Friday, December 11, 2009

Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN

Gammons is moving over the MLB Network after a long career at ESPN. If you don't know Peter Gammons, he is a pioneer in sports journalism. But the thing that really sets him apart is how much he cares about the people he covers, not just as athletes and statistics, but regular people. The following excerpt from his Hall of Fame induction speech is the best illustration of the kind of journalist he is:

Throughout my career I have tried to be guided by one principle, that because I am human I have the right to like people. But because I am professional, I have no right to dislike any one. People ask me, as a New Englander, what was it like walking out there in the field when Aaron Boone hit a home run. To be honest, my first reaction was, I was ecstatic. I have known Aaron Boone since he was 13 years old and that's my privilege. My second reaction, I saw Tim Wakefield, head down, and I felt despondent. He's one man who did not deserve that. As I walked out on the field to try to get introduced, I turned to my producer, Charlie Moynihan, and said, "look around here, you know what? I just got paid to cover the greatest game ever played in the greatest sporting venue in the world. I think I'm the luckiest man on earth."

I don't think there are many other journalists in any field that garner as much respect and affection not only from their colleagues, but those they cover. On SportsCenter yesterday, Gammons did a quick report from the baseball Winter Meetings, then the SC anchors spent a few minutes thanking him and talking about how great it was to work with him for so many years. Buster Olney used the top of his daily blog on baseball in a tribute to Gammons and the effect he had on Olney's career.

And this is just when he moves to another network. Now to figure out how to get MLB network on my cable package...

EDIT: My brother points out Gammons' goodbye column. Well worth reading.

1 comment:

  1. Just read this article and hard to disagree: