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Hamtramck Stadium Gets Historical Marker!

August 15, 2014 By: Gary Category: Awards, Ballparks, Media

Thursday, August 14, Comerica Bank and Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium (FHHS) unveiled a Michigan Historical Marker commemorating the former Negro League stadium. The purchase and installation of the marker was made possible by a $5,000 grant from Comerica Bank presented to FHHS during a special on-field check ceremony before a Detroit Tigers Negro League Weekend game at Comerica Park earlier this season.

“Hamtramck Stadium is a hidden gem, home to Hall of Famers and high schoolers alike, waiting to be rediscovered and polished until it sparkles anew with kids playing sports,” said Gary Gillette, Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium’s president.

The newly installed marker, erected with permission from the Michigan Historic Commission, is located at the western end of Veterans Memorial Park near Joseph Campau Street in Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit. The Hamtramck Stadium marker joins the Col. Jean-Francois Hamtramck memorial and the Dodge Brothers historical marker, also situated at the western end of the park.

“Comerica’s support of the metro Detroit community is longstanding and we’re glad to help preserve the history of Hamtramck Stadium for generations to come,” said Linda Forte, Comerica’s senior vice president and chief diversity officer. “As one of only a few remaining Negro League ballparks, Hamtramck Stadium is an important reminder of African American history not only in Detroit but across the country. We hope our contribution encourages others to provide support.”

Hamtramck Stadium was built in 1930 by Detroit Stars owner John Roesink, a local businessman and promoter of semi-pro baseball. The stadium was home to the Negro National League Detroit Stars in 1930-1931 and again in 1933. The field was also home to the Detroit Wolves of the Negro East-West League in 1932 and the Negro American League Detroit Stars in 1937. The deciding games of the 1930 Negro National League Championship Series were played in Hamtramck, with Detroit losing to St. Louis in seven games.

The City of Hamtramck acquired the stadium in 1940. The next year, the stadium was renovated by the Wayne County Road Commission. Its current configuration dates to the 1970s. The grandstand has not been used since the 1990s.

For more information about Hamtramck Stadium, please visit www.hamtramckstadium.org.

2014 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award Winners

April 27, 2014 By: Gary Category: Awards, Media

Lindbergh Receives 2014 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

Ben Lindbergh, editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus and a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, has been selected as winner of the second annual Greg Spira Baseball Research Award. Lindbergh’s 2013 essay, “The Art of Pitch Framing,” written for Grantland, analyzed the catchers best able to earn borderline strike calls, illustrating how skilled framers can get positive verdicts over less-skilled catchers–even when the identical pitch in a specific location is viewed by the same umpire.

Lindbergh determined that baseball’s best pitch framer is not the Molina that necessarily comes to mind. His blending of data, video, interviews, and analysis exemplifies the type of work that the Greg Spira Award was created to honor. Lindbergh receives $1,000 as the top prize. He can be contacted at BLindbergh@BaseballProspectus.com.

When informed he had won the 2014 Spira Award, Lindbergh said, “The Internet has made it much easier for good work to be recognized, and I’m honored to have been chosen from a deep lineup of under-30 baseball writers. I had a chance to work with Greg on the Internet Baseball Awards, and I’m confident that the community’s recent attempts to quantify catcher defense would have appealed to his inquisitive spirit. Greg’s legacy lives on through the IBAs and through this Award.”

Given in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger, the winners were announced today, April 27, which would have been Greg Spira’s 47th birthday. Spira, a longtime member of the Society of Baseball Research, was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991. Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball group and via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

Pieces eligible for consideration for the Spira Award included those published on the World Wide Web, in e-books, and in print, as well as academic dissertations and presentations at conferences. Entries needed to display innovative analysis or reasoning.

Eleven judges evaluated the submissions for the second annual Spira Award; they were a mix of baseball writers and researchers who knew and respected Greg Spira and his work. The panel consisted of Sean Lahman, Gary Gillette, Sean Forman, Matthew Silverman, Claudia Perry, Rod Nelson, Carl Rosin, Dvd Avins, and Greg’s brother Jonathan Spira, plus Trent McCotter and Dan Farnsworth, both recipients of inaugural Greg Spira Awards. McCotter claimed first place in 2013 and Farnsworth placed second.

