Bates: Re-examining the Chalmers Award

From SABR member Mike Bates at The Hardball Times on November 15, 2018:

The greatest trick Major League Baseball ever pulled was convincing the country it was a public entity, rather than a collection of private enterprises, concerned with making a buck. It’s disheartening to think of all the ways MLB sneaks advertising in front of our eyes and into our ears. Every part of the game, from the pregame show to the first pitch to the pitching changes to the postgame celebration, is sponsored by somebody, such that it barely registers until this postseason, when Fox was literally airing commercials between pitches.

That’s why I love the Chalmers Award, one of the first official prizes specifically given to baseball’s best players. I’m reminded of it today, as Major League Baseball and MLB Network prepare an entire night of programming and commercials queued up around the announcement of the MVP winners. The Chalmers Award, on the other hand, never tried to pretend it wasn’t, in large part, a car commercial, that the sweet luxury automobile that served as its prize wasn’t the main attraction. And, when it ran its course, the whole enterprise was unceremoniously dumped by the man and company that created it.

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