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The J. G. Taylor Spink Award is the highest award given by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The award was instituted in 1962 and named after J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 to 1962, who was also the first recipient. The recipient does not have to be a member of the BBWAA, but every recipient from the award's inception through 2013 had been a BBWAA member at some time; the first recipient to have never have been a member was 2014 recipient Roger Angell.[1]

The Spink Award is presented at the induction festivities of the Baseball Hall of Fame in the year following the selection of the recipient. Through 2010, the award was presented during the actual induction ceremony; since then, it has been presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, held the day before the induction ceremony. In recent years, the Hall of Fame has announced the finalists for the award and final vote totals. Previously, the results were kept secret.

Winners are not considered to be members of the Hall. They are not "inducted" or "enshrined", but are permanently recognized in an exhibit at the Hall's library. For several years in the early 2000s, Spink Award honorees became life members of the Veterans Committee, which elects players whose eligibility for BBWAA consideration has ended, and is also the sole body that elects non-players for induction into the Hall. Starting with elections for induction in 2008, voting on the main Veterans Committee, which then selected only players whose careers began in 1943 or later, was restricted to Hall of Fame members. After further changes announced for the 2011 and 2017 elections, Spink Award winners are eligible to serve on all of the era-based voting bodies that replaced the Veterans Committee (three from 2011 to 2016, and four from 2017 forward).

Among the well-known Spink Award winners are Fred Lieb, Shirley Povich, Jerome Holtzman, Ring Lardner, Wendell Smith, Sam Lacy, and Peter Gammons.

Contents

Recipients of the J. G. Taylor Spink AwardEdit

Note: For the years below — through 2006 — the year reflects when the recipient was announced; the award is formally presented the following year. In 2007, the BBWAA changed the year designation for the award to coincide with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, i.e., the year after the award is announced. This makes it appear as though 2007 was skipped, though it was not.

Year Honoree Beat
1962 J. G. Taylor Spink St. Louis
1963 Ring Lardner Chicago
1964 Hugh Fullerton Chicago
1965 Charles Dryden Chicago
1966 Grantland Rice New York City
1967 Damon Runyon New York City
1968 H. G. Salsinger Detroit
1969 Sid Mercer New York City
1970 Heywood Broun New York City
1971 Frank Graham New York City
1972 Dan Daniel New York City
1972 Fred Lieb New York City
1972 J. Roy Stockton St. Louis
1973 Warren Brown Chicago
1973 John Drebinger New York City
1973 John F. Kieran New York City
1974 John Carmichael Chicago
1974 James Isaminger Philadelphia
1975 Tom Meany New York City
1975 Shirley Povich Washington, D.C.
1976 Harold Kaese Boston
1976 Red Smith New York City
1977 Gordon Cobbledick Cleveland
1977 Edgar Munzel Chicago
1978 Tim Murnane Boston
1978 Dick Young New York City
1979 Bob Broeg St. Louis
1979 Tommy Holmes New York City
1980 Joe Reichler New York City
1980 Milton Richman New York City
1981 Allen Lewis Philadelphia
1981 Bob Addie Washington, D.C.
1982 Si Burick Dayton, Ohio
1983 Ken Smith New York City
1984 Joe McGuff Kansas City, Missouri
1985 Earl Lawson Cincinnati
1986 Jack Lang New York City
1987 Jim Murray Los Angeles
1988 Bob Hunter Los Angeles
1989 Ray Kelly Philadelphia
1989 Jerome Holtzman Chicago
1990 Phil Collier San Diego
1991 Ritter Collett Dayton, Ohio
1992 Leonard Koppett New York City
1992 Bus Saidt Philadelphia
1993 Wendell Smith Pittsburgh
1994 (no award presented) n/a
1995 Joe Durso New York City
1996 Charley Feeney New York City
1997 Sam Lacy Washington, D.C.
1998 Bob Stevens San Francisco
1999 Hal Lebovitz Cleveland
2000 Ross Newhan Los Angeles
2001 Joe Falls Detroit
2002 Hal McCoy Dayton, Ohio
2003 Murray Chass New York City
2004 Peter Gammons Boston
2005 Tracy Ringolsby Denver
2006 Rick Hummel St. Louis
2007 (see explanatory note at top of section) n/a
2008 Larry Whiteside Boston
2009 Nick Peters San Francisco
2010 Bill Madden New York City
2011 Bill Conlin Philadelphia
2012 Bob Elliott Montreal/Toronto
2013 Paul Hagen Dallas–Fort Worth/Philadelphia
2014 Roger Angell The New Yorker
2015 Tom Gage Detroit
2016 Dan Shaughnessy Boston
2017 Claire Smith New York City
2018 Sheldon Ocker Akron, Ohio

ControversyEdit

The award has received immense scrutiny given the relative ambiguity, and subjective use of the 'character clause' that is exercised by many baseball writers when voting players into the Hall of Fame, a stipulation that is not included in the Spink honor.[2] Most notoriously, writer and alleged child molester Bill Conlin received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2011 and has since held the title even after multiple allegations of sexual assault from family members, coupled with his immediate resignation from the Daily News and never denying or challenging the accusations.[3]

Similarly named awardEdit

This award should not be confused with the identically named J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is awarded to the Minor League Player of the Year by the Topps Company, in conjunction with Minor League Baseball.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Roger Angell Wins Spink Award" (Press release). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Reimer, Alex. "BBWAA Must Remove Character Clause If Alleged Child Molester Bill Conlin Stays In Hall Of Fame". 
  3. ^ "Four say Philly Daily News writer Bill Conlin sexually abused them as children". 
  4. ^ See Baseball awards#U.S. minor leagues and Wild, Danny (October 28, 2009). "Giants' Posey wins '09 Spink Award: Catcher skipped Double-A, dominated at San Jose, Fresno". Minor League Baseball (MiLB.com). Retrieved 2010-06-09.  See also MLB 2009 Awards (MLB.com/News/Awards/2009 Awards). MLB Advanced Media, L.P. (MLB.com). Retrieved 2010-06-09.

External linksEdit