The $200 second prize goes to James Santelli for “Pirates Defensive Shifts: The Hidden Secret Behind Baseball’s Best Team.” Santelli’s piece originally appeared on PiratesProspects.com; he can be reached at JRSantelli@GMail.com.

Santelli is a senior at the University of Southern California, majoring in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and minoring in Sports Media Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He serves as associate sports director for Annenberg TV News and a production intern for Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles.

“It is a great honor to take second place for this award,” said Santelli upon being notified. “Beyond that, I am lucky to be following baseball in a time when public research and analysis of the game is so thriving. I don’t think we would have such a vibrant online community for sabermetrics without people like Greg, who were using the Internet for baseball analysis before I was even born.”

The $100 third prize is awarded to Noah Woodward, whose piece on declining pitch movement over the course of a game, “Loss in Movement as the Game Progresses” appeared in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014. A senior economics major at Davidson College, Woodward writes for BeyondtheBoxScore.com as well as the Hardball Times.

“Greg was an incredibly thoughtful and collaborative writer,” said Woodward, “and it is an honor to be recognized for an award in his name.” E-mail Woodward at NoWoodward15@GMail.com

All three 2014 winners will be invited to serve as judges for the 2015 Spira Award.

Remembrances, tributes, and information about Greg Spira can be found at:

The Greg Spira Memorial Baseball Library is housed at the Society for American Baseball Research office in Phoenix, Arizona. Visitors to the SABR office are welcome to use the Greg Spira Memorial Baseball Library for research or reading. Please call (602) 343-6455 before visiting to check on office hours and availability.

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or contact Gary Gillette, Secretary for the Spira Award Committee.

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Greg Spira Award 2014 Rules Announcement

January 16, 2014 By: Gary Category: Awards, Media

Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

Rules and Procedures for Nominations for the 2014 Award

The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award Committee (www.SpiraAward.org) has announced the rules and procedures for nominations for the second annual Greg Spira Baseball Research Award. The winner of the 2014 Greg Spira Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The committee will also recognize two additional writers with awards of $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

The inaugural Spira Award was presented to Trent McCotter of Washington, D.C., last year. Dan Farnsworth and Caleb Hardwick were honored as second- and third-place winners, respectively.

The Nomination Period will open at 12:01 a.m. EST on January 16, 2014, and remain open through 11:59 p.m. EST on February 15, 2014. Nominations received before or after the Nomination Period will not be considered.

The Nomination Form for the Greg Spira Award can be found at www.SpiraAward.org. Anyone can nominate a qualifying piece for the Award, and self-nominations by authors are welcome. Note, however, that only one entry per author will be considered for the Greg Spira Award.

In order to be eligible for nomination, a piece or book must be about baseball and must contain original analysis or research. Nominated pieces or books must have been published between January 16, 2013, and January 15, 2014. Articles, papers, and books eligible for consideration include those published in print or in e-books, those published or posted on the World Wide Web, academic papers or dissertations, and papers presented at professional or public conferences.

In the event of multiple nominations, a self-nomination by the author takes priority over any piece nominated by a third party. If multiple pieces by one author are nominated by third parties, the judges will attempt to contact the author to ascertain which piece he/she wants to be considered. If the author fails to respond, the judges will evaluate the first piece submitted and ignore any other nominated pieces by that author.

The Publication Period dates have been chosen so that pieces published about the annual January Hall of Fame election are eligible for consideration without having to wait a full year. This also ensures that pieces about Spink Award, Frick Award, and Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored in Cooperstown on the same July weekend will not be split between two Greg Spira Awards. (The Spink, Frick and Veterans Committee selections are announced in December, while the Baseball Writers Association of America selections are announced in early January.)

The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award winners will be announced on April 27, 2014, the 47th anniversary of Greg’s birth. Winning entries must display innovative analysis or reasoning by an author who was 30 years old or younger at the time of the entry’s publication.

A panel of judges–including Greg’s brother Jonathan Spira, the creators of the Award, and several close friends of Greg–will determine the winners of this innovative competition. The selections of the judges are final and not appealable.

