I’ve never been shy about my love of The Gammons. Insightful, passionate, and — unbeknownst to many — looks great in a thong. Also: One of the greatest baseball writers ever. And he knows good music when he hears it, evidenced by the stellar cadre of local musicians he enlists for his annual Hot Stove, Cool Music concerts, including Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz and the heartthump-inducing Kay Hanley. Understand that when I tune in to Baseball Tonight, it’s not to hear Harold Reynolds pontificate on the simply joys of the fungo circle, or to watch John Kruk gargle fried chicken as he tells me what’s wrong with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s to watch The Gammons. And now he’s part of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his induction ceremony speech harkened back to his days as a fresh-faced punk at the Boston Globe:
When this award was announced, Mike Barnicle left me a simple message. “Tom Winship would be very proud”. Winship was the editor of the Boston Globe, a Branch Rickey of a man who changed the newspaper business in Boston and opened a world for kids who were dying for a chance. Mine came as a summer intern in December of 1968. It started the day Robert F. Kennedy was shot. In those days you had a morning Globe and afternoon Globe, and when I walked in, I was introduced to my fellow intern Bob Ryan, basketball Hall of Famer. We were told to call every team in business asked them what they would do for Robert F. Kennedy and write a story. We did. The 3:30 late stocks edition came up, and there on the front page of the entire paper Mr. Ryan and Mr. Gammons had their first by lines. We went to the Erie Pub, raised a couple of 10 cent drafts and decided, you know, that we found what we loved.
There are typos galore, but the complete transcript can be found here at espn.com.
Today’s comments section is ready for your Gammons love. We’re also accepting Hazel Mae love. Because, y’know, she also looks good in a thong. Or so we hear.