Information on submitting nominations for the 2016 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award will be announced here on January 20, 2016.
The Spira Award is 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.
A group of distinguished baseball writers and researchers collaborated in 2013 to create an award as a memorial to the late baseball researcher Greg Spira. He was an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis. In 1991, before the World Wide Web was created, Spira founded the Internet Baseball Awards. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, he died on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.
Last year’s winner was Lewis Pollis, whose winning entry not only grabbed the $1,000 first prize, it helped him graduate. “If You Build It: Rethinking the Market for Major League Baseball Front Office Personnel” was his senior honors thesis in economics at Brown University, from which he graduated in 2014. Pollis used transaction data and random effects modeling to estimate the variation in player-investing skill at the general manager level. He now works as a baseball analyst for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cee Angi’s profile of Vin Scully, “We’ve Been Friends Long Enough, You’ll Understand,” took second prize. The piece appeared as a Longform feature at SB Nation, where she is a featured baseball contributor.
Rob Arthur’s “Analytic Value of the Crack of the Bat” won third prize. The article, which appeared on Baseball Prospectus, compared sounds made by the crack of the bat—harder hits producing higher frequencies. He is a contributor at FiveThirtyEight.
Previous winners of the Greg Spira Baseball Research Award include Ben Lindbergh in 2014 for his essay, “The Art of Pitch Framing,” written for Grantland, and Trent McCotter in 2013 for his essay, “Cal Ripken’s Record for Consecutive Innings”