Visser: The Boston Globe Was The Original PTI

Before there was PTI, there was The Boston Globe – and daily arguments between Peter Gammons and Bob Ryan

The DA Show
July 12, 2018 - 12:45 pm

USA Today Images

Video of Pro Football Hall of Famer Lesley Visser with D.A.

Lesley Visser, one of the most accomplished sports journalists of her generation, dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Monday to discuss her illustrious career, which included stops at CBS, ABC, ESPN, and The Boston Globe.

In fact, the Visser-era Globe remains one of the greatest collections of journalistic talent ever assembled. Visser was part of an All-Star cast that included Bob Ryan, Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, and Leigh Montville, among others.

“They were great – and Sports Illustrated voted that sports section the best of all time,” Visser said on The DA Show. “I was just on Bob Ryan’s podcast, and he said, ‘Was there ever anyone like Will McDonough?’ And I said, ‘Yes, you all were.’”

While each Globe sports journalist was great in his or her own right, they were also enhanced by each other.

“I would cover Wimbledon with Bud Collins and say, ‘Hi, I’m Lesley Visser from The Boston Globe. I work with Bud Collins.’ (And they would say), ‘What do you need?’” Visser said, laughing. “And then I’d go to the World Series and (say), ‘Hi, I’m Lesley Visser, I work with Peter Gammons.’ ‘Oh my God, come on in!’ I’d go to the NBA, ‘I work with Bob Ryan.’ As a matter of fact, when CBS first came to me to offer me a job in the early ’80s, I said, ‘Why would I leave The Globe? What are you, nuts?”

Indeed, at The Globe, Visser was surrounded by greatness every day. 

“Absolutely the original PTI was Bob Ryan and Peter Gammons,” she said. “In The Globe sports department, they started the same day, and I absolutely know – John Walsh is a great friend of mine – I’m sure that’s where John Walsh got the idea for PTI. Because every day in the office – because that’s when you had to go to the office – they’d be arguing. Who sweats more: Wes Unseld or Moses Malone? Anything. They would argue about anything.”

Visser won the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2006. She recently authored, “Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says Don't Walk: A Memoir of Breaking Barriers."