Sunday, July 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Registration is required, online at the library's Event Calendar, or call (717) 533-6555,
Come and hear the story of a longtime friendship that began in 1957, as Ray Didinger speaks about his experiences with Eagles great Tommy McDonald that began in Hershey at the Eagles training camp. As a 10-year-old boy coming to the Eagles training camp in Hershey, Ray developed a friendship with Tommy McDonald, the Eagles star receiver. What began as a star-struck youngster carrying his hero’s football helmet grew years later into Ray, as an award-winning sports writer, campaigning to get Tommy into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was a long, hard struggle but when Tommy finally was voted into the Hall in 1998, he asked Ray to be his presenter at the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
It is a heart-warming story and last year Ray wrote a play about it, Tommy and Me. The play, produced by Theatre Exile, sold out all 12 performances and it is coming back this summer by popular demand. It will run from Aug. 3 through Aug. 20 at the Fringe Arts theatre in Philadelphia. Mark Cofta, theatre critic of the Broad Street Review, calls Tommy and Me “a lovely story about childhood heroes and love of the game.” David Fox of Philadelphia Magazine said it was “poignant and wonderful.”
Ray will also discuss the development of “Tommy and Me,” and will look ahead to the 2018 NFL season.
Ray Didinger won six Emmy Awards as a producer and writer with NFL Films. He is the author of 11 books on sports, including three recent bestsellers: The New Eagles Encyclopedia, One Last Read, and The Ultimate Book of Sports Movies.
A 1968 graduate of Temple University, and a member of Temple’s School of Communications Hall of Fame, Didinger wrote for the Philadelphia Bulletin and Philadelphia Daily News for more than 30 years.
He was named Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year five times by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. In 1995, he won the Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished coverage of pro football, and his name was added to the writers’ honor roll in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Didinger is a host on 94WIP all-sports talk radio in Philadelphia, and appears on Comcast SportsNet TV as the primary analyst on Eagles Pre-Game Live and Post-Game Live. He lives in Philadelphia.