2018 Larry Ritter Book Award nominees announced

Each year, SABR’s Deadball Era Committee presents the Larry Ritter Book Award to recognize the best new baseball book primarily set in the Deadball Era that was published during the previous calendar year. The Ritter Award is presented during the Deadball Committee’s meeting at the annual SABR convention.

Here is the list of Ritter Award nominees for 2018:

  • The Half-Game Pennant of 1908: Four Teams Chase Victory in the American League, by Charles Alexander (McFarland & Co.)
  • Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character, by Marty Appel (Doubleday)
  • National Pastime: US History Through Baseball, by Martin C. Babicz and Thomas W. Zeiler (Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans’ Hearts, 1901-1952, by Charles Bevis (McFarland & Co.)
  • Showdown at Rickwood: Ray Caldwell, Dizzy Dean, and the Early Years of America’s Oldest Ballpark, 1910-1931, by Art Black (Blue Rooster Press)
  • Borchert Field: Stories from Milwaukee’s Legendary Ballpark, by Bob Bluege (Wisconsin Historical Press)
  • St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team, by Bill Borst, Bill Rogers, Ed Wheatley (Reedy Press)
  • Connie Mack’s First Dynasty: The Philadelphia Athletics, 1910-1914, by Lew Freedman (McFarland & Co.)
  • Hitting Secrets from Baseball’s Graveyard: A Diehard Student of History Reconstructs Batsmanship of the Late Deadball Era, by John R. Harris (independently published)
  • Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, by Dave Heller (McFarland & Co.)
  • From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War, by Jim Leeke (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Black Baseball in New York City: An Illustrated History: 1885-1959, by Larry Lester (McFarland & Co.)
  • Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, by Joe Orlando, Tom Zappala and Ellen Zappala (Peter E. Randall)
  • 1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball: Highlighting the Great 1917 World Series Championship Team, by Mark Pienkos (The Peppertree Press)
  • When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood: The Battle for Manchester, New Hampshire, 1912-1916, by Scott Roper and Stephanie Abbot Roper (McFarland & Co.)
  • Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia, by Courtney Michelle Smith (McFarland & Co.)
  • Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age, by Steve Steinberg (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957 (Volume One), edited by Steven Weingarden and Bill Nowlin (SABR)
  • Sportsman Park in St. Louis: Home of the Browns and Cardinals at Grand and Dodier, edited by Gregory H. Wolf (SABR)

First presented in 2002, the Larry Ritter Award is the centerpiece of the Deadball Era Committee’s endeavors and is bestowed annually upon the best work set primarily in the Deadball Era published during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of late SABR member Lawrence S. Ritter, the author of The Glory of Their Times, the work that revived interest in the Deadball Era and often cited as the greatest baseball book ever written.

The task of reviewing this year’s nominees is assigned to an awards committee chaired by Doug Skipper, with John McMurray, Mark Dugo, David Fleitz, Craig Lammers, Mark Pattison, and Ben Klein as the other judges. The nominees’ list will be pared down to four finalists in early March, with the 2018 Larry Ritter Award to be publicly announced the following month.

For a list of past Ritter Award winners, click here.

Originally published: February 15, 2018. Last Updated: February 15, 2018.