Bob Ryan calls it how he sees it. Hold the sugar. Give an audience the truth and nothing but the truth, plain and simple. Just ask Tommy Heinsohn and Dwight Evans. At the end of the day, the voice of Boston sports wanted it no other way. And for more than 40 years, Mr. Ryan dedicated his life to this mantra as a sports writer for The Boston Globe.

On Saturday and Sunday, Mr. Ryan will appear in the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival to talk about his career and his new memoir Scribe: My Life in Sports. He will take part in the panel discussion Women and Sports: On the Field and in the Media on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Harbor View Hotel, and will speak at the Chilmark Community Center on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

A stranger to the Island, Mr. Ryan said he is ready to unwind and reflect on the long journey that put his career in the rear-view mirror. “I’m excited,” he said in an interview by phone. “Hopefully this won’t be my last visit. I’ve checked out Nantucket a few times but never the Vineyard.”

Bob Ryan grew up in Trenton, N.J. He graduated from Boston College in 1968, and began working as an intern at The Boston Globe. He earned his big break as a beat reporter for the Boston Celtics during the 1970s. After countless NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowls and Olympics, the rest is history.

Between then and now, the world of sports grew at the speed of light. Major sports leagues transformed into billion dollar operations. Technology erupted, the internet expanded and social media gave athletes a medium of their own. Throughout the seismic changes, Mr. Ryan’s voice remained a refreshing constant.

“As time went on, things changed,” he said. “The logistics of the way you go about your business. The relationship between team, league and writer has changed. Completely new ball game.”

Despite each added challenge, Mr. Ryan never backed down, which meant picking a fight or two along the way.

“You understand from the beginning that it’s part of the deal,” he said. “Every instance it all turned out fine. Heinsohn and I didn’t end well in ’76 but life goes on and we patched up things nicely.”

Heinsohn is Tommy Heinsohn, who coached the Boston Celtics from 1969 to 1978, and has referred to Mr. Ryan as a “cancer.”

Bob Ryan started his sports writing career at The Boston Globe in 1968.

On the baseball diamond, Mr. Ryan also knew how to pick a scab, irritating former Red Sox great Dwight Evans. The all-star spat on the locker room floor at the sight of Mr. Ryan, telling him to never write a single word, negative or positive, about him again.

Mr. Ryan said his thick skin proved a blessing. “You need to take a serious, strong stand,” he said. “You’ll never be taken seriously if you don’t. Prepare yourself for a blowout of some kind. If you can’t do that or take the heat, you’re in the wrong business.”

Toughness doesn’t develop overnight, though, and along the way Mr. Ryan also realized the importance of building trust between journalist and athlete.

“You need to sell yourself as someone who is responsible and easy to talk to,” he said. “It takes a while to develop that trust.”

“In the very beginning you feel star-struck, sure,” he added. “Definitely. I went from sitting in the balcony of the Boston Garden during the playoffs to covering opening night within the span of five months.”

In 2012, the columnist announced his retirement after a 44 years at The Boston Globe. Not that he planned to fade away. Mr. Ryan still makes many appearances on ESPN talk shows Around the Horn and The Sports Reporters, and occasionally filling in as a co-host on Pardon the Interruption. On top of his television and radio appearances, he still writes a column for the Globe on a part-time basis. And after all these years, he says he still feels motivated by the same competitive drive fueling the athletes he continues to write about.

“I love competition. That word itself. Competition. Seeing the outcomes. A lot of people root for the story and the people within the story. I focus on the outcome. I still love the games. Once I stop caring about the game, that’s when I know I’m done.”