Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peter Gammons

The first story I saw when I got home this evening was of the condition of Peter Gammons. To understand what has happened I turned here.

Gammons clearly has a soft spot for the Sox, he was born and raised in the Nation, and first came to prominance with his work at the Boston Globe - introducing the now standard Baseball Notes style column - before moving on to Sports Illustrated, and eventually to his recent TV and web work for ESPN. To British baseball fans, unable to access the Globe online as easily as we can today when he worked there, Gammons is probably best known for that ESPN work, but a little bit of searching, and a few dollars, allows you to access some of his work online, and appreciate the quality of that work.

The 7-year-old's first vision of Fenway Park has never faded. He never forgets June 28, 1952, the first time he walked up the ramp to the right of home plate, came to the opening and froze.

Baseball, as in all dreams, had always been black and white. The game was learned from voices on a radio, newspaper clippings, stories handed down by brother and mother, Sport and Baseball and Street & Smith's and the occasional snowy 10-inch television images. Then the 7-year-old first gazed at Fenway and the solarium green that made the white uniforms stand out in 3-D, the distinctly crisp pops and crackles of baseballs against leather and wood, the 11:30 everglades hummock cool and, most of all, The Wall.

Boston Globe, April 4, 1986

Peter Gammons was that 7 year old in 1952, and has clearly never lost his love of America's pastime.

The 'ultimate' public recognition of his work saw his election to the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame in 2005. You can read the full transcript of his induction speech here, but that same message was contained in that speech.

"I am here today because I found what I love."

Let's all hope that Peter is back on ESPN soon covering the game that he has always loved.

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