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 June 1, 2012.
Remembrances, tributes, and other information about Greg Spira can also be found on these Web sites:
For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or contact Gary Gillette (GilletteAT247Baseball.com).
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