John G. Zinn honored with 2020 SABR Russell Gabay Award

John G. ZinnAuthor John G. Zinn is the 2020 recipient of the SABR Russell Gabay Award, which honors entities or persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to baseball in New Jersey.

Zinn, from Verona, New Jersey, is the chairman of the board of the New Jersey Historical Society. He is a two-time winner of SABR’s Ron Gabriel Award in 2019 for his book Charles Ebbets: The Man Behind the Dodgers and Brooklyn’s Beloved Ballpark and in 2014 for Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn’s Historic Ballpark, 1913-1960, co-authored with Paul G. Zinn.

“John’s research on baseball history in the Garden State has been a standard bearer,” said David Krell, chair of SABR’s Elysian Fields Chapter in New Jersey. “We are proud to honor his efforts with the 2020 Russell Gabay Award.”

“I’m very grateful and deeply honored,” Zinn said. “When I began working on early New Jersey baseball, I had no idea how little work had been done or the important role our state played in the early game. It’s been a pleasure to be able to contribute to a better understanding of the subject.”

The Russell Gabay Award was established by SABR’s New Jersey-based Elysian Fields Chapter and Goose Goslin Chapter. The inaugural recipient in 2019 was the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.

Gabay was a noted sports producer and a native of Springfield, New Jersey. He began his career in the late 1970s, producing for ESPN after graduating from University of Hartford. He later became a Production Manager at HBO, where he supervised several shows, including Inside the NFL, documentaries, and championship fights. Until his sudden death in 2016, Russell was a high-level producer at Major League Baseball Network for more than a decade. He was known throughout the sports industry as a gentleman and a true professional whose generosity knew no bounds, whether towards people trying to break into the business or veterans with several decades of experience.

To learn more about the Russell Gabay Award, click here.


Originally published: January 9, 2020. Last Updated: February 2, 2021.