspeople put a sign on the fence to thank Glavine for his generosity. Glavine did not want the town to name the field after him. "He's quiet about it," says Billerica Memorial High School baseball coach Jon Sidorovich. "He comes to fundraisers. He donates money to even the teams he never played on here at Billerica. He's never really left Billerica."

In 1999, the Billerica football team received a delivery of green-and-white Nike turf shoes in time to wear while winning a Super Bowl at Boston University's Nickerson Field.

"That's Tommy," says Paul Ames, a former high-school hockey and baseball teammate of Glavine's who used to play in Glavine's charity golf tournament in Atlanta. "You hear about what he's done for the town, but you never really know the full extent. He doesn't make a big to-do about anything." Glavine's philanthropic work is celebrated. He served on the National Sports Committee of the Leukemia Society of America. He has been honorary chairman of the Georgia Council on Child Abuse.

In January, for the 15th consecutive year, Glavine hosted the Georgia Transplant Foundation's Annual Spring Training, which provides financial and educational assistance to families of patients awaiting or undergoing organ transplants. Last year he received the Bart Giamatti Award for his community service. His charity extends to his hometown.

"Donations to the hockey program and the Little League programs. So much people don't know about," says Paul Barber, who was one of Glavine's youth hockey coaches in Billerica.

Scott Crandall, who played baseball with Glavine at Billerica High and remains a close friend of the future Hall of Famer, says people always are asking him to ask Glavine to sign balls for charity events.

"I'll text-message Tom with the request, and boom! The ball is here," Crandall says. "Everybody has some story about some professional athlete who didn't sign an autograph. I don't know of anybody who can say that about Tommy."