Baseball Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons has decided to leave ESPN after Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, the network says.
Gammons, who has called ESPN his television home since 1989, “has decided to pursue new endeavors,” according to a network statement.
Gammons has been a regular contributor to ESPN’s signature baseball studio show Baseball Tonight, as well as SportsCenter and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, among other programs.
Before joining ESPN he had a successful career as a reporter for the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated.
"As a print journalist moving to television, Peter was a pioneer who became a Hall of Famer,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production in a statement. “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."
Gammons released a statement announcing his departure:
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.