John Walsh is one of the rare people who see what most of us never imagined. “The future of television is information,” he told me, a Boston Globe-trained Sports Illustrated guy. “You may be the first here at ESPN to make this transition, but you will not be the last.”
“SportsCenter” then was sometimes 15 minutes at 7 p.m., host only, and I was a part-timer waiting for ESPN to get baseball. It did in 1990, when “Baseball Tonight” was born, and there were those who regarded me as “Walsh’s Folly.” Walsh knew what it would be 20 years on; he knew what I had never imagined, and that my role, which he created, would be more capably filled by Jayson Stark and Tim Kurkjian; Peter Pascarelli and Jerry Crasnick; and my professional godson, Buster Olney. Not to mention Ken Rosenthal and Michael Kay and hundreds of others who, like me, pounded newspaper deadlines and fought the daily war because information is king.