In the 1990s, SABR dramatically expanded its awards program and the recognition it provides for outstanding accomplishment in baseball research. Every year, writers and researchers add to our knowledge and understanding of baseball with quality scholarship in the form of books, articles and other media.
SABR’s highest honor, the Bob Davids Award, was established in 1985 and is awarded to the member whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert “Bob” Davids. (The society’s oldest honor, the SABR Salute, was awarded from 1976 to 2001.)
The Henry Chadwick Award, established in 2010, honors baseball’s great researchers — historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists — for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.
The annual research award winners are honored at the SABR convention (nominations are typically due in December or January). The Seymour Medal, the SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards, the SABR Baseball Research Award (formerly The Sporting News-SABR award), and the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award recognize works completed during a calendar year. The Ron Gabriel Award honors the best Brooklyn Dodgers research of the past year. The Lee Allen and Jack Kavanagh youth research awards are based roughly on the school year. The Doug Pappas and SABR Convention Poster Presentation awards recognize the best presentations at the annual convention.
These research committees also present annual awards: the Larry Ritter Book Award (Deadball Era Committee), Roland Hemond Award (Scouts Committee), the George Michael Award (Pictorial History), the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award (Women in Baseball), and the Jefferson Burdick Award (Baseball Cards).
The individuals and projects listed here are examples for researchers to follow as they expand our knowledge and understanding of baseball and perhaps achieve recognition for their own work.