SABR 45: Dan Levitt selected as Bob Davids Award winner

Daniel R. Levitt, an award-winning author and past president of SABR’s Halsey Hall Chapter in Minnesota, was announced as the winner of the Bob Davids Award during the SABR 45 Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Chicago.

The award — which is the Society’s highest honor — honors SABR members whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert “Bob” Davids.

“Wow, this is just overwhelming,” Levitt said after the announcement was made. “I could never give back to SABR everything I’ve gotten from being part of this organization. I’ve made so many great friends here, so many connections, and learned so much.”

Levitt is the author of four fine books: Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way (with Mark Armour; winner of the 2004 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award); Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty (a 2009 Seymour Medal finalist); The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy (which won the 2013 Larry Ritter Award); and In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball, published this spring with Mark Armour. 

His research has been published in the Baseball Research Journal, and he has produced a number of biographies for the SABR BioProject. For many years, Dan served on the SABR Board of Directors election nominating committee. He served as editor of The National Pastime convention journal in 2012, focusing on baseball in Minnesota. He has been President and Officer of the Halsey Hall Chapter. On occasion he can be found in left field for the chapter’s Vintage baseball team. 

“The criteria for the Bob Davids Award place great emphasis on two factors: service to the organization and doing the research that is the core of our existence. Dan Levitt best personified those two criteria,” said Dick Beverage, a Bob Davids Award recipient in 2013 who served on the award selection committee along with Jan Finkel and Mark Rucker.

Levitt studied at the University of Wisconsin but migrated north and is a Gopher at heart. In his other life Dan is a Vice-President for Ryan Companies US, Inc. Dan manages the capital markets for Ryan-owned properties where, Beverage said, “He has developed a fine reputation for thoroughness, clarity, creative problem solving, and presentation skills.” 

Previous Bob Davids Award winners in attendance Friday at the SABR 45 Awards Luncheon were: Bill Carle (1993), Len Levin (1997), Lyle Spatz (2000), Larry Gerlach (2001), David W. Smith (2005), John Thorn (2006), Andy McCue (2007), Mark Armour (2008), Tom Ruane (2009), Mark Rucker (2010), Bill Nowlin (2011), Jan Finkel (2012), Beverage (2013), and Leslie Heaphy (2014).

The Bob Davids Award was established by the Board of Directors in 1985, and is awarded each year at the annual convention. Click here to view previous winners.

Originally published: June 26, 2015. Last Updated: July 27, 2020.