Baseball analyst had been with ESPN since '89

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN after the winter meetings to join MLB Network.

Gammons’ departure from ESPN was announced Tuesday and MLB Network could announce his hiring as early as Wednesday, a baseball official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB Network had not made the announcement.

Asked about his decision at the winter meetings, Gammons said he couldn’t discuss it until Wednesday.

Gammons joined ESPN in 1989 and has been an integral part of its baseball coverage. He wrote for the Boston Globe starting in 1969 and also worked for Sports Illustrated (1976-78, 1986-90).

“Peter was the best and the brightest in making the transition from print to video,” ESPN executive vice president John Walsh said in a statement Tuesday.

The 64-year-old Gammons received the 2004 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing and was honored during the 2005 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He signed in October with Creative Artists Agency.

“My decision to leave ESPN and move on at this point in my life has been conflicted,” Gammons said in a statement. “ESPN gave me a great deal more than I gave it, and will always be a huge part of who I am.”

Gammons interviewed Alex Rodriguez on camera in February, when the New York Yankees slugger admitted using steroids from 2001-03 with the Texas Rangers.

In June 2006, Gammons was stricken with a brain aneurysm while driving near his Cape Cod home. He returned to broadcasting three months later.

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