In a story that is just breaking, ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys has tweeted that Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons has announced that he will leave ESPN after the Winter Meetings this week.
Gammons joined ESPN back in 1989 becoming along with fellow Boston Globe writer Will McDonough, one of the first newspaper reporters to join a TV network. McDonough was hired by CBS Sports around the same time. Here’s the release.
Gammons Ends Hall of Fame Run with ESPN
Baseball Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons has decided to pursue new endeavors and will no longer be a contributor to ESPN after this week’s winter meetings.
Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production:
“As a print journalist moving to television, Peter was a pioneer who became a Hall of Famer. His contributions to ESPN will never be forgotten. We’re sad to see Peter go, but understand his desire for new challenges and a less demanding schedule.”
“My decision to leave ESPN and move on at this point in my life has been conflicted. I owe a great deal of my professional life to ESPN, having spent more than half of my 40 years in journalism working for the network, and the choice to move on was made with nothing but the strongest feelings for the people with whom I worked. ESPN gave me a great deal more than I gave it, and will always be a huge part of who I am.
“I will forever be joined at the hip with John Walsh, who hired me as an ink-stained wretch, plunked me on TV and has always been a guiding spirit. Understand how the people who run ESPN treat people: when I was felled by a severe aneurysm in 2006, George Bodenheimer, John Skipper, Norby Williamson, my former Boston Globe boss Vince Doria and everyone made certain that my family and I had the best care and support, far, far beyond any reasonable expectation. My ESPN life has been lined with foxhole people whom I’ll never forget.
“I’ve been able to work with my closest and oldest friends, like Jayson Stark, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, Peter Pascarelli, Jerry Crasnick and Charlie Moynihan. I spent three seasons doing games with a producer, Tom Archer, who is among the most revered leaders I’ve ever met. I told everyone last October that the team baseball coordinating producer Jay Levy put together with Mark Preisler and Marc Carman was the most creative in my 20 years on the show. I apologize to hundreds of people I owe for all these years for not mentioning their names.
“You would have had to be there for 20 years to know how hard so many good people sweated in anonymity to make all of us look as if we knew what we were doing.
“My friend Tom Rush – who taught James Taylor and me our first guitar chords – once wrote how strange it seems to walk away alone. With no regrets.”
John Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor:
“Peter was the best and the brightest in making the transition from print to video. For ESPN, he contributed 21 Hall of Fame years as a journalist and, throughout, set the standard for others to reach for.”
Peter Gammons, a highly respected Major League Baseball journalist, was an ESPN reporter/analyst for 20 seasons (1989-2009). He regularly provided analysis on ESPN’s Sports Emmy Award-winning Baseball Tonight. From 2006-08, he reported during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts from the ballpark, generally from field level. Gammons also provided “Diamond Notes” and other reports for SportsCenter. Amongst his multimedia role, Gammons also wrote a column and a blog for ESPN.com.
Gammons, 64, was honored as the recipient of the 2004 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing during the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 31 in Cooperstown, N.Y. He was selected in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
He began his career as a reporter for the Boston Globe in 1969 and wrote a very popular weekly Sunday baseball column for many years. He has also worked for Sports Illustrated covering the National Hockey League, college basketball and Major League Baseball (1976-78, 1986-90).
In 1986, upon his return to Sports Illustrated as a senior writer following a second stay at the Globe, he wrote numerous stories covering some of baseball’s most important news events, as well as authoring “Inside Baseball,” Sports Illustrated’s weekly baseball notebook.
Peter is one of the most respected writers in baseball and his induction into the writers wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame is very much deserved.
It is not known where Peter is going, but speculation has it that he could join MLB Network.