“Here, I’ll show you,” Gregg Mace told me in 2010 as he pushed open the door and walked me down the steps towards the Hershey Bears locker room. I was visiting Giant Center for the first time as a credentialed reporter. I was nervous and lost. I felt like a fan who was intruding. I had no idea where I was going. I lacked confidence that my vision of sports reporting could work.
Mace saw my doubt. He had seen it before. The longtime abc27 sports anchor had mentored countless people over his four decades on television, including ESPN’s Karl Ravech. Mace was encouraging, optimistic, and freely shared his wisdom.
“I know you’re looking to do features and do more fun things. RMNB is great for that. But when the Bears lose, they’re never in the mood to talk about things like that,” Mace told me that night. “Ask them things related to the game, and if you see an opening, go for it. But for more personality-driven questions, you should ask them after practice. Things are looser then.”
He was right. He was always right. Mace gave me so much helpful advice over the years that he didn’t have to. I was just a blogger; he was a titan of the industry.
But Mace was a natural steward and ambassador. Support was just in his nature. He loved the Hershey Bears and wanted the player/reporter relationship to be healthy. He would criticize me sometimes. He built me up other times. He’d call me when he had ideas. He was never scared to be honest because honesty, even though it can suck sometimes, is how you can improve. He was one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic people I have ever met in my life – his wife Caroline, too.
RMNB would not be what it is without him, and I would not be who I am without him.
Gregg died Saturday at age 65. I cried when I saw the news. I am heartbroken now as I write this, tears streaking down my chubby cheeks. I can’t imagine how this has been for Caroline and his son Kyle. I’m sad for them, and I’m sad for any of you who never got to know how special this man was. I’ll try my best to articulate it.