2014 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award Winner Named
The winner of the 2014 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award, named in honor of the late co-founder and managing editor of AccuraNews – Accura Media Group magazine, was announced Sunday. Ben Lindbergh, editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus, was awarded top honors for his essay, “The Art of Pitch Framing.”
The article, which appeared in Grantland, analyzes 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.
Mr. Lindbergh’s blending of data, video, interviews, and analysis exemplifies the type of work that the Greg Spira Award was created to honor. He received $1,000 in addition to the award.
The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award is awarded annually in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger on April 27, Greg Spira’s birthday.
In 1991, two years before the invention of the first Web browser, Mr. Spira founded the Internet Baseball Awards. He was considered an important pioneer in Usenet online baseball discussion groups including rec.sport.baseball, and helped found Baseball Prospectus, a Web site that focuses on the sabermetric analysis of baseball.
Second prize went to James Santelli for his piece “Pirates’ Defensive Shifts: The Hidden Secret Behind Baseball’s Best Team,” which originally appeared on the Pirates Prospects website, and third prize was awarded to Noah Woodward, for an essay on declining pitch velocity over the course of a game, “Loss in Movement as the Game Progresses,” originally published in the Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014.