The Casey Award

January 10, 2008

The CASEY Award was inaugurated in 1983 by Mike Shannon and W.J. Harrison, the editors and co-founders of Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, to honor the authors and publishers of outstanding baseball books, a heretofore unrealized notion.

Seven books were named as finalists for the first CASEY: Baseball’s Greatest Experiment, The Celebrant, Hoopla, Invisible Men, Insider’s Baseball, Take Me Out to the Ballpark, and Who’s on Third? The Chicago White Sox Story).

The “opening pitch” went to Celebrant, Eric Rolfe Greenberg’s historical novel by about Christy Mathewson and his biggest fan.
Excluding the 2006 nominees, 230 books have been named as finalists for the CASEY.



Nominees for the 2007 CASEY Award

  • The Best Game Ever: Pirates vs. Yankees: October 13, 1960, by Jim Reisler (Carroll & Graf)
  • Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman, by Lee Lowenfish (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball, by Norman L. Macht (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History, by Cait Murphy (HarperCollins)
  • Level Playing Fields: How the Groundskeeping Murphy Brothers Shaped Baseball, by Peter Morris (University of Nebraska Press)
  • Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season, by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster)
  • Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball, by Dan Shaughnessy (Houghton Mifflin)
  • The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America, by Joe Posnanski (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
  • Ty and the Babe: The Incredible Saga of Baseball’s Fiercest Rivals, the Forging of a Surprising Friendship, and the Battle for the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship, by Tom Stanton (Thomas Dunne Books)
  • Through a Blue Lens: The Brooklyn Dodgers Photographs of Barney Stein, 1937-1957, by Dennis D’Agostino & Bonnie Crosby (Triumph Books)

The winner will be announced on March 2.

* * *

Previous CASEY Award Winners

1983: The Celebrant, Eric Rolfe Greenberg
1984: Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Peter Golenbock
1985: Good Enough to Dream, Roger Kahn
1986: The Bill James Historical Abstract, Bill James
1987: Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball, Peter H. Gordon, editor
1988: Blackball Stars, John Holway
1989: The Pitch that Killed, Mike Sowell
1990: Baseball: The People’s Game Harold Seymour
1991: To Everything A Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia,1909-1976, Bruce Kuklick
1992:The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History, Phil Dixon
1993: Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark, Michael Gershman
1994: Lords of the Realm, John Helyar
1995: Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train, Henry W. Thomas
1996: Slide, Kelly, Slide, Marty Appel
1997: Play for a Kingdom, Thomas Dyja
1998: Judge and Jury, David Pietrusza,
1999: Slouching Toward Fargo, Neal Karlen
2000: Cy Young: A Baseball Life, Reed Browning
2001: The Final Season, Tom Stanton
2002: Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston, Howard Bryant
2003: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Michael Lewis
2004: Ted Williams: The Life of an American Hero, Leigh Montville
2005: Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, Jonathan Eig
2006: Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris

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  • Fred Taylor

    In searching for quality baseball books. it would be helpful to be able to access a list of the books nominated for the Casey Award back to 1983. If anyone knows how to access such information, please let me know. I have 1983 and 2006 through ’08.

  • Ask and ye shall receive:


    1983-The Celebrant -Eric Rolfe Greenberg- Everest House
    1984-Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers -Peter Golenbock- Putnams
    1985-Good Enough to Dream -Roger Kahn- Doubleday
    1986-The Bill James Historical Abstract -Bill James- Villard
    1987-Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball -Peter H. Gordon, Editor- Chronicle Books
    1988-Blackball Stars -John Holway- Meckler
    1989-The Pitch that Killed -Mike Sowell- Macmillan
    1990-Baseball: The People’s Game -Harold Seymour- Oxford University Press
    1991-To Everything A Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia,1909-1976 -Bruce Kuklick- Princeton University Press
    1992-The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History -Phil Dixon- Amereon
    1993-Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark -Michael Gershman- Houghton Mifflin
    1994-Lords of the Realm -John Helyar- Villard
    1995-Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train -Henry W. Thomas- Phenom Press
    1996-Slide, Kelly, Slide -Marty Appel- Scarecrow Press
    1997-Play for a Kingdom -Thomas Dyja- Harcourt Brace
    1998-Judge and Jury -David Pietrusza- Diamond Communications
    1999-Slouching Toward Fargo -Neal Karlen- Spike
    2000-Cy Young: A Baseball Life -Reed Browning- The University of Massachusetts Press
    2001-The Final Season -Tom Stanton- Thomas Dunne Books
    2002-Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston -Howard Bryant- Routledge
    2003-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game -Michael Lewis- W.W.Norton
    2004-Ted Williams: The Life of an American Hero -Leigh Montville- Doubleday
    2005-Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig -Jonathan Eig- Simon & Schuster
    2006-Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball -Peter Morris- Ivan R. Dee

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