Henry Chadwick Award: David Nemec

David Nemec (1938 –  ): A past recipient of the SABR Baseball Research Award, Nemec is best known for his work in the field of 19th-century baseball history. A college ballplayer at Ohio State before he settled in California’s Bay Area, Nemec got started writing baseball trivia books in the 1970s. He moved on to writing a history of the game’s rules before delivering his signature contributions in the ’90s: The Beer and Whisky League: The Illustrated History of the American Association—Baseball’s Renegade Major League (1995) and The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Major League Baseball (1997), still cited as the definitive treatment of the subject even before it was expanded and republished in 2006. In recent years, he has also compiled and edited a comprehensive trilogy of biographies for 19th-century baseball figures, culminating in The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball: Biographies of 1,084 Players, Owners, Managers and Umpires (2012). However, his contributions to research of the game far transcend a single category, more regularly aiming at entertaining baseball fans of any era. Nemec’s interests have also ranged far beyond baseball, as he’s a playwright who also has eight novels and true crime nonfiction titles to his credit.


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