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.

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


2019 nominations

Submit nominations for the 2019 Larry Ritter Book Award, honoring books published in the 2018 calendar year, to Doug Skipper at theskippers1@hotmail.com by December 31, 2018.


2018 nominees

Here is the list of Ritter Award nominees for 2018:

  • The Half-Game Pennant of 1908: Four Teams Chase Victory in the American League, by Charles Alexander (McFarland & Co.)
  • Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character, by Marty Appel (Doubleday)
  • National Pastime: US History Through Baseball, by Martin C. Babicz and Thomas W. Zeiler (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans' Hearts, 1901-1952, by Charles Bevis (McFarland & Co.)
  • Showdown at Rickwood: Ray Caldwell, Dizzy Dean, and the Early Years of America’s Oldest Ballpark, 1910-1931, by Art Black (Blue Rooster Press)
  • Borchert Field: Stories from Milwaukee’s Legendary Ballpark, by Bob Bluege (Wisconsin Historical Press)
  • St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team, by Bill Borst, Bill Rogers, Ed Wheatley (Reedy Press)
  • Connie Mack's First Dynasty: The Philadelphia Athletics, 1910-1914, by Lew Freedman (McFarland & Co.)
  • Hitting Secrets from Baseball’s Graveyard: A Diehard Student of History Reconstructs Batsmanship of the Late Deadball Era, by John R. Harris (independently published)
  • Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, by Dave Heller (McFarland & Co.)
  • From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War, by Jim Leeke (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Black Baseball in New York City: An Illustrated History: 1885-1959, by Larry Lester (McFarland & Co.)
  • Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, by Joe Orlando, Tom Zappala and Ellen Zappala (Peter E. Randall)
  • 1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball: Highlighting the Great 1917 World Series Championship Team, by Mark Pienkos (The Peppertree Press)
  • When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood: The Battle for Manchester, New Hampshire, 1912-1916, by Scott Roper and Stephanie Abbot Roper (McFarland & Co.)
  • Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia, by Courtney Michelle Smith (McFarland & Co.)
  • Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age, by Steve Steinberg (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957 (Volume One), edited by Steven Weingarden and Bill Nowlin (SABR)
  • Sportsman Park in St. Louis: Home of the Browns and Cardinals at Grand and Dodier, edited by Gregory H. Wolf (SABR)

The nominees’ list will be pared down to four finalists in early March, with the 2018 Larry Ritter Award to be publicly announced the following month.


Larry Ritter Award winners

2017

  • The Selling of the Babe: The Deal That Changed Baseball and Created a Legend, by Glenn Stout (Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press)

2016

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

2015

  • 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.)

2014

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

2013

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

 2012

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

2011

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

2010

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

2009

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

2008

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

2007

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

2006

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

2005

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

2004

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

2003

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

2002

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