Gay, Timothy M. 1954–

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Gay, Timothy M. 1954–


Born July 11, 1954, in Warren, PA; son of Jack (deceased) and Anne Harrington (retired) Gay; married Elizabeth Ovalline (a human resources executive), May 28, 1983; children: Allyson, Andrew, Abigail. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Attended Georgetown University. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Catholic.


Home and office— Vienna, VA. E-mail— [email protected]


Writer. Congressman Carper (Democrat-DE), press secretary, 1982-83; Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat-WV), press secretary, 1984-89; Powell Tate, Washington, DC, senior vice president, 1990-99; Dutko International, Washington, DC, senior vice president, 2000-02; Ogilvy Communications, Washington, DC, senior vice president, 2002-05; TMG Communications, Vienna, VA, principal, 2006—.


Society for American Baseball Research.


Seymour Medal finalist, Society for American Baseball Research, 2006, for Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend.


Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2005.

Also author of numerous articles about sports and politics for USA Today, Washington Post, and other publications.


Born in Warren, Pennsylvania, in 1954, Timothy M. Gay spent the early part of his career working as a press secretary for several politicians before becoming involved in the field of public relations. Though politics have played a large role in Gay's life, it is his love of sports that has stuck with him throughout the years. The author of numerous articles on the Civil War, politics, and sports for publications like USA Today and the Washington Post, Gay could have chosen a number of interesting topics for the subject of his first book. In the end, the author chose to write about one of baseball's greatest forgotten legends.

Though Tristram "Tris" Speaker had over 3,500 hits during his nineteen seasons in the major leagues and was considered the greatest defensive centerfielder of his generation, the hall of fame inductee's memory is usually overshadowed by more famous players like Ty Cobb and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Sports biographers have most likely found these men easy subjects in part because of their athletic prowess, but also because of the various scandals both men found themselves embroiled in during their careers. Speaker's life seemed quiet in comparison and not nearly fascinating enough for his own biography. This is where Gay steps in—to show that Speaker not only had an amazing career in baseball, but also an extremely interesting life. In Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend, Gay attempts to show readers that Speaker was no saint. From time to time, the outfielder found himself caught up in some less-than-admirable deeds. Gay points out that Speaker, unlike some of his well-known contemporaries, managed to unravel himself from these situations in order to ensure that he would be remembered for the plays be made on the baseball diamond rather than for his dealings outside the clubhouse. Gay attempts to bring a forgotten baseball legend back into the spotlight with the first major biography of Tris Speaker.

In a review for Booklist, Wes Lukowsky said that Gay's biography of Tris Speaker "filled a serious gap in baseball history." Gilles Renaud, a contributor to Library Journal, called Tris Speaker "a rich analysis of a complex life" and commented that the book "certainly belongs on the sports shelves of general libraries."

Gay told CA that his primary motivation for writing is to "bring stodgy, old history to life." The author is influenced by the works of "classic sports writers" and is inspired to "bring the obscure to light" through his own work.



Booklist, December 1, 2005, Wes Lukowsky, review of Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend, p. 12.

Choice: Current Review for Academic Libraries, May, 2006, W.F. Gustafson, review of Tris Speaker, p. 1637.

Library Journal, November 15, 2005, Gilles Renaud, review of Tris Speaker, p. 73.