Larry Ritter Book Award (Deadball)

Each year, SABR’s Deadball Era Committee presents the Larry Ritter Book Award to recognize the best new baseball book primarily set in the Deadball Era that was published during the previous calendar year. The Ritter Award is presented during the Deadball Committee’s meeting at the annual SABR convention.


All Larry Ritter Award-winning books can be purchased at the SABR Bookstore.

2016 nominees

The following books were nominated for the 2016 Larry Ritter Book Award. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner in March 2016.

  • Charles C. Alexander, The Miracle Braves, 1914-1916 (McFarland & Co.) 
  • Dan D'Addona, In Cobb's Shadow: The Hall of Fame Careers of Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann and Heinie Manush (McFarland & Co.) 
  • Charles Fountain, The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball (Oxford University Press) 
  • Tim Hornbaker, War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Jim Leeke, Nine Innings for the King: The Day Wartime London Stopped for Baseball, July 4, 1918 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Charles Leerhsen, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster)
  • Mark A. Leiter, The Miracle Boston Braves of 1914: The Impossible Miracle (Createspace)
  • Laurent Pernot, Before the Ivy: The Cubs’ Golden Age in Pre-Wrigley Chicago (University of Illinois Press)
  • Jacob Pomrenke, ed., Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (SABR)
  • Lyle Spatz, Willie Keeler: From the Playgrounds of Brooklyn to the Hall of Fame (Roman & Littlefield)
  • Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz, The Colonel and Hug: The Partnership That Transformed the New York Yankees (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Ronald T. Waldo, Honus Wagner and His Pittsburgh Pirates: Scenes from a Golden Era (McFarland & Co.)
  • Ronald T. Waldo, The 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates: Treachery and Triumph (McFarland & Co.)

2017 nominations

Submit nominations for the 2017 Larry Ritter Book Award, honoring books published in the 2016 calendar year, to Doug Skipper at by December 31, 2016.

Larry Ritter Award winners


  • Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption, by Nathaniel Grow (University of Illinois Press)
  • The Days of Wee Willie, Old Cy and Baseball War: Scenes from the Dawn of the Deadball Era, 1900-1903, by Chuck Kimberly (McFarland & Co.)


  • Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing, by Mike Lackey (Orange Frazer Press)


  • The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy, by Daniel R. Levitt (Ivan R. Dee) 


  • Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year, by Glenn Stout (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 


  • Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe, by Kate Buford (Alfred A. Knopf)


  • The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914-1915, by Robert Peyton Wiggins (McFarland & Co.)


  • Ballparks of the Deadball Era: A Comprehensive Study of Their Dimension, Configurations and Effects on Batting, 1901-1919, by Ronald M. Selter (McFarland & Co.)


  • Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball, by Norman L. Macht (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball’s Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded, by Gene Carney (Potomac)


  • Peach: Ty Cobb in His Time and Ours, by Richard Bak (Sports Media Group)


  • The American Indian Integration of Baseball, by Jeffrey Powers-Beck (University of Nebraska Press)


  • The Tour to End All Tours: The Story of Major League Baseball’s 1913—1914 World Tour, by James E. Elfers (Bison Books)


  • Before They Were the Bombers: The New York Yankees’ Early Years, 1903—1915, by Jim Reisler (McFarland & Co.)


  • Hal Chase: The Defiant Life and Turbulent Times of Baseball’s Biggest Crook, by Martin Donell Kohout (McFarland & Co.)