Back in December Tom Gage, Tigers beat writer for the Detroit News since 1979, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. The Spink is given for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Winners of the Spink Award, which dates back to 1962 are honored by being included in a special permanent media exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s a big deal for the recipients, obviously, and a big deal for the baseball writers who vote on it.
Which makes this bit of news about Gage’s future a bit . . . awkward:
thanks to all who’ve asked, but after 36 yrs, am no longer on #Tigers beat despite winning Spink Award – not my doing, will greatly miss it
— Tom Gage (@Tom_Gage) February 9, 2015
Obviously career awards are not the same thing as current merit and obviously the Detroit News has a business to run. But this was not a mere gold watch award for an old timer, as some other Spink Awards have been. Gage is still an excellent beat writer who doesn’t draw attention to himself, doesn’t complain and who isn’t a polarizing personality like some other baseball writers can be.
And for cryin’ out loud, the guy is going to be on the state at Cooperstown giving an acceptance speech in five months. This couldn’t have waited until after that?