Bob Davids Award: Tom Ruane

A SABR member since 1991, Tom Ruane has continuously broadened his interests and is now a member of 11 SABR committees! And his memberships are more than nominal as he is a valuable and active contributor. His service to SABR has included membership on the Nominating Committee and as a judge at several SABR conventions.

Subscribers to SABR-L are happily familiar with Tom’s varied posts which are both humorous and definitive. For example, this spring there was a question about George Sisler’s batting average in different months in 1922. Tom replied promptly, not just with accurate information, but also with a clear explanation of the source of some of the discrepancies in the official record that are continuing to come to light. Of course, at the end of this mini-treatise, he closed with his trademark “Thank you for your patience.” It is we who now, with this Bob Davids Award, thank him for his diligence.

The breadth of Tom’s sophisticated research can be seen in the many articles he has written for the research portion of the Retrosheet website. Tom has also contributed to the Baseball Research Journal, Baseball By The Numbers and Nine. Many of you are aware that Tom is also a member of the Retrosheet Board of Directors and is responsible for the wonderfully interconnected links in box scores and player and team statistics. The members of the selection committee are unanimous that this tireless work has been of tremendous value to SABR and to baseball research in general. The fact that he can make such contributions to both organizations simultaneously is a tribute to his unflagging enthusiasm.

In fact, enthusiasm, diligence, good humor, and dedication to detail are all hallmarks of Tom’s baseball research activities. As he explained to me once when I marveled at how much he was doing: “I don’t need a lot of sleep.” Our organization is much the better for the high quality efforts of this fine man. It is my professional and personal pleasure to present Tom Ruane with the 2009 Bob Davids Award.