Buford’s ‘Native American Son’ Wins 2011 Larry Ritter Award

Kate Buford’s Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe is the winner of the 2011 Larry Ritter Award, given by SABR’s Deadball Era Committee to the best book related to the Deadball Era published in the previous year.

Buford’s fine biography of Thorpe, published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2010, details the story of Thorpe’s legendary athletic achievements: leading the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team to victories against the country’s finest college teams, coached by the renowned “Pop” Warner; winning gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics; defining the burgeoning sport of professional football; and playing long, often successful — and previously unexamined — years in professional baseball.

The award will be presented during the Deadball Era Committee’s meeting at the SABR convention, July 6-10 in Southern California.

Other finalists included:

  • Todd Peterson’s Early Black Baseball in Minnesota (McFarland)
  • Mitchell Conrad Stinson’s Edd Roush: A Biography of the Cincinnati Reds Star (McFarland)
  • Bill Nowlin’s The Great Red Sox Spring Training Tour of 1911 (McFarland)

This year’s Larry Ritter Award selection committee was made up of Gabriel Schechter (chairman), Anthony Basich, Al Blumkin, Jack Carlson, Mark Dugo, Scott Flatow, David Fleitz, Craig Lammers, John McMurray, Mark Pattison, Tom Simon, and Trey Strecker.

For more information on the Larry Ritter Award, including a list of previous winners, click here.

Originally published: March 24, 2011. Last Updated: March 24, 2011.