|History: The Gene Mack Story
Growing Up in Medford
He grew up on Paris Street in Medford. As a young boy,
he would look out the window of his grammar school to
watch the Medford High School baseball team in practice.
It was his dream to one day be a member of that team.
Although he tried, he never made the high school team.
However, many years later as a sports cartoonist for the
Boston Globe he gained nationwide fame, especially for
his drawings of the fourteen National League baseball
parks that are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, at
Eugene McGillicuddy, best known as Gene Mack, went to
work immediately following graduation from Medford H.S.
in 1908. Gene’s father had passed away when he was only
eleven years old, so his work experience began early
with a job for an engraving firm on Atlantic Avenue. It
was long hours, working six days a week for $3.00 a
Following this experience, Gene began working for the
Boston Globe, which led to his fame as a nationally
acclaimed sports cartoonist. In the early 1900’s,
artists like Gene Mack drew illustrations for
advertisements in newspapers. Later, through his love of
sports, and in particular local schoolboy athletics, he
began creating his popular sports cartoons. His drawings
had great detail of the subjects. One of his most widely
read features were his famous “bus” cartoons which
followed the progress of the football season in the
1940’s. Gene Mack was known and admired by the most
prominent athletes of the sports world including Babe
Ruth and Ted Williams, but his heart was always here in
here for a large version of the cartoon shown just
Gymnasium Dedication (1953)
Wife of Eugene McGillicuddy
and family at the gymnasium dedication.
In 1953, five months after his passing away, the
gymnasium in the high school on Forest Street was named
in his memory. At the dedication ceremony on December
29, more than 800 persons from the sports world and
journalism came to pay tribute to this beloved citizen
Gene Mack Clubhouse (2001)
When the high school on Forest closed its doors in 1970,
the prospect of any future use of the Gene Mack
Gymnasium was dim. Thanks to the support of Mayor McGlynn, the City Council and the Friends of Chevalier
Auditorium and Gene Mack Gymnasium, the gymnasium was
remodeled as a youth center offering social, recreational and educational activities. On February 26,
2001, after being closed for thirty years, the gymnasium
was reopened as the Gene Mack Clubhouse operated by the
Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County.
Today, Gene Mack would be pleased about the rebirth of
the gymnasium, especially since it has once again come
alive with young people whom he loved so much and who
will become our next generation.
Ruth McGillicuddy Murphy at the
2001 reopening of the Gene Mack Clubhouse.