Tom Gage, a 1970 graduate of Washington and Lee University, received the 2015 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which makes him the first W&L alum to be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, NY.
Tom, The Detroit News’ Tigers beat writer since 1979, has covered countless Hall of Famers in his career, and he’ll be joining them onstage this summer when he accepts his award in Cooperstown. The Spink Award, considered the top recognition in the nation for sports journalism, has been held by such writers as Ring Lardner, Red Smith and, most recently, Roger Angell.
A story about him in The Detroit News quoted the paper’s publisher and editor, Jonathan Wolman: “We’re thrilled for Tom to win this honor. He’s been a master storyteller from the ballparks of America, and he’s made the Tigers come alive for our readers. We tip our Olde English D to his terrific coverage.”
Tom is known for his wearing his trademark baseball cap in the press box and for his creative leads. He estimates he’s covered more than 5,000 games—including five no-hitters—in 54 ballparks and written more than 11 million words. The article noted: “In 1989, he famously wrote only an act of God could save the San Francisco Giants in the World Series against the Oakland A’s. The next day, an earthquake suspended play for 10 days.”