The Society for American Baseball Research is pleased to announce the 2017 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 2017 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are:
- Peter C. Bjarkman (1941 – ) is the author of more than 40 books on sports history, including academic histories, coffee-table pictorials, and biographies for young adults. Best known as the leading authority on post-revolution Cuban League baseball, he has also helped to shape our understanding of the long, often difficult interaction between baseball in Latin America and Major League Baseball. His 2007 book, A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006 is the definitive work on the subject. His most recent work is Cuba’s Baseball Defectors: The Inside Story.
- Dan Levitt (1962 – ) is the author or co-author of several baseball books, covering the Federal League, longtime Yankee general manager Ed Barrow, and the evolution of team building. The breadth of his research contributions includes biography, records (discovering the season record for lowest ERA), statistical analysis, labor relations (an extensive project with the Major League Baseball Players Association), economics (uncovering the truth behind Harry Frazee’s finances), and more, studying more than a century of baseball history. He has received several awards for his research, and his extensive contributions to SABR earned him the Bob Davids Award in 2015.
- Larry McCray (1942 – ) created the vast and invaluable Protoball Project, to help researchers and writers locate and refine primary data on the evolution and spread of ball play from ancient times to up to 1870, just before the first professional baseball league began. Enlisting the efforts of 100 other “diggers,” as they are termed on the site, Larry is the man most responsible for the new public understanding of baseball’s predecessor games. He served as Guest Editor of the special Protoball issue of Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, featuring more than thirty articles on this long neglected and little understood area.
- Lyle Spatz‘s (1937 – ) most lasting contribution to baseball research might be his long tenure (1991-2015) as the accomplished chairman of SABR’s Records Committee, years of great change in the field. He also has found the time to write dozens of articles and many books on the game, spanning such subjects as All-Star games, Yankee opening days, Yankee transactions, Bill Dahlen, Willie Keeler, and his childhood hero Dixie Walker. His book 1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York (with Steve Steinberg) won the Seymour Medal, among many research honors Lyle has received.
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 21, 2017. Last Updated: February 21, 2017.