The Society for American Baseball Research is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award, established to honor the game’s great researchers—historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists—for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.
The 2016 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are:
- John Dewan (1954 – ): John Dewan has spent his career bringing sports statistics to baseball fans and analysts starved for information. First as the executive director of Project Scoresheet, then as a co-founder and CEO of STATS, Inc., and once more as the principal owner of Baseball Info Solutions, John has time and again led the creation of the systems and techniques necessary to collect accurate, comprehensive and timely baseball data. As CEO of STATS Inc, John led STATS’ transition from a small organization serving a handful of teams to the primary sports-data provider of the Internet age, compiling nearly every number imaginable in real-time. After selling STATS in 2000, Dewan returned to baseball data in 2002, co-creating Baseball Info Solutions; he now serves as CEO. The company’s Defensive Runs Saved and underlying defensive data, along with their four volumes of The Fielding Bible in the last 10 years, are widely viewed as the best publicly available sources of defensive data.
- Larry Lester (1949 – ): For more than 25 years, Larry Lester has done as much as anyone to recognize and promote the historical significance of the Negro Leagues and their players. Lester co-founded Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and served as Research Director and Treasurer from 1991 through 1995. From 2001 through 2004, Lester co-chaired the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum’s groundbreaking “Out of the Shadows” project, which unearthed huge amounts of new data about Negro Leagues baseball. As the chairman of SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, Lester organizes the annual Jerry Malloy Conference. He has also written or co-written many of the seminal works about the Negro Leagues, including books about the East-West All-Star Game; Rube Foster; black baseball in Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago, and Pittsburgh; and black baseball’s first World Series. Simply put, it’s difficult to imagine the state of Negro Leagues research today without Larry Lester.
- Norman Macht (1929 – ): Honoring octogenarian Norman Macht might well seem a long time coming. But it might also seem appropriate, since it comes just a few short months after publication of the third and final volume of his biography of Connie Mack, an endeavor that demanded over 30 years of research, writing, effort, and love. The product of Macht’s effort is the definitive biography of one of baseball history’s giants, the first volume of which won the Larry Ritter Award from SABR’s Deadball Era Committee in 2008. Macht’s association with the game goes back to his work in minor-league front offices and as a statistical assistant to Frick Award-winning broadcaster Ernie Harwell, and he also contributed to the autobiographies of Dick Bartell and Rex Barney. A member of SABR since 1985, Macht served as treasurer and secretary while serving on the Board of Directors; he’s also responsible for helping found the organization’s Oral History and Scouts research committees.
- Tom Ruane (1954 – ): A prized member of the SABR family for more than 25 years, Tom Ruane’s broad knowledge and interests have allowed him to contribute to many committees, especially Baseball Records, Statistical Analysis, Biographical Research, and the Biography Project. He received the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest individual honor, in 2009. A longtime board member and stalwart of Retrosheet, Tom has been involved in many of its most noteworthy efforts, including the design and implementation of its website. While Retrosheet had already served a valuable role in the research community, it was Tom’s extensively linked site which made it a prized tool for the masses. He led a group of volunteers to create box scores using official dailies and newspaper accounts, an effort requiring painstaking diligence and persistence that has led to Retrosheet having a complete set of box scores dating back to the early 20th century.
By honoring individuals for the length and breadth of their contribution to the study and enjoyment of baseball, the Chadwick Award will educate the baseball community about sometimes little known but vastly important contributions from the game’s past and thus encourage the next generation of researchers.
The criteria for the award reads in part: The contributions of nominees must have had public impact. This may be demonstrated by publication of research in any of a variety of formats: books, magazine articles, websites, etc. The compilation of a significant database or archive that has facilitated the published research of others will also be considered in the realm of public impact.
For a complete list of Chadwick Award winners, click here.
Originally published: February 16, 2016. Last Updated: February 16, 2016.