Peter Gammons' Tweeterverse

Red(s)HawksFan

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And the whole thread began because Gammons felt compelled to defend Steve Lyons from an anonymous twitter account questioning why he's on NESN. Gammo not really having a great day.
 

joe dokes

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And weirdly enough, this didn't even start with a discussion of Lyons' own history with abuse allegations.
I wonder if that's what Gammons thought that he (Gammons) was tweeting about (Lyons's stuff); and not about the Oregon State guy.
 

Van Everyman

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Was gonna say ...

Part of the problem is that Peter Gammons is, by all accounts, a kind, decent person who has a long track record of wanting to believe the best about people.

My guess is that killing one of his heroes for defending a pedophile on Twitter is not how @ChadFinn was hoping to start his day.
 

Humphrey

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What the hell is Gammons talking about anyway? The Redskins were owned/moved to DC by George Preston Marshall, who signed a black player even later than Tom Yawkey (and only when the US Government threatened to cancel his lease to play in DC (now RFK) Stadium). "I'll sign a Negro when the Globetrotters sign a white player" (or something to that effect).
 

Van Everyman

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Man, his latest column in the Athletic is just a thing of beauty. Cape league past and present, a great bit on Trayce Thompson, and some ruminations on the Twins (and old friend Sandy Leon).

Even if he’s a walking advertisement for why some people should never tweet, Old Hickory still has his fastball when it comes to his Sunday Baseball Notes-style columns.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Here's an excellent long profile of Peter Gammons in Sports Business Journal:
https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2023/06/19/Portfolio/peter-gammons.aspx

Maybe most people know some of the stories, like how Gammons and Bob Ryan started at the Globe on the same day for example. But I like the added details in this article:
On June 10, 1968, just days after RFK’s assassination, senior-to-be Peter started a summer internship at the Boston Globe sports department. On that first day, he and another intern — a garrulous Boston College grad named Bob Ryan — were assigned to chronicle how MLB was planning to honor Kennedy. Peter called each American League team, while Ryan dialed every National League club. Their dual byline ran on 1A of the stocks edition that afternoon, and buddies already, they went to Boston’s Eire Pub to grab a beer and dream about careers as “ink-stained wretches.” Peter was hooked.
I never knew his collage band was called “Little Gam and the Athletes”. Heh.
As a young reporter, Gammons would shag flies before games.
By ’75, bench coach Johnny Pesky was hitting him pregame fungos, or Carl Yastrzemski was purposely smacking BP line drives to Peter in the gap. Through it all, he’d pick up nuggets and backstories. He’d then shower, visit the opposing manager and produce original copy full of trade chatter, clubhouse mischief and future stars. “I don’t know anybody who loves anything as much as Peter Gammons loves baseball,” Ryan says.
The legend of the Sunday Globe Baseball Notes column:
That Sunday notes column was so rich, Globe sports editor Vince Doria says editors from other cities had him airmail it to them every Monday. GMs would pick Peter’s brain as much as he’d pick theirs. One year, he campaigned in print for the Red Sox to hire Orioles manager Earl Weaver. When Weaver got inundated with phone calls, he said, “What did that [bleeping] Gammons write this time?” Someone answered, “That the Red Sox need you and even if it’s $1 million a year, they gotta pay it.’’ Weaver responded, “I’ve always liked that Gammons."

His copy was littered with music, sarcasm and New England nuance, and Doria’s philosophy was he wouldn’t edit Peter if one out of five readers “got it.” To describe a disjointed Red Sox team, Peter wrote: “25 guys, 25 cabs.” When the Red Sox blew a key game on network TV in August of ’74, Peter wrote: “Like Richard Nixon, the Red Sox went on national television to announce their resignations from the race.”
Classic Lou Gorman:
By then, Tigers pitcher Jack Morris had nicknamed him “The Commissioner,” and Peter says three or four MLB teams offered him front office jobs. Legend has it Peter once laid out a three-way trade proposal to Red Sox GM Lou Gorman, who responded, “I haven’t thought of anything like that.” To which Peter said, “Well, by God, you better start thinking of things like that.”
Peter meets Theo:
During Game 3 of the ’98 Yankees-Padres World Series, Theo was in his usual post behind home plate, using a speed gun to input the velocity and pitch type up on the scoreboard. When suddenly, he says, Peter “appeared out of the ether.”
Every other writer was in the press box, but Peter was behind the batter’s box, picking Theo’s brain. He’d earlier filed Epstein’s name away in his baseball mind, and now they were finally meeting. Throughout the game, Theo was uncannily predicting which pitches Padre pitchers would throw and their locations. He saw Trevor Hoffman warm up for a save opportunity and told Peter, just from watching Hoffman’s arm speed, that Trevor was going to struggle. Sure enough, Hoffman blew the game.
So Ted's drink was bourbon and tonic.
Peter’s star shined so bright that even the Splendid Splitter, chronically annoyed at ink-stained wretches, would wave Peter over to tell stories over a bourbon and tonic. Did you know in 1941 Ted used to get updates on Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak from a Fenway scoreboard operator in left field and shout them over to Dom DiMaggio, Joe’s brother, in center?
I knew about his 2006 aneurysm, but nothing about his recent health problems. He still has a great attitude:
For the past three years, Peter’s been stricken with multiple myeloma — a blood and bone disease — and needs a periodic form of chemo. “I tell people I’m like a 1995 Volvo with 160,000 miles,” Peter says. “I have to be maintained the rest of my life.”
This article is a must-read if you like Peter Gammons.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Looking forward to reading it—thanks for linking.

I had thought that Gammons and Theo were neighbors in Brookline and Gammons made some of Theo’s early introductions in baseball. Anyone else recall that?
 

The Gray Eagle

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The article talks about Gammons living next door to Sam Kennedy's family in Brookline , and hearing about Theo all the time from Sam. But he didn't actually meet him in person until that Padres World Series game.
 

nattysez

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Looking forward to reading it—thanks for linking.

I had thought that Gammons and Theo were neighbors in Brookline and Gammons made some of Theo’s early introductions in baseball. Anyone else recall that?
Yeah, that's not true. Theo got into baseball by reaching out directly to Calvin Hill, who was working with the Orioles and had gone to Yale, for an internship while Theo was still in college (I believe that was his junior year). He got the internship and got to know the Orioles FO staff and the rest is history.

The WS meeting was the first time they spoke at length and Theo blew him away to such an extent that Gammo started mentioning Theo whenever he was asked about future GMs.
 

Marciano490

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Used to see Gammons out all the time when I was at BU. Always seemed happy and friendly. Glad he’s still around.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Classic Lou Gorman:
Reading that Gorman entry, I would have settled for Gammons to be "The General Manager" as opposed to "The Commissioner". What an old boys club back in the day, when there were legitimately sportswriters that could do their job better. The corporate nepotism does still happen nowadays, but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Very good read. What a life he had covering the Sox back in the day.
Knowing how much he loved New England I’m not surprised at all about the story of him pulling the car over and crying when he heard Bagwell was traded. Born in Boston, raised in CT, grew up a Sox fan and was so close to living out his dream.
 

Marciano490

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Gammons seems like a dude who’s lived an all time great life. The problem with being an athlete is you spend the second half of life missing what you love. Gammons still doesn’t have that problem.
 

edoug

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Thanks @The Gray Eagle, I love the Ted Williams/DiMaggio story.
Gammons seems like a dude who’s lived an all time great life. The problem with being an athlete is you spend the second half of life missing what you love. Gammons still doesn’t have that problem.
If I could be anybody in sports, I would be Peter Gammons.
 
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bankshot1

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I had two interactions with Gammons, one in the mid 70s where he gave a seminar/talk at BC about covering the Sox and anecdotes. It was a small gathering, maybe 25 attendees and he was so damn friendly and nice and hung around after to chat. Just a really nice person.

The second (and there was no interaction) but it was G1 of the 04 WS, and I had scored crazy good seats and after the Sox won 11-9, Gammons came bopping down the aisle to get on to the field to do interviews and as he floated by me, and nodded at my "hi Peter" he looked just so fucking happy.
 

joe dokes

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The second (and there was no interaction) but it was G1 of the 04 WS, and I had scored crazy good seats and after the Sox won 11-9, Gammons came bopping down the aisle to get on to the field to do interviews and as he floated by me, and nodded at my "hi Peter" he looked just so fucking happy.
A friend gave him a friendly hello some Opening Day, Gammons stopped, shook his hand, told him how great it was to see him. They had never met before. Absolutely the happiest guy around on his happiest day of the year.
 

grimshaw

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Very similar encounter for me too. I approached him for an autograph 25 years ago, and he was smiling the whole time I was walking up to him, instead of the typical "oh god, get me out of here" look.
 

E5 Yaz

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Such a fun story to read. The clincher at the end with the nurse's husband is priceless.
I have two bobbleheads ... Buck O'Neil and Peter Gammons, both on the Mount Rushmore of those who love baseball
 

Plantiers Wart

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Back in the early 90's, I tended bar at a place in CT that ESPN talent frequented. Peter would come in and eat at the bar a couple nights a week. He would talk baseball with anyone, but I preferred the place to be dead so I could monopolize his time. What a great writer, but a better person.
 

MuzzyField

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Back in the early 90's, I tended bar at a place in CT that ESPN talent frequented. Peter would come in and eat at the bar a couple nights a week. He would talk baseball with anyone, but I preferred the place to be dead so I could monopolize his time. What a great writer, but a better person.
One of my students went to the Winter Meetings a few years ago and came upon Peter eating at the hotel bar and introduced himself. As expected, Peter could not have been more cordial. Better person, indeed!
 

Dotrat

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What a great story. I've heard stories about what a wonderful person he is over the years, but it was great to read so many collected in a single piece.
 

Patriot_Reign

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Back in the early 90's, I tended bar at a place in CT that ESPN talent frequented. Peter would come in and eat at the bar a couple nights a week. He would talk baseball with anyone, but I preferred the place to be dead so I could monopolize his time. What a great writer, but a better person.
Alright, that's a nice story now could you spill some dirt on who were the a-holes/ lousy tippers/ do you know who I am ESPN types? :D
 

Swing and a Popup

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Very similar encounter for me too. I approached him for an autograph 25 years ago, and he was smiling the whole time I was walking up to him, instead of the typical "oh god, get me out of here" look.
I met him at a Little Feat show at WPI in 1991. He couldn’t have been nicer. I’ll never forget asking him about Matt Young, and him not saying a word, but looking me right in the eye and shaking his head sadly.
 

Harry Hooper

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Didn't Matt Young use the term "Baseball's pope" in reference to PG?
 

Humphrey

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I met him prior to the 1975 season (I guess The Globe didn't have him stationed in Winter Haven from the get go as it was most likely the first week of March).

He was still covering basketball and got sent to do a feature on Jammin' James Bailey, then of Xaverian Brothers HS. It turned out Bailey was benched for that game because he missed practice. Gammons stayed and watched the game anyway, which always impressed me. I was sitting right in front of him and we had several conversations during the game, some about hoop, some about the Sox.
 

Andy Merchant

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Nice story, thanks for sharing. I loved his Sunday column when I was a kid, heck, how could there possibly be an entire page of baseball notes in the middle of the winter? :)

All of the anecdotes also don't square with the curmudgeon side he showed during paid radio interviews a couple of times. Peter was being showered with praise and was acting like he didn't even want to be there. Weird.
 

Plantiers Wart

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Alright, that's a nice story now could you spill some dirt on who were the a-holes/ lousy tippers/ do you know who I am ESPN types? :D
Berman was a loud mouth, huge drinker, but generous. The “cmon leather, you’re with me”story is absolutely true.

TJ was kind of a dick. Cheap. Joe Theisman was so fucking full of himself it was insane. Most self love I think I’ve ever witnessed in a person.
Bill Clement, the hockey guy was awesome. Like Gammons, would sit at the bar and just tell stories for hours.
Tom Mees was a sweetheart. Linda Cohn was sneaky hot and very nice. Dan Patrick was a regular guy, funny as hell. Oberman was as pompous as you can imagine. One of the waitresses cleaned Charlie Steiner’s place and said it was always full of weed.

I’ll think of more…..it was a fun time
 

CaptainLaddie

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Nice story, thanks for sharing. I loved his Sunday column when I was a kid, heck, how could there possibly be an entire page of baseball notes in the middle of the winter? :)

All of the anecdotes also don't square with the curmudgeon side he showed during paid radio interviews a couple of times. Peter was being showered with praise and was acting like he didn't even want to be there. Weird.
Today, I was taking a bunch of old newspapers out to the curb for recycling and the smell of the newsprint + 90+ degree heat hit me. And that combination is the smell of reading Gammons' Sunday column as a kid at the beach in the 90s. I would pour over his Sunday column, plus the weekly update to the stats page like it was my bible. Shit, it *was* my bible.

To add on to the stories about Gammons being nice, I ran into him when I was working on Fever Pitch at Fenway and he was just excited to see Fenway on screen again. I was a recent college graduate and he could not have been any nicer to me, letting me pick his brain about the 04 Sox (the movie was shot in September).
 

JimD

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Never knew that Gammons first left the Globe to write about hockey for SI. What a weird interlude in a legendary career.
 

E5 Yaz

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Never knew that Gammons first left the Globe to write about hockey for SI. What a weird interlude in a legendary career.
We were pissed when it happened; I forget who the baseball writer at SI was at the time