Longtime Baltimore sportswriter David Ginsburg, who has been with the Associated Press for the past 37 years and has covered Baltimore sports for the past 30 years, is retiring from full-time work in February, and he’s grateful he got to combine his two passions — sports and writing — for so long.
Ginsburg, whose retirement was first reported by Baltimore Baseball, began covering Baltimore sports in 1990. These days, he mostly covers the Ravens, Orioles, Maryland football and basketball and Navy football. Most recently, he covered the Ravens’ 27-13 win against the New York Giants Dec. 27.
“You know what, I loved writing, I loved sports, and I only could hope that this would be what I would do for my entire life,” Ginsburg said on Glenn Clark Radio Dec. 29. “You know how fun it is to cover sports for a living — actually go to a game and get paid for it. Believe me, even when I was at my last Ravens game [Dec. 27], I took a second to step back and go, ‘Man, I am getting paid to see this game. No one else is here. There are no fans, just us in the press box. I’m one lucky guy.’ I felt that way from the start.”
Ginsburg has gotten the opportunity to cover the biggest events in the American sports lexicon throughout the years. He began his career with the AP by covering Washington’s NFL team and Georgetown basketball from 1983-1990, and he covered Washington’s 42-10 victory against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII in San Diego. Doug Williams threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns in becoming the first African American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
Fifteen years later, Ginsburg was in Atlanta covering the Maryland men’s basketball team’s first and only national championship. Maryland beat Indiana, 64-52, to cap off a tournament run in which the Terps also beat Siena, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Connecticut and Kansas. Maryland was led by Most Outstanding Player Juan Dixon, who averaged 25.8 points per game during the tournament run.
For Ginsburg, who graduated from Maryland, covering that Final Four was the most memorable moment of his career.
“In the second half, I stepped back from my laptop and just looked around. I actually get emotional talking about it right now, how much that meant to me,” Ginsburg said. “I went to Maryland, and to see them win the national championship and to write the story, that was it. And I’ve done a lot of good things, but that was the moment where I went, ‘Wow, I am sitting here watching Maryland win the national championship — my alma mater. I’m writing the story. I’m here at courtside.’ I couldn’t have been happier at that moment than any other time of my 37 years.”
Of course, the job includes more mundane tasks as well, like covering close to 81 regular-season home games for a baseball team or midweek media availabilities for a football team. But with that comes the opportunity to build relationships with players, coaches, fans and other writers, something Ginsburg was able to do quite well.
The friendship that sticks out more than most to Ginsburg was the one he had with former Orioles slugger Luke Scott, who hit .260/.342/.485 with 84 home runs during his time in Baltimore from 2008-2011.
“Wonderful person. I met him in spring training. We had a nice talk for a story, introduced me to his family — the type of guy that when you saw him in the clubhouse would go, ‘Hey Dave, how are you doing! Come on over, let’s talk,'” Ginsburg said. “I just really loved that guy. Got to know his mom very well, his brother — a big, hulking guy named Noah. A very religious man, didn’t care that I was Jewish and he wasn’t. We just talked about everything from his gun collection to religion to baseball. Love that guy. Really respected him.”
Ginsburg plans to work full time with the Associated Press until Feb. 14, at which point he’ll transition to covering games locally on a less regular basis. He explained that up to this point, he’s had to schedule every vacation around an Orioles homestand or a potential Ravens playoff run. Now, he’ll have more flexibility with his time.
“My intention is to continue to cover games, only far fewer of them,” Ginsburg said, “and when I want to instead of when I have to.”
Check out some of the cover stories Ginsburg has penned for PressBox:
Ravens Guard Marshal Yanda’s Unlikely Path To Stardom (November 2018)
Holliday Cheer: Johnny Holliday Reflects On Successful Career (December 2014)
Ginsburg also has a Baseball Hall of Fame vote. He reveals his vote every year on Glenn Clark Radio and plans to do so again this year.
For more from Ginsburg, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of David Ginsburg