Casey Awards have honored baseball’s best books for 30 years

From James Bailey at Baseball America on May 22, 2013, with mention of SABR members Paul Dickson and Ron Kaplan:

The paparazzi may not camp out front as the nominees parade into the Casey Awards banquet, but to those filing through the doors, the Cincinnati event rivals anything Hollywood can stage.

They come not to fawn over the Best Director or Best Supporting Actress, but instead to recognize the best baseball book released in the previous year.

For 30 years, the editorial staff at tiny Spitball magazine has been honoring authors whose work has made the greatest contribution to baseball literature. But while they take the nominating and judging process seriously, the awards banquet is all about fun. The menu is strictly ballpark fare, with hot dogs and beer in plentiful supply. Instead of a gold-plated statuette, the winner is honored with a gold-lettered bat, a blue Louisville Slugger commissioned specifically for the occasion. And while there’s always a spot on the program for the acceptance speech, tradition demands they leave plenty of time for the annual trivia contest, based, of course, on recent baseball books.

The 2012 award went to Paul Dickson for “Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick,” a biography of the colorful owner and executive who found himself continually butting heads with baseball’s establishment. The outspoken Veeck generated a huge catalog of source material, including several memoirs that likely would have received plenty of support for such a prize had the Casey Awards existed back in the 1960s.

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Originally published: May 22, 2013. Last Updated: May 22, 2013.