SABR Baseball Research Award

The SABR Baseball Research Award, formerly known as the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, honors those whose outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball. 

Eligible projects must be the product of original research or analysis and must significantly advance our knowledge of baseball. They must be characterized by factual accuracy and notable insight. Eligible projects will include, but not necessarily be limited to, research in statistics, statistical analysis and statistical compilation, plus research in such diverse areas as advertising, architecture, bibliography, collectibles, economics, equipment, labor relations and technology. 

Research projects may be of any length and, if published, may be published separately or as part of a larger work. Researchers honored for unpublished work may not later receive an award for that work (or similar work) in published form.

From 1996-2011, the award was known as the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award.

The selection committee includes: Peter Cottrell (chair), Mike Bates, Bill Pearch, and Rich Arpi.

2025 award nominations

Submit nominations for the 2025 SABR Baseball Research Award, honoring research projects completed in the 2024 calendar year, to Peter Cottrell by December 31, 2024. Please include author(s) name, project name, publisher, date, online URL (if applicable), and any other relevant information. Self-nominations are welcome. Non-SABR members are also eligible to be nominated.

SABR Baseball Research Award Winners


  • Robert K. Fitts, Bill Nowlin, and James Forr, Nichibei Yakyu: US Tours of Japan, 1960-2019, Volume 2 (SABR)
  • Edwin C. EppsDuncan Park: Stories of a Classic American Ballpark (Hub City Press)
  • Roy Carlson, for his research on Vintage Topps Baseball Team Cards published at Sports Collectors Daily


  • Robert K. Fitts, Bill Nowlin, and James Forr, Nichibei Yakyu: US Tours of Japan, 1907-1958, Volume 1 (SABR)
  • Judith R. Hiltner and James R. Walker, Red Barber: The Life and Legacy of a Broadcasting Legend (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Justin Mckinney, Baseball’s Union Association: The Short, Strange Life of a 19th-Century Major League (McFarland & Co.)


  • Lawrence Baldassaro, Tony Lazzeri: Yankees Legend and Baseball Pioneer (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Josh Chetwynd, “Taking Your LUMPs: Major League Baseball’s History of Pitchers Failing to Retire a Single Batter in an Outing” (NINE Journal)
  • Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg, Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Stephen M. Bratkovich, The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today (McFarland & Co.)
  • R.A.R. Edwards, Deaf Players in Major League Baseball: A History, 1883 to the Present (McFarland & Co.)
  • Robert K. Fitts, Issei Baseball: The Story of the First Japanese American Ballplayers (University of Nebraska Press)


  • César Brioso, Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the End of Professional Baseball in Cuba (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Roberta J. Newman, Here’s the Pitch: The Amazing, True, New, and Improved Story of Baseball and Advertising (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Christopher Phillips, Scouting and Scoring: How We Know What We Know about Baseball (Princeton University Press)


  • Peter C. Bjarkman, Fidel Castro and Baseball: The Untold Story (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Nathaniel Grow and Zachary Flagel, “The Faulty Law and Economics of the ‘Baseball Rule’ ” (William & Mary Law Review)
  • Bill Nowlin, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Jim Leeke, From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During The Great War (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Steve Steinberg, Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age (University of Nebraska Press)
  • William A. Young, J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs: Trailblazers in Black Baseball (McFarland & Co.)


  • Brian Kenny, Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution (Simon & Schuster)
  • Louis H. Schiff and Robert M. Jarvis, Baseball and the Law: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press)
  • Krister Swanson, Baseball’s Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Peter C. Bjarkman, Cuba’s Baseball Defectors: The Inside Story (Rowman and Littlefield)
  • Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz, The Colonel and Hug: The Partnership That Transformed the New York Yankees (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Lonnie Wheeler, Intangiball: The Subtle Things That Win Baseball Games (Simon and Schuster)


  • Charles Leerhsen, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty (Simon & Schuster)
  • Michael Lomax, Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1902-1931: The Negro National and Eastern Colored Leagues (Syracuse University Press)
  • Ryan A. Swanson, When Baseball Went White: Reconstruction, Reconciliation, and Dreams of a National Pastime (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Daniel A. Gilbert, Expanding The Strike Zone: Baseball In The Age of Free Agency (University of Massachusetts Press)
  • David Vaught, The Farmers’ Game: Baseball in Rural America (Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • Ryan Crotin, Shivam Bhan, Tom Karakolis, and Dan K. Ramsey, “Fastball Velocity Trends in Short-Season Minor League Baseball” (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research)


  • Ron Keurajian, Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide (McFarland & Co.)
  • Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Accurate RBI Records for Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg and Babe Ruth” (Baseball Research Journal)
  • Peter Morris, William J. Ryczek, Jan Finkel, Leonard Levin, and Richard Malatzky, Base Ball Pioneers, 1850-1870: The Clubs and Players Who Spread the Sport Nationwide (McFarland & Co.)


