Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Get Well Soon, Peter Gammons

I was planning on writing another "Transaction Wire" column today, but it just didn't seem right. Not before mentioning the king of the trade rumor, the only man who knows more obscure prospect names than I do, Peter Gammons. Gammons was found to have a brain aneurysm on Tuesday. He's since had surgery, which went well. Gammons is currently listed in good condition, but will be in the Intensive Care Unit for the next 10-12 days.
Like fellow J.G. Taylor Spink Award recipient Hal Lebovitz, Gammons reminds fans of a bygone time when sportswriters were basically positive individuals. In this day and age, anyone with a keyboard can disparage anyone else. People cut from their high school baseball team make up for it by criticizing the motives and moves of professional athletes and teams. Not so with Gammons. He looks at the game of baseball with a childlike passion and optimism. Every utility infielder from Class A Palookaville has all the potential in the world. People like Gammons and Lebovitz don't need "secret inside sources," because they've earned the trust of players and general managers. They don't need to write shock pieces to draw readership, because their informative, truthful, quality writing builds its own fan base. This is by no means an obituary for Gammons, as I know his passion and optimism will help him pull through. Instead, this is a tribute to a class act.
For the latest news on Gammons, I would trust his employer, ESPN. If you'd like to leave a comment for Gammons, as so many have already, you can do so here. My fellow Gammons fanatics at Deadspin have a nice feature on him as well.
Finally, I'll leave you with a quote from Gammons' Spink Award acceptance speech. It's good advice for everyone, not just sportswriters.

Throughout my career I have tried to be guided by one principle, that because I am human I have the right to like people. But because I am professional, I have no right to dislike any one.