About Greg Spira

A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, baseball researcher Greg Spira died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City. Spira was an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, and he later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor.

Working with the Spira family, the creators of the Greg Spira Award include Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, Joe Hamrahi and Dave Pease of Baseball Prospectus, Sean Lahman of Baseball1.com, and Gary Gillette of 24-7 Baseball, L.L.C.

Remembrances, tributes, and other information about Greg Spira can be found on these Web sites:

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or send a message to Info(AT)SpiraAward.org.

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Trent McCotter Wins Inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

April 27, 2013 By: Gary Category: Awards, Media

Trent McCotter Wins Inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

April 27, 2013–Trent McCotter has been selected as winner of the first annual Greg Spira Baseball Research Award. McCotter’s 2012 essay, “Cal Ripken’s Record for Consecutive Innings,” compiled for the first time the correct total of consecutive innings (8,264) played by the Orioles’ great shortstop between 1982 and 1987. McCotter’s extensive research also created a list of every player who ever played at least 2,500 consecutive innings, information previously unknown despite the fact that the players involved had all retired many decades ago.

The article by McCotter, an attorney living in Washington D.C., first appeared in the Fall 2012 edition of the Society of American Baseball Research’s Baseball Research Journal (Volume 41, No. 2). [http://sabr.org/latest/ripken-s-record-consecutive-innings-played] It was this type of research and presentation that the Greg Spira Research Award was created to honor.

“Greg was one of the top baseball researchers of our time?and probably the person most responsible for bringing baseball discussion to the Internet in its early days,” said McCotter. “But more importantly, he was an all-around nice guy, someone whose innumerable research credits show his willingness to share his work with others. I know his friends and family have put a lot of effort into preserving his memory, which is why it is such an honor to be chosen for the first Greg Spira Award. I hope it will encourage other young writers to focus their efforts on baseball research and analysis.”

Given in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger, the winners were announced today, April 27, which would have been Greg Spira’s 46th birthday. Spira was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991, now maintained by Baseball Prospectus [www.baseballprospectus.com/iba]. Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball and via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

Pieces eligible for consideration for the Spira Award included those published on the World Wide Web, in e-books, and in print, as well as academic dissertations and presentations at conferences. Entries needed to display innovative analysis or reasoning to be considered.

The dozen judges who evaluated the submissions for the first annual Spira Award were a mix of baseball writers and researchers who knew and respected Greg Spira and his work. The panel consisted of Sean Lahman, Gary Gillette,?Sean Forman,?Matthew Silverman, Dave Pease, Joe Hamrahi, Claudia Perry, Stuart Shea, Rod Nelson, Carl Rosin, Dvd Avins,?and Greg??s brother, Jonathan Spira.

“One of the submissions that I read in my first round of judging was ‘Ripken’s Record for Consecutive Innings Played,” said Jonathan Spira. “This was not only an article Greg would have liked, but it sounded like the type of article he would have written as well, both in tone and subject matter. I was pleased that my fellow judges agreed with my assessment and that Mr. McCotter is being awarded the first ever Greg Spira Baseball Research Award.”

McCotter received $1,000 as the top prize for his article on Ripken’s consecutive innings streak. The $200 second prize went to Dan Farnsworth’s article on the economics of team restructuring, “Is Rebuilding Worth It?” A 2008 graduate of Franklin & Marshall, Farnsworth serves as director of baseball operations and player development at Carmen Fusco’s Pro Baseball & Softball Academy in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. His article was originally published on Frangraphs.com [http://www.fangraphs.com/community/is-rebuilding-worth-it/].

The $100 third prize went to Caleb Hardwick’s detailed Web site and database about baseball in the 25th state: Arkansas Baseball Encyclopedia [http://arkbaseball.com/tiki-index.php]. Hardwick, 19, a student at the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas, has spent four years on the project and continues to add features to the site.

All three 2013 winners will be invited to serve as judges for the 2014 Spira Award.

Remembrances, tributes, and information about Greg Spira can be found at:

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or contact Gary Gillette, Secretary for the Spira Award Committee (GilletteAT247Baseball.com).

?30?

