Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award

The Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award was established in 1999 by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) in recognition of Kavanagh’s writing and research achievements and his contributions to SABR. The Award was presented for the first time at the SABR National Convention in West Palm Beach, Florida in June 2000.

The Kavanagh Award may be presented each year for either a research presentation given at the SABR National Convention (papers must accompany any oral presentation), or for a research paper that is submitted to the awards committee between the end of one SABR Convention and no later than June 1 of the following year by a researcher in grades 6-8 (middle school category), grades 9-12 (high school category), or undergraduates 22 and under (college category.)

The awards committee will consist of members appointed each year by the education committee chair. The winner will receive a plaque honoring their achievement and the following, according to his/her category:

  • College ($200 prize and one-year membership)
  • High School ($200 prize and one-year membership)
  • Middle School ($100 prize and two-year membership)

Additionally, the winning entry shall be published on the SABR website (see downloads below) and may be published in either The National Pastime or the Baseball Research Journal. All Finalists (3) shall receive one-year SABR memberships.

Information on how to apply is at the bottom of this page.

2022 nominations

Entries are now being accepted for the 2022 SABR Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award.

All entries must be submitted to committee chair Dr. Leslie Heaphy . Email entries can be sent to lheaphy@kent.edu and mail in papers can be sent to Dr. Leslie Heaphy, KSU at Stark, 6000 Frank Rd., North Canton, OH 44720.

All entries must have to do with baseball history and cannot be fictional pieces. To be considered all entries must include citations for the research and must have a bibliography attached. There is no set length for papers submitted but they need to be at minimum 800 words for middle school, 1,000 for high school, and 1,200 for college.

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2022. For questions, please contact Leslie Heaphy.


Previous Winners

(click on links to read winning entry)



  • None given


  • None given





  • College Division: “Invisible Barriers: Why Baseball Isn’t America’s National Pastime” by Emma Charlesworth-Seiler, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • High School Division: “Branch Rickey: A Vision of an Integrated Future,” by Sam Hubert, Shawnee, Kansas
  • Middle School Division: None given



  • None given




  • College Division: None given
  • High School Division: “Experiments in Bat Design”, Daniel Cooney, Mamaroneck High School, Larchmont, New York
  • Middle School Division: None given



  • College Division: “Hitting Streaks Don’t Obey Your Rules”, Trent McCotter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • High School Division: Victor Wang, “How Much is a Top Prospect Worth?”, Victor Wang, Thomas Jefferson High School, Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Middle School Division: “Jackie Robinson,” Kyle Taylor, Lancaster Middle School, Lancaster, New York


  • College Division: “Babe Ruth’s Game Log & Splits,” Trent McCotter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • High School Division: “The OPS Dilemma”, Victor Wang, Bloomington, Minnesota; and “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Bill James’ Win Shares”, Scott Powers, LaGrange, Illinois
  • Middle School Division: “Determined Win – Percentage; A New Tool for Evaluating Pitcher Performance,” Max Robbins, Short Hills, New Jersey


  • College Division:  “Ty Cobb’s Splits”, Trent McCotter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • High School Division: Scott Powers, “The Rise of Baseball in Japan”, Scott Powers, Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy, LaGrange, Illinois
  • High School runner-up: “Billy Rohr”, Alex Edelman, Maimonides School, Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Middle School Division: “Jackie Roosevelt Robinson”, Alex Paolo, Hope, Rhode Island



  •  None given.


  • “Hank Greenberg and his 1938 season”, Wesley Gapp, Clinton, New York



  • “Harry Wright: Was He the Most Important Baseball Figure of the Nineteenth Century? and “The Hall of Fame Induction Speech Harry Wright Never Gave”, Christopher Devine, Norwalk, Connecticut


  • “The Baseball War, 1900-1915: The Cubs, White Sox and their Fight for Survival and Supremacy”, Barrie Ribbet, Flossmoor, Illinois.


Awards Committee

Kavanagh Award Selection Committee Chair: Leslie Heaphy

For more information, contact Lheaphy@kent.edu or (330) 244-3304.


All papers must be received by the Award Committee Chair by no later than June 1 of the year in which the award will be presented. Proof of age (driver’s license, birth certificate, etc.) must accompany all submissions. The entrant must not have reached their 22nd birthday by July 1 in the year the award is presented in order to compete. Multiple submissions from the same person are permissible.


Papers submitted for the college and high school categories should be of magazine article length (approximately 3,500 words or less). Papers submitted for the middle school category should be 1,000 words or less. Sources may be cited in endnote or bibliographic form. Any topic involving baseball research is appropriate. This includes but is not limited to biographic, oral history and statistical analysis. Researchers are expected to do their own work, however they may, and are encouraged to enlist the help of a mentor, perhaps a SABR member of member committee or a parent or other adult.

Format: Please send your paper electronically (preferably as a .doc, .docx. or .rtf file) to Lheaphy@kent.edu no later than June 1. The paper must be typed in 12-pt font, on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Your name should be on each page as a header or footer.

Cover Page

Include Name; Address; Phone Number; E-mail; School Grade

Research Assistance

Students doing historical research on baseball should feel free to contact the library at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The e-mail address is research@baseballhalloffame.org; and the phone number is 607-547-0330. Students should state their name, postal mailing address, age and grade level, in addition to describing their project in appropriate detail.

If students are competing in National History Day, Night of the Notables Jack Kavanagh award, they should state that. If the research is for a class project, please explain the scope of the assignment.

Students should contact the library as early as possible. The library receives a large number of requests, and sometimes the turnaround time can be several weeks.

Students are welcome to visit the library in person to do their research. The library is open Monday-Friday from 9-5 and an advance appointment is required. An appointment can be made by calling or e-mailing as listed above.