Legendary Boston Globe sportswriter and ESPN baseball commentator Peter Gammons is leaving Bristol after a 20-year stint at the network, effective Friday.
The 64-year-old Gammons will end his tenure at ESPN with a report on Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, which are scheduled to close on Thursday, Dec. 10. He’ll also pen a farewell column on ESPN.com that will appear this Friday.
“My decision to leave ESPN and move on at this point in my life has been conflicted,” said Gammons, by way of announcing his decision. “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. … ESPN gave me a great deal more than I gave it, and will always be a huge part of who I am.”
The heart and soul of ESPN’s baseball coverage will move on to MLB Network, where he’ll appear on the studio shows Hot Stove and MLB Tonight. Gammons will also serve as a signature columnist for MLB.com, offering commentary on breaking news items and contributing a number of other online pieces each week.
Gammons called the move to MLB Network “a great and daunting opportunity.” In a characteristically high-minded statement, Gammons added that he was chomping at the bit to begin his term at the all-baseball network. “We all wish pitchers and catchers reported tomorrow. One of the greatest things about baseball is that it is held to a higher standard than any other sport, which holds those of us who care about it to a higher standard. I hope I can contribute to that standard.”
In a homecoming of sorts, Gammons has also signed on as a studio analyst and reporter at NESN, home of the Boston Red Sox. That
Gammons began his career with the Boston Globe in 1969. Outside a three-year hiatus (1975-1978) when he first joined the staff of Sports Illustrated, he was the paper’s lead Sox reporter through 1986. Gammons returned to SI for another four-year stint at the conclusion of his Globe residency.
During the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the sportswriter was honored as the 56th recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing.
In June 2006, Gammons suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. He returned to the airwaves in September––months ahead of schedule––and resumed his regular reporting duties at the start of the 2007 MLB season.
As one of the most respected voices in sports journalism, Gammons will be sorely missed at ESPN. “His contributions to ESPN will never be forgotten,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vp, production. “We’re sad to see Peter go, but understand his desire for new challenges and a less demanding schedule.”