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.

2015 nominees

Nominations are now closed for the 2015 Larry Ritter Book Award. Here are the nominees being considered:

  • Deveney, Sean. Before Wrigley Was Wrigley: The Inside Story of the First Years of the Cubs’ Home Field (Sports Publishing)
  • Gaines, Bob. The Christian Gentleman: Christy Mathewson (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Grow, Nathaniel. Baseball on Trial: The Origins of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption (University of Illinois Press)
  • Halfon, Mark. Tales From the Deadball Era: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the Wildest Times in Baseball History (Potomac Books)
  • Hornbaker, Tim. Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey (Sports Publishing)
  • Huhn, Rick. The Chalmers Race: Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie, and the Controversial 1910 Batting Title That Became a National Obsession (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Kimberly, Chuck. The Days of Wee Willie, Old Cy, and Baseball War: Scenes from the Dawn of the Deadball Era, 1900-1903 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Nowlin, Bill, (ed). The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston’s Original Worst-to- First World Series Champions (SABR)
  • Robertson, John and Andy Saunders. A’s Bad as it Gets: Connie Mack’s Pathetic Athletics of 1916 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Roessner, Amber. Inventing Baseball Heroes: Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and the Sporting Press (Louisiana State University Press)
  • Ross, J. Brian. Baseball’s Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914 (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Simkus, Scott. Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876-1950 (Chicago Review Press)
  • Snelling, Dennis. Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life (McFarland & Co.)

The finalists will be chosen by March 1 and the winner will be announced in mid-March.

2016 nominations

For details on nominations for the 2016 Larry Ritter Book Award, honoring books published in the 2015 calendar year, please contact Gail Rowe at

Larry Ritter Award winners


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


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


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


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


  • Robert Peyton Wiggins’s The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914—1915 (McFarland)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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