  • Rebecca T. Alpert, Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball (Oxford University Press)
  • Gary Ashwill, Scott Simkus, Dan Hirsch, and Kevin Johnson, Seamheads Negro Leagues Database (
  • Bill Staples Jr., Kenichi Zenimura: Japanese American Baseball Pioneer (McFarland & Co.)


  • Timothy M. Gay, Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Chris Jaffe, Evaluating Baseball’s Managers: A History and Analysis of Performance in the Major Leagues, 1876–2008 (McFarland & Co.)
  • L.M. Sutter, New Mexico Baseball: Miners, Outlaws, Indians and Isotopes, 1880 to the Present (McFarland & Co.)


  • Robert M. Gorman and David Weeks, Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities, 1862-2007 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Dennis Pajot, The Rise of Milwaukee Baseball: The Cream City from Midwestern Outpost to the Major Leagues, 1859-1901 (McFarland & Co.)
  • L.M. Sutter, Ball, Bat and Bitumen: A History of Coalfield Baseball in the Appalachian South (McFarland & Co.)


  • Ron Selter, Ballparks of the Deadball Era
  • Andy Strasberg, Bob Thompson, and Tim Wiles, Baseball’s Greatest Hit
  • Jim Walker and Rob Bellamy, Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television


  • Paul DeBono, The Chicago American Giants (McFarland & Co.)
  • Bill Felber, A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant (University of Nebraska Press)
  • William F. McNeil, Black Baseball Out of Season: Pay for Play Outside the Negro Leagues (McFarland & Co.)


  • John Dewan, The Fielding Bible (ACTA Sports)
  • Ed Koszarek, The Players League: History, Clubs, Ballplayers, and Statistics (McFarland & Co.)
  • Jeff Sackmann, for research found at his website,


  • Will Carroll, The Juice (Ivan R. Dee)
  • Robert K. Fitts, Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game (Southern Illinois University Press)
  • Steven R. Hoffbeck, Swinging for the Fences: Black Baseball in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press)


  • Peter Bjarkman, Diamonds Around the Globe: The Encyclopedia of International Baseball (Greenwood Press)
  • Timothy A Johnson, Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground (Scarecrow Press)
  • Rob Neyer and Bill James, The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (Simon and Schuster)


  • Mark Armour and Dan Levitt, Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way (Brassey’s Inc.)
  • Jim Vitti, The Cubs on Catalina (Settefrati Press)


  • Larry Lester, Baseball’s Black Showcase: The East-West All-Star Game, 1933-1953 (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Joseph Reaves, Taking in a Game: A History of Baseball in Asia (University of Nebraska Press)


  • Jim Albert and Jay Bennett, Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics and the Role of Chance in the Game (Copernicus)
  • David Vincent, Lyle Spatz, and David W. Smith, The Mid-Summer Classic (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Greg Rhodes and John Snyder, Redleg Journal (Road West)


  • Joel Hawkins and Terry Bertolino, The House of David Baseball Team (Arcadia)
  • Tom Simon, representing the Gardner-Waterman Chapter of SABR, The Green Mountain Boys of Summer (New England Press)


  • Greg Rhodes and Mark Stang, Reds in Black and White (Road West)
  • Bob Tiemann for research on attendance in the National Association, 1871-1875, published in the sixth edition of Total Baseball (Total Sports)


  • Joseph Dorinson and Joram Warmund, editors, Jackie Robinson: Race Sports, and the American Dream (M.E. Sharpe)
  • Chris Holaday, Professional Baseball in North Carolina: An Illustrated City-by-City History, 1901-1996 (McFarland & Co.)
  • Marshall D. Wright, The International League: Year-By-Year Statistics, 1884-1953 (McFarland & Co.)


  • Joseph Dittmar, Baseball Records Registry: The Best and Worst Single-Day Performances and the Stories Behind Them (McFarland & Co.)
  • Jonathan Fraser Light, The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball (McFarland & Co.)
  • David Nemec, The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball (Donald I. Fine Books)


  • Dan Gutman, The Way Baseball Works (Simon and Schuster)
  • Richard Orodenker, Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth Century American Sportswriters (Gale Research)
  • Frederick Ivor-Campbell, Robert L. Tiemann and Mark Rucker, editors, Baseball’s First Stars (SABR)


  • George W. Hilton, The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner, 1914-1919 (Stanford University Press)
  • Dan Gutman, Banana Bats and Ding-Dong Balls: A Century of Baseball Inventions (Macmillan)
  • John Benson and Tony Blengino, Baseball’s Top 100: The Best Individual Seasons of All-Time (Diamond Library)