Over the past few months, The Athletic has brought in numerous big-name writers to head up a collection of subscription-based verticals, but few (if any) of those new hires have the quite the resume of the site’s newest addition: Peter Gammons.
The longtime baseball writer and 2004 Spink Award winner has joined The Athletic as a contributing writer, Athletic chief content officer Paul Fichtenbaum announced Friday.
Thrilled to welcome the great @pgammo to The Athletic, where he will be a contributing writer.
— Paul Fichtenbaum (@fichtenbaum) September 29, 2017
Gammons’ debut column posted Friday (excepted from the site’s paywall), and it’s a pleasure. What starts as a take on the tumultuous season of Red Sox pitcher David Price becomes a meditation on what makes a good teammate, complete with the type of stories only someone with Gammons’ pedigree could have at his disposal.
(It doesn’t always work that way. The Red Sox of the late 1970s were a me-first team. Late one night, waiting for cabs after a flight into Minneapolis, pitchers Tom Burgmeier and Steve Renko watched one player after another hail cabs for themselves, starting the “25 guys, 25 cabs” line that became an infamous running joke around the league.)
Dodgers players have stories about Chase Utley supporting his teammates that could fill a book. For instance, in one game early last season, Clayton Kershaw was having problems getting strikes called. At the end of an inning, catcher A.J. Ellis got back to the dugout and was screaming at the home plate ump. Utley told Ellis to shut up. Chase then took the batboy’s jacket and cap, gathered a towel, water bottle and some baseballs, and went out to the ump as if he were the batboy. As he handed over the traditional between-inning sundries, and just as the ump realized it was Utley, Chase said, “Look, I don’t want to show you up, I don’t want anyone to see what’s going on, but Clayton’s gotta have those pitches.”
Gammons’ legendary career took him from the Boston Globe to Sports Illustrated, back to the Globe, back to SI, then to ESPN, where he worked from 1988 through 2009. Since leaving ESPN he has appeared on MLB.com and MLB Network while also writing on Gammons Daily, a baseball news and analysis site he launched in 2013.
We don’t know yet how often Gammons will write for The Athletic, but if he peppers all his columns with the kinds of anecdotes he gave us Friday, they will all be must-reads.