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Gary Tanguay not slowing down during cancer treatments

Gary Tanguay, a fixture on Boston television since his days at Channel 4 two decades ago, announced in April that he is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Gary Tanguay, a fixture on Boston television since his days at Channel 4 two decades ago, announced in April that he is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.GLOBE FILE PHOTO

Gary Tanguay had only a moment to talk early Wednesday evening, an interviewer catching him on the telephone just a few minutes before he was set to go on the air to co-host NBC Sports Boston’s “Early Edition” program.

Such scenarios don’t lend themselves to long interviews. But in this particular scenario, it’s nothing less than continued good news.

Tanguay, a fixture on Boston television since his days at Channel 4 two decades ago, announced in April that he is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

But during his treatment at Dana-Farber, he has remained on NBC Sports Boston’s programming, which was interpreted as a hopeful sign.


Tanguay, one of the most well-liked people on the Boston media scene among his peers and colleagues, confirmed that his treatment has gone well and he is feeling as good as can be expected.

“The doctors at Dana-Farber have been amazing, and the support from Boston sports fans and our viewers has been great,’’ he said. “There’s a lot to be said for keeping a positive attitude, too.”

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a blood cancer considered to be one of the more treatable forms of cancer if detected early.

Tanguay has been his usual self on the air — his takes are never lukewarm, let’s put it that way — and the only noticeable difference is an expected one. His hair has given way to the Mr. Clean look. He shaved it off after it began falling out after he began treatment.

“My son told me it doesn’t look as bad as he expected it to,’’ Tanguay said with a laugh.

Since shaving his head, Tanguay has been posting short videos on Twitter wearing different hats that people have sent him.

In the clips, he encourages viewers to donate to Dana-Farber and associated fund-raisers, such as the superb The Ringer basketball writer and Massachusetts native Kevin O’Connor’s since-completed “Dunk On Cancer” fund-raiser. O’Connor’s dad, Paul, is battling cancer.

“It’s good to be using social media for good once,’’ said Tanguay.

Timeless performance

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Pedro Martinez struck out five of the six National League hitters he faced — including Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Jeff Bagwell — in a transcendent performance during the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Especially since we’re getting to the point in which the current Red Sox might want to consider giving Martinez a look as their No. 5 starter.


But the 20-year anniversary of his performance is July 13, and it’s getting a proper salute.

Sunday night at 8, NESN premieres “Rewind to ’99,’’ in which Martinez sits down with host Tom Caron and narrates his performance, batter by batter and pitch by pitch. “Rewind to ’99” will re-air several times next week, including at 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

The MLB Network is acknowledging that unforgettable evening with a special feature to air during its coverage in advance of the All-Star Game Tuesday. It will premiere in the noon hour on Monday.

Narrated by 1999 All-Star Game announcer and Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck, the piece includes a new interview with Martinez, who is now an MLB Network analyst.

“That year, everything was there and everything clicked for me. I felt healthy, I felt like I could spot the ball with any [of] my pitches,’’ said Martinez, who went 23-4 with 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts in 213⅓ innings that season, which was right in the heart of the steroid era.

The feature also will look at some of the other highlights of the night, including the introduction of Major League Baseball’s All-Century team, and the impromptu salute the All-Stars had on the field for Ted Williams, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.


Ratings winner

The diverse and charismatic US women’s soccer team has been a ratings smash on Fox during its charge to Sunday’s World Cup final against the Netherlands.

During their 2-1 victory over England in Tuesday’s semifinal, goal scorer and tea sipper Alex Morgan and friends averaged 7.03 million viewers and earned a 4.3 household rating on the network, remarkable numbers for a daytime match in July. How remarkable? The showdown outrated 69 of the 76 NBA playoff games this season, including all six Eastern Conference finals broadcasts on TNT.

That viewership does not include the more than 300,000 who streamed the match, nor does it include those watching on television in bars and restaurants. It is the most-watched daytime sporting event since the 2014 men’s World Cup.