Greg Spira Baseball Research Award Nomination Period Opens

January 16, 2013 By: Gary Category: Awards, Media

Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

Rules and Procedures for Nominations for the 2013 Award

The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award Committee (www.SpiraAward.org) has announced the rules and procedures for nominations for the inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award. The winner of the Greg Spira Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The committee will also recognize two additional writers with awards of $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

The Nomination Period will open at 12:01 a.m. EST on January 16, 2013, and remain open through 11:59 p.m. EST on February 15, 2013. Nominations received before or after the Nomination Period will not be considered.

The Nomination Form for the Greg Spira Award can be found at www.SpiraAward.org. Anyone can nominate a qualifying piece for the Award, and self-nominations by authors are welcome. Note, however, that only one entry per author will be considered for the Greg Spira Award.

In order to be eligible for nomination, a piece or book must be about baseball and must contain original analysis or research. Nominated pieces or books must have been published between January 16, 2012, and January 15, 2013. Articles, papers, and books eligible for consideration include those published in print or in e-books, those published or posted on the World Wide Web, academic papers or dissertations, and papers presented at professional or public conferences.

In the event of multiple nominations, a self-nomination by the author takes priority over any piece nominated by a third party. If multiple pieces by one author are nominated by third parties, the judges will attempt to contact the author to ascertain which piece he/she wants to be considered. If the author fails to respond, the judges will evaluate the first piece submitted and ignore any other nominated pieces by that author.

The Publication Period dates have been chosen so that pieces published about the annual January Hall of Fame election are eligible for consideration without having to wait a full year. This also ensures that pieces about Spink Award, Frick Award, and Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored in Cooperstown on the same July weekend will not be split between two Greg Spira Awards. (The Spink, Frick and Veterans Committee selections are announced in December, while the Baseball Writers Association of America selections are traditionally announced in early January.)

The inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award winners will be announced on April 27, 2013, the 46th anniversary of Greg??s birth. Future awards will be announced on April 27 of succeeding years. Winning entries must display innovative analysis or reasoning by an author who was 30 years old or younger at the time of the entry??s publication.

A panel of judges?including Greg??s brother Jonathan, the creators of the Award, and several close friends of Greg?will determine the winners of this innovative competition. The selections of the judges will be final and not appealable.

About Greg Spira

A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, baseball researcher Greg Spira died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City. Spira was an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, and he later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor.

Working with the Spira family, the creators of the Greg Spira Award include Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, Joe Hamrahi and Dave Pease of Baseball Prospectus, Sean Lahman of Baseball1.com, and Gary Gillette of 24-7 Baseball, L.L.C.

Remembrances, tributes, and other information about Greg Spira can be found on these Web sites:

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or send a message to Info(AT)SpiraAward.org.

–30–

Historic Hamtramck Stadium Listed on National Register

August 03, 2012 By: Gary Category: Ballparks, Media

HISTORIC HAMTRAMCK STADIUM LISTED ON NATIONAL REGISTER

Former Negro League Ballpark One of Few Remaining

Home of Negro League Detroit Stars & Hall of Famer Turkey Stearnes

Hamtramck Stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places this week by the National Park Service. Hamtramck Stadium is one the few surviving home ballparks of the fabled Negro Leagues era from 1920-1950–along with Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama; Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey; and Bush Stadium in Indianapolis.

“The City of Hamtramck is delighted to be a part of the proud history of Negro League baseball, and we look forward to a new future for our Stadium that honors this important legacy and recognizes its continued relevance to new generations,” Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski said. “We always knew we had a gem in this city. It’s a special pleasure to share that gem through this official recognition of its historic significance.”

At least 17 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame once played in Hamtramck Stadium, including baseball immortals like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, and Cool Papa Bell. Dozens of other great Black Baseball players also took the field at Hamtramck Stadium, including at least 43 of the top 100 Negro League & Black Baseball players of all-time (as selected by James A. Riley for Gary Gillette’s and Pete Palmer’s ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia). Riley, author of the landmark Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, is an historical consultant to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

Hamtramck Stadium’s resident superstar was Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, a stellar left-handed slugger and one of the greatest home run hitters in baseball history. Posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2000, Stearnes patrolled center field while pounding opposing pitchers during his two decade-long career in baseball’s segregated era. The fearsome power hitter played for the Detroit Stars from 1923-1931 and in 1937. Stearnes hit .344 and led the Negro National League in extra base hits during the Stars’ pennant drive in 1930, Hamtramck Stadium’s inaugural season. In 1931, Detroit??s superstar led the league in runs, hits, extra base hits, and home runs.

