Gammons to receive prestigious Spink Award

Peter Gammons, a highly respected Major League Baseball journalist, has been elected the 2004 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing.

Gammons will receive the award, presented annually to a sportswriter "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing," during the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 31 in Cooperstown, N.Y. He was selected in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Gammons, 59, has served as a studio analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight along with weekly columns on ESPN.com and regular reports on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.

"Gammons developed the Sunday notes column, which has become a staple in sports sections. Peter writes with skill and flair in a style filled with allusions to cultural icons from Robert Frost to Warren Zevon. His effortless transition from print reporter to TV analyst can be credited for opening the door for many current baseball writers at various electronic media outlets across the continent," the BBWAA said in Sunday's news release.

"... The Groton, Mass., native quickly developed a reputation as a tireless worker, always the first to arrive at the ballpark and last to leave. Gammons' work habits and ability to find connections with even the most difficult players earned him boundless respect and allowed him to develop a vast network of sources," the BBWAA said.

He was voted the National Sportswriter of the Year for 1989, 1990 and 1993 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and was awarded an honorary Pointer Fellow from Yale University.

Gammons began his career as a reporter for the Boston Globe in 1969 upon graduation from the University of North Carolina. He has also worked for Sports Illustrated covering the National Hockey League, college basketball and Major League Baseball (1976-78, 1986-90).

In 1986, upon his return to Sports Illustrated as a senior writer following a second stay at the Globe, he wrote numerous stories covering some of baseball's most important news events and authored Inside Baseball, Sports Illustrated's weekly baseball notebook.

Gammons is also the author of "Beyond the Sixth Game," a look at free agency.

Gammons received 248 votes from the 448 ballots cast by BBWAA members in becoming the 56th winner of the award since its inception in 1962 and named for the first winner, the founder of The Sporting News. Tracy Ringolsby, who has covered the Colorado Rockies for the Rocky Mountain News since their inception in 1993 and a baseball writer for three decades, received 134 votes.