San Diego Chargers Guard Pat Shea Passes Away

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1966 Topps - 130 - Pat SheaI have been informed that former San Diego Chargers offensive guard, Pat Shea, passed away Wednesday night after suffering a heart attack.  He was 73 years old.  I will add an obituary when one becomes available.

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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13 Responses to San Diego Chargers Guard Pat Shea Passes Away

  1. Todd Pat went to my alma mater (Mission Bay), although he graduated about 12-13 years before me; had met and talked w/him at a couple of M.B. homecoming games: nice guy…sorry to hear of his passing!

  2. Ralph Perretta says:

    Hi Todd. I would always run into Pat at Charger Alumni Weekend. Great Guy to have a beer with. A Good Ball Player and a North County Gentleman ! He will be missed.

  3. Patrick Shea Jr says:

    Where did you get the card with his signature?

  4. Patrick Shea Jr says:

    Thank you for your kind comments. My dad was a great dad and I miss him. The obituary should be in the Sunday UT May 26.

  5. Christopher Peck says:

    Another one gone from the one Chargers team that “sealed the deal”. RIP, #64.

  6. Dave Osborn says:

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    My recollections: Pat Shea

    About 1960 the Chargers where formed in Los Angeles part of the new AFL. The NFL didn’t like the competition and the survival chance of the AFL seemed slim. Shortly after the Chargers moved to San Diego, SD’s first & only pro-football team. AFL teams gave a lot of players a chance to play pro that would not have gotten a chance, (With just the NFL), Pat had played for USC. Shea was motivated to make the team and was known to work very hard in the gym & in practice..

    The old Balboa Stadium was the only stadium available to play at. Built in 1914 Balboa it was outdated, the seat where just stepped concrete (as I recall) you could rent cushions to sit on for about .25 cents. I understand the Chargers practice facility was more or less a farm field.

    The1962 Chargers got beat up with about only 4-wins. Coach Sid Gillman brought in a “Strength building” guy and that he did**, in 1963 the Chargers won the championship and as the NFL would not play them (Chargers in a post season game) as it was sort of below them and they didn’t want to give the AFL any credibility, so I think the Chargers just took claim to being world champs. I recall the old Stadium was filled to the rim by the end of the 63 season.

    **Link ‘63 Chargers ESPN
    Pat Shea was on the starting lineup on the’63 offense along with his friend, Chargers great Walt Sweeney both where guards. I was told that Howard Cosell (On Monday night football in the 70’s?) once remarked something like(Pat & Walt) where the best par of pulling guards ever (Of that era). I never saw Pat with out his Championship ring***
    ***LA Times “Since accepting his simple, gold, one-diamond, one-sapphire championship ring, Pat Shea has never taken it off.”
    As the pay was low in those days for most football players Pat worked off season (Jobs often provided by Charger Supporters). In maybe 1964 after he had back surgery he never was able to get back into AFL football (Although he wanted to & felt he could still play). He did try out for the short lived World Football League’s Portland Storm in about 1974 (Ron Mix was in Portland’s management & may have gotten him a shot as he was getting a little old for a comeback) but was injured in practice and that was it. At about that time I recall seeing him running in La Jolla Shores trying to get back in playing shape again… the man looked strong enough to tear the door off a bank vault.

    Ernie Ladd on Pat: “ Shea was just raw animal.”

    Pat may have still been playing for the Chargers when he started to become well known in La Jolla, (CA,) for his lifestyle including being involved in a bar in downtown La Jolla, I think it was called the Gladhand. In the late 60’s he operated the famous & wild ‘Sip& Surf’ bar in Bird Rock, (District of La Jolla).

    Pat moved to North County in about 1971-2 (San Diego) where a lot of athletes and sports fans lived there then, Pat became a popular personality. He worked for his friend Phil Brown at his restaurant, P. Rodney’s (About 1972-3) then at the ‘Belly Up’ when they opened in 1973 (he may have been the first daytime bartender). Also Pat & Walt Sweeney fronted a Bar called ‘Sweeney O-Shea’s with a backer in about 1981-2 all where in Solana Beach, CA. After that Pat went back to the Belly up for quite a while.


    I lost contact with Pat after the late 80’s & I may be off on some facts as its just what I can recall. I was fortunate to have known Patrick!

    Dave Osborn

  7. Competed with Pat at M.B. , while I was at Escondido … eventually played together at USC but was shadowed by the bigger, the better and Pat. After, became very close with he, Sweeney and other’s, becoming very active in common social circles. Work-outs at Clarks Gym, Escondido’s Kalmia Street, The Comer, Bill Fallace, La Jolla, The Trains and ALL of North County … throughout, he ‘n Sweeney were most gracious, generous and entertaining but, NEVER EVER given the credit due, for contributions to the betterment of other’s. An outstanding man and, privilege to have known, competed with and grown through … the best to the Family, my greatest memories and condolences. Billy

  8. Bruce Kolina says:

    Pat was the greatest! Pat had alot of empathy for fallen ballplayers! I was one of them! Some people make it and some people get hurdles thrown in front of them! We had along line of conversations about the subject. He was a great friend and someone to talk to. When he was at USC, he saved my life! We are not here to talk about me, but would share someday. He was truely at great guy and a loving man. Chargers are family and I have always respected them and their families. God Bless you Pat! Bruce

  9. Jamie Nay says:

    RIP Pat Shea. I never met Pat Shea, but the stories told about him are legendary! My favorite is this…Volleyball great Nate parrish was throwing a costume party at his Mission Hills home…mid 60s. Pat Shea dressed as a ballerina. Photos show a massive man wearing a long wig and full ballet regalia. And his Chargers ring. Before he left his home, he told his wife Pinky, “Bring my street clothes. I know some guy is going to pick a fight and I don’t want to go to jail in a tutu,”.

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