“My family and I are elated to hear the news about Hamtramck Stadium,” said Joyce Stearnes Thompson, daughter of Turkey Stearnes, whose family remains in the Detroit area. “Hopefully, now steps will be taken to restore this wonderful field with a wealth of historic value and memories.”

Hamtramck Stadium is a brick, steel, and concrete structure built in 1930 by Detroit Stars owner John Roesink, a local businessman and promoter of semi-pro baseball. It was the home field of the Negro National League Detroit Stars in 1930-1931 and in 1933. The Stadium was also home to the Detroit Wolves of the short-lived Negro East-West League in 1932 and to the Negro American League Detroit Stars in 1937. The deciding games of the 1930 Negro National League Championship Series were played in Hamtramck, with Detroit losing in seven exciting games to the St. Louis Stars.

The Stadium was acquired by the City of Hamtramck in 1940 and renovated in 1941 by the Wayne County Road Commission using WPA funds. Its current configuration dates to the 1970s. The grandstand has not been used since the 1990s, but remains in good shape while awaiting renovation.

The application for historic designation for Hamtramck Stadium was prepared by a volunteer team shepherded by Rebecca Binno Savage, historic preservation lead at Kraemer Design Group, PLC, in Detroit. Ms. Binno Savage is a resident of Hamtramck and was a member of the Mayor’s Committee to Save Hamtramck Stadium, chaired by City Council Member Cathie Gordon. Gary Gillette, a nationally known baseball historian and a Detroit resident, sparked the effort to save the historic Stadium with his presentation to Hamtramck City Council in 2010. Gillette also researched the Stadium’s historical significance for the Mayor’s Committee and made the successful presentation to the Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board in Lansing in January 2012.

Hamtramck Stadium is located at 3201 Dan Street, a block east of Jos. Campau Street in Veterans Memorial Park on the south side of Hamtramck.

Facebook: HamtramckStadium

www.HamtramckStadium.org

Contacts

Gary Gillette, 313.614.9006 (GGillette@247Baseball.com)

Rebecca Binno Savage, Kraemer Design Group 313.510.4350 (Rebecca.Savage@thekraemeredge.com)

Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

April 27, 2012 By: admin Category: Awards, Media

New Honor To Recognize Up-and-Coming Talent

A group of distinguished baseball writers and researchers have collaborated to create a new award as a memorial to the late baseball researcher Greg Spira. The new Greg Spira Baseball Research Award (www.SpiraAward.org) will be given annually in recognition of the best published article or paper containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger. The winning entry must display innovative analysis or reasoning.

Greg Spira founded the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991 and announced the 2011 winners a month before his death. The IBA are now maintained by Baseball Prospectus at www.baseballprospectus.com/iba. Spira was an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball as well as via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and several annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

Working with the Spira family, the creators of the Greg Spira Award include Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, Joe Hamrahi and Dave Pease of Baseball Prospectus, Sean Lahman of Baseball1.com, and Gary Gillette of 24-7 Baseball, L.L.C.

The winner of the Greg Spira Baseball Research Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The program will also recognize two additional writers with awards of $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

Articles or papers eligible for consideration include those published on the World Wide Web, in e-books, and in print, as well as academic dissertations and presentations at conferences. Winners of the Greg Spira Award will not be eligible for consideration for future awards.

The inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award winner will be announced on April 27, 2013–the 46th anniversary of Greg’s birthday. Future awards will be announced on April 27 of succeeding years.

A seven-person panel of judges will determine the winner. Greg’s brother Jonathan Spira has agreed to serve as one of the initial judges for the Award. Deadlines and procedures for submissions will be announced on August 10, 2012.

Remembrances, tributes, and other information about Greg Spira can also be found on these Web sites:

www.GregSpira.com

www.BaseballProspectus.com

www.Baseball-Reference.com

www.SeanLahman.com.

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or contact Gary Gillette (GilletteAT247Baseball.com).

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