Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Dave Moore Award

The baseball journal Elysian Fields Quarterly began awarding the Dave Moore Award in 1999. The honor is given to the “most important” baseball book of the year. It is named for the late Dave Moore, a well known Minnesota broadcaster, who loved sports and literature.

The Dave Moore Award will be presented annually to the author of the most important work of literature on baseball from the previous year. The “most important” baseball book shall be one that uses baseball as a means to express our sense of who we are as a culture, as a society, and as individual human beings. Books eligible for this award are likely to come from the following categories of writing: 

  • A particularly brilliant use of original historical research
  • A significant look at an important figure or aspect of the game.
  • A unique, memorable work of fiction.

Because Dave Moore was unafraid of supporting unpopular causes, and willing to embrace the underdog, particular consideration will be given to emerging authors, especially those published by the small press.

Previous Winners

  • 1999 — The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
  • 2000 — Havana Heat by Daryl Brock
  • 2001 — The Final Season by Tom Stanton
  • 2002 —  The End of Baseball As We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81 by Charles Korr
  • 2003 — Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark by Jim Bouton
  • 2004 — September Swoon: Richie Allen, the 64′ Phillies and Racial Integration by William C. Kashatus
  • 2005 — The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers by Bob McGee
  • 2006 — A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood’s Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports by Brad Snyder
  • 2007 — Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball by Norman L. Macht

Who was Dave Moore?

For the uninitiated, Dave Moore was a legend in these parts (Minnesota)  for most of the past forty some years, both as a familiar face on television and mellifluous voice over the air waves. But mainly he was a regular guy, passionate about baseball, comfortable at a game, interested in other fans that he met at the ballpark. Dave was one of those rare guys who brushed aside fame and adoration in favor of connecting with all people, not just the rich and famous. Thus, it was possible for him to embrace a small, grass roots movement to save Metropolitan Stadium in the late 1970s even though most other well-known individuals remained indifferent or aligned themselves with the corporate elite that led the push for the godforsaken Metrodome. Hell, if Dave hadn’t been a high- profile television anchor, he probably would have led the opposition, and maybe today we’d still have a ballpark in Minnesota rather than an indoor football arena. That’s just the kind of guy Dave was; he believed in supporting the right causes, even if they were unwinnable battles. And that’s probably why he gave a damn’ about a little upstart journal of writing about baseball and a banquet for baseball fans (the annual Hot Stove League affair in St. Paul) that became a lifesaving fundraiser for us during our early struggles fifteen years ago. (Dave even rearranged his very busy schedule to make sure he was available to MC the banquets each year.)

When Dave passed away in January, 1998, we wanted to do something for him that would serve as a lasting tribute. Right up there with Dave’s great love for baseball was an appreciation of literature, so it just seemed natural to create an award in his memory that would recognize the most important work of baseball literature each year. There are other annual awards for the “best” baseball book, but we wanted ours to honor the many ways in which Dave encouraged people to believe in themselves, whether a struggling actor, a rookie journalist, an unpublished writer, a new theater company, or a naive group of activists who thought they could save a ballpark. That’s why The Dave Moore Award will give particular consideration to the works of emerging authors, especially those published by the small press.

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