LAS VEGAS -- Nick Peters, who has covered more San Francisco Giants games than anyone, was elected winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in voting announced Wednesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Peters, whose career spanned 47 seasons (1961-2007), received the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." He'll be honored at the New York Baseball Writers Dinner on Jan. 25, and recognized during the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony July 27 at Cooperstown, N.Y. Peters, a Spink nominee in 2006-07, received 210 of 447 votes cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of service. Toronto writer Bob Elliott collected 123 votes and Chicago veteran Dave Van Dyck finished with 107.
"I'm really kind of overwhelmed," Peters said. "I didn't expect it after losing the last two years, not being a national guy and being more of a local guy." Peters spent most of his career on the Giants beat at the Oakland Tribune and with the Sacramento Bee, his final employer. A resident of the Sacramento area, Peters also worked at the Berkeley Gazette and the San Francisco Chronicle. Peters identified his career highlight as his career itself -- "being able to do what you grew up wanting to do and being paid for it," he said. "Being a baseball writer was all I aspired to do. I knew when I was in the 11th grade what I wanted to do." Reflecting his authority on the Giants beat, Peters served for many years as the team's correspondent for Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. Upon his retirement this year, Peters had attended all 50 of the Giants' home openers and authored five books on the team. A BBWAA member since 1964, Peters twice served as chairman of the San Francisco-Oakland chapter and is part of the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee that helps formulate the ballot for the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee. While serving in the U.S. Army, he twice was named Alaska Sportswriter of the Year. "When you do something so well for so long, people kind of take you for granted," Sacramento Bee assistant managing editor Tom Negrete said. "With Nick, you never had to worry about your reporter calling in sick, missing deadline, getting the story, being accurate. Nick loves what he does and has more passion for his job than anyone I have ever met. Nick's secret, I believe, is that he outworks everyone." A San Francisco native, Peters was introduced to baseball by following the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals in the early 1950s and by listening to radio recreations of Major League games before the Giants' arrival from New York in 1958.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.