By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Westborough – This past July, Paul McGrath, a major sports fan and natural storyteller launched a Westborough TV show, “On the Sidelines.” He couldn’t play sports growing up due to a hip issue and asthma, but made up for it by supporting his five athletic kids. He has season tickets to the Bruins, and wears a watch with the team’s insignia. McGrath is very polished on air; he was a co-host on a radio show for the WPI Venture Forum.
McGrath, 72, grew up in Worcester and graduated from Holy Cross. He is a CPA, who now works part-time for Stowe & Degon LLC, a Westborough-based public accounting firm.
He has lived in Westborough since 1969 with his wife MaryBeth. Their daughter Carolyn, an art teacher at Westborough High School (WHS), recently created a new “W” logo for the school.
McGrath is well-connected to town residents. He is past president of the Rotary Club, treasurer of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Westborough Country Club (WCC). These connections and more led him to create his new show.
“My friend Bob Brown from Westborough had a show where he interviewed people who went way back in the town,” he recalled. “I thought, everybody’s life is intertwined with sports. Why don’t I get local people to talk about how sports affected their lives?”
So far, he’s put together four great shows.
McGrath’s first guest was a WCC friend George Summers, a member of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
“George had to work during the week when he was racing. He would tow his car to wherever the race was. It was hard work,” McGrath commented.
Next up was Declan Gardner, a 2018 WHS graduate who is now a freshman lacrosse player at the College of St. Rose. Gardner’s father Peter, another friend of McGrath’s, owns Curry Printing.
“Declan and I talked about what it was like playing sports, growing up in Westborough. I was interested in learning more about the sports program at his college. In 2011, its girls’ soccer team won the Division II national championship. Declan was great,” said McGrath.
McGrath’s third show featured Paul Mitchell, a former major league baseball pitcher who grew up in Worcester. McGrath knew about Mitchell through his eye doctor, G. Burtt Holmes. They both had corneal transplants to deal with a rare eye condition called Keratoconus.
“I found Paul in Berlin and I’m glad that I did,” McGrath noted. “The first game that he ever pitched was for the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. He played for six years in the American League, which is a big deal.”
Peter Caspariello was McGrath’s fourth guest.
“Peter lives in Westborough. He played football at Boston College with Doug Flutie. In 1984, he was supposed to be the target of Flutie’s famous Hail Mary pass in the “Miracle in Miami” game, but Flutie couldn’t pivot to make the throw. Gerard Phelan caught it instead. They went on to win the Cotton Bowl,” said McGrath.
McGrath has lots of ideas in the works for future shows. He seems to have a bottomless wealth of contacts.
He seems proud of his show’s ending tagline: “I hope to see you at the game, but if you’re not in the game, I hope to see you on the sidelines.”