Editor’s Note: Today is the first in a series of articles profiling the 2015 Norwich High School Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
By Don Chirlin
Writer’s note: Perry Browne, sports editor of The Norwich Sun in 1946, described Don McGraw in an article written at the beginning of the 1946-’47 sports year. Browne was attributing the characteristics of stability and permanence to the career of Don McGraw. This praise supported the tale that became legend of the athletic career of the 1946 graduate and 1947 post-graduate of Norwich High School.
"For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever."
In 1946 Don McGraw was described as one of the outstanding athletes of recent years. He was a stereotypical three-sport Norwich athlete. He had the ability to participate thoroughly relaxed. His talent appeared effortless, and he had the knack of coming through "in the pinch.” His appearance in football, basketball, and especially baseball, had been created by years of playing in the sandlots of the northeast side of Norwich. In the early days, athletes grew up and competed in neighborhoods. He was of Irish extraction, and he had the "baseball genes" of the Truxton, New York baseball family of McGraws.
Don's father, Art, was the first cousin of the immortal hall of fame manager of the New York Giants, John McGraw. His older brother Jack was a talented first baseman and manager of the local Norwich Blue Jays. Younger sister, Barb, was a fine athlete in an era that had few sports programs for females. Youngest brother Gerry, "Butch," was a football and baseball player in the 1950s. Barb married Mike LaCava, another talented Norwich athlete.