Pomrenke: The early origins of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award

From SABR member Jacob Pomrenke at The National Pastime Museum on April 30, 2017:

When John George Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News for nearly a half century, was presented with “baseball’s most prized Oscar” for sportswriters in 1962, you could hardly blame the man for celebrating. His own publication, in a bit of self-serving hyperbole, said it was “an honor he has deserved ever since he was named head of the ‘Baseball Bible’ in 1914.”

Detailing Spink’s qualifications for the award, Til Ferdenzi of the New York Journal-American, a regular Sporting News correspondent, went even further in praise of his boss: “The Spink stamp has endured as a constant and driving force dedicated to the promotion of baseball. It was easy to recognize the crusading spirit of a man who has fought for major, minor, and amateur baseball and has served as the guardian of the game’s morale. . . . It is said that if Taylor Spink had not existed, Organized Ball would have been forced to invent him.”

While these words were laced with a heavy dose of saccharine, it could be argued that no man had done more than Spink to promote the National Pastime in the twentieth century. He was a deserving winner of an award that honored long and meritorious service to baseball.

So what was this illustrious award that sportswriters in 1962 considered their highest honor? The William J. Slocum Memorial Award.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/j-g-taylor-spink-award

Originally published: May 2, 2017. Last Updated: May 2, 2017.