Bob Davids Award: Larry Gerlach

Although the phrase “a gentleman and a scholar” gets tossed around very easily, in reality the description fits very few people. Larry qualifies on both counts. He has all the requisite diplomas and titles to prove the scholar part and the testimony of everyone who knows him to prove the gentleman part.

Since joining SABR in 1978, Larry has served the organization in just about every way possible. He founded and served as the first chairman of the Umpires and Rules Committee and co-founded a regional chapter in Salt Lake City. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1991, reelected in 1995, and then elected President of SABR in 1997.

Larry also served on the Seymour Award Committee, and has written numerous articles for various SABR publications. Among the highly respected publications that have published his research are Total Baseball, Nine, Baseball History, The Cooperstown Review, and The Journal of Sports History.

Those are his official contributions, the ones you can see listed in the SABR Directory. But Larry’s overall contributions to the organization go well beyond that. As one of the leading experts on the history of umpires and umpiring, he has answered countless questions on the subject from members of both this organization and the media.

Throughout his years on the Board and as president, Larry fulfilled his duties with dedication and vision, and perhaps more important, in light of recent events, with good humor and civility. But even beyond that, there are very few of us that attend these conventions and have sat around and swapped stories with him, who have not benefited from Larry’s wit, wisdom, and warmth.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that we present the 2001 Bob Davids Award to Larry Gerlach.