One of Boston's most passionate sports fans is Father Leo Shea, M.M. The Maryknoll missioner is a friend of the Tom Brady family, a huge Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics fan, and he also cheers for Boston College, his alma mater that presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree last year.
Raised in Melrose and now a Sudbury resident, Father Shea has spent more than a half-century as a missionary priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. He has served in Jamaica to support an orphanage, in the barrios of Venezuela while living in a makeshift shack in a Caracas slum and in northern China to teach English to university students.
Most recently, as Father Shea attended to Maryknoll church matters in Florida, he was invited to throw the first 2018 spring training pitch to open a Red Sox game. On Feb. 22 at JetBlue Stadium in Ft. Myers, the Sox played Boston College, beating the Eagles 4-2 in what the Father Shea summarized as "a very good game."