Peter Gammons – Get Well Soon!

The entire baseball world was saddened by the news that ESPN's omnipresent Peter Gammons suffered a brain aneurysm on Tuesday.&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp

Whether or not you like Peter Gammons, you have to acknowledge that he is one of the most recognizable faces of this game we all know and love. Gammons was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame last summer and has been touted by some as the "real" commissioner of baseball.

While he certainly doesn't have the power of ownership, Gammons has been a major architect of the style of notes-based news reporting popularized long before the internet existed, except in Al Gore's head, perhaps.

Through his pervasive internet and television visibility, Gammons is often the source for trade rumors all around the game. Sure, many of them don't pan out for any number of reasons, but many people just can't understand how volatile the rumor business is.

You certainly cannot question the breadth of Gammons' contacts, which include all of the game's power brokers and many more. And, who wouldn't give anything to have his access to them?

While I don't know Gammons well, I respect both his work and his willingness to give to others. For many years, he has been very active in lending his time and name to charitable causes.

Here is the link to a story I wrote about one particular evening where I intersected Gammons' work with The Jimmy Fund, a charity devoted to fighting cancer, especially in youth.

"Rocking with the Enemy…for a Good Cause"

On our message board, several readers have asked if Gammons isn't also a guitar player. Yes, he is. In fact, the photo at the top of this page is a shot of Gammons on guitar that I took at the benefit concert a year ago January noted in the story linked to above.

After that evening, I corresponded back and forth via email with Gammons. While he was very appreciative of the coverage we gave "Hot Stove, Cool Music", he declined my repeated requests for an interview.

I was disappointed, but I understand it completely. Like the respected, Hall of Fame journalist he is, Gammons prefers to report the news, not become a part of it. And I am most positive that he would have preferred not to be in the headlines now, either!

For those displaced Cardinals fans in the Boston area on July 12, another benefit show is planned at Fenway Park. Details here. While Gammons now may not be able to attend, the good cause remains.

Also, Gammons' first CD, "Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old", is on sale now and available next week here, again with 100% of the proceeds earmarked for charity.

In closing, I join everyone in the baseball world in wishing Peter Gammons a speedy recovery.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

© 2006 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories