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.

To learn more about the origins and history of the Larry Ritter Award, click here.

2017 nominees

The following books were nominated for the 2017 Larry Ritter Book Award:

  • Hal Bock, The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty: Before the Curse (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Richard Bressler, The Cubs and the A’s of 1910: One Dynasty Ends, Another Begins (McFarland & Co.)
  • Keith Craig, Herb Pennock: Baseball’s Faultless Pitcher (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Tim Hornbaker, Fall from Grace: The Truth and Tragedy of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson (Sports Publishing)
  • Roy Kerr, Big Sam Thompson: Baseball’s Greatest Clutch Hitter (McFarland & Co.)
  • Maury Klein, Stealing Games: How John McGraw Transformed Baseball with the 1911 New York Giants (Bloomsbury Press)
  • Brian Martin, Pud Galvin: Baseball's First 300-Game Winner (McFarland & Co.).
  • Thomas Rathkamp, Happy Felsch: Banished Black Sox Center Fielder (McFarland & Co.)
  • Glenn Stout, The Selling Of The Babe: The Deal That Changed Baseball and Created a Legend (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • John Darrin Tenney, Baseball in Territorial Arizona: A History, 1863-1912 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Ronald T. Waldo, Characters from the Diamond: Wild Events, Crazy Antics, and Unique Tales from Early Baseball (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Stephen Wong, Dave Grob, and Francesco Sapienza, Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game's Greatest Heroes and Moments (Smithsonian Books)
  • John A. Wood, Beyond the Ballpark: The Honorable, Immoral, and Eccentric Lives of Baseball Legends (Rowman & Littlefield)

Stay tuned for the announcement of the Larry Ritter Book Award winner in the spring of 2017.

The members of the Ritter Award selection committee are: Mark Dugo, David Fleitz, Ben Klein, Craig Lammers, John McMurray, Mark Pattison, and Doug Skipper.


2018 nominations

Submit nominations for the 2018 Larry Ritter Book Award, honoring books published in the 2016 calendar year, to Doug Skipper at by December 31, 2017.

Larry Ritter Award winners


  • Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen (Simon & Schuster)


  